Windows Server Backup: How to Restore?

Posted by @Cody

April 1, 2016

After creating Windows Server backup, how to restore? This article will tell you how to recover windows server step by step.

System restore in Windows Server

In Windows Server 2008/2012/2016, you can use the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to restore your computer to earlier date if some unexpected problems happens to your computer. For system state recovery, which restores some settings and boot files, you can perform it while windows running. With Windows Server Backup, how to restore your server? You need to boot your machine into WinRE and then configure the restore process. On some serious situation, you cannot boot into WinRE, and you can use Windows Server installation disc or recovery disk. Before you manage to start full server restoration, please make sure that the hard drive that you are restoring to has the same or larger space than the disk backed up. Otherwise, the backup will fail due to insufficient disk space.

How to restore Windows Server from a backup?

In different versions of Windows Server, the Windows Server backup and restore process may be vary. Nevertheless, you will know the how to do referring to the steps below:

1. Boot the Windows Server into WinRE with the installation disc if needed. Choose the proper settings and click “Next”.

Install Windows

2. In the next window, click “Repair your computer”, “Trouble shooting”, and then “System Recovery Options”.

Repair Your Computer

3. Select “Windows Complete PC Restore” to enter the Windows Recovery Environment.

PC Restore

4. Now the program will scan your server for image backups, and then select the latest available backup by default. If you want to choose a different backup version, just check the “Restore a different backup” option.

Choose A Backup

5. Make sure the storage device where the image backup located is well connected to the server to be restored. If your backup was saved to network shared folder, you may need to manually specify the location path of the backup. Find the backup version that you want to restore and click”Next” to continue.

Select Location

6. After choosing the backup version, it will bring you the confirmation screen. As there, click “Finish” to start the restoration process.


Then your server is starting to recover. It may take a long while if the image backup is too large. When the procedure is complete, your server will reboot and load your server system. However, if the server hard disk to be recovered is less than 160GB, the server recovery will fail with an error message saying could not complete the server restore. What’s worse, there are other unknown problems will cause system recovery failed. If you are not satisfied with Windows Server Backup, you can use server backup software to protect your server.

Recover windows server with third party software

AOMEI Backupper Server is a backup and restore tool for Windows Server 2008/2012/2016. You can use it to restore your server when need be with a better performance than using Windows Server Backup, as it support many file system and storage devices for saving image backups, it provides many backup types of scheduled backup and automatic old backups cleanup, it brings you offline system restore and dissimilar hardware restore. In order to restore your server when it becomes unable to boot, you can create a full backup of your server and a bootable rescue media.

To restore Windows Server:

1. Open AOMEI Backupper, or boot from the bootable media created by AOMEI Backupper if your Windows Server fails to load. In the main interface, click the "Restore" option.

Main Console

2. In the next screen, all the available backup versions will be listed. If the backup you need to restore is not listed, you can click “Path” to locate the image backup.

Backup Point

3. After specifying the backup file, choose a backup version if need be, and then click "Next” to continue.

Start Restore

4. Then confirm the operation and click “Start Restore” to start the restoration.

After learning Windows Server Backup how tor restore system, you may also be interested in making a clone of your server hard drive. AOMEI Backupper allows you to do exactly that by using “Disk Clone” function, and you can free download the 30-day trail version right now..