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Windows Server 2012 - Installation

  • Only 64 Bit versions of Windows Server 2012 are available
  • Server Core and Full GUI Option and ne Minimal Server Interface are available and can be changed after installation
  • No Itanium Version availlable

Installation requirements for Windows Server 2012

Minimal Requirements for Windows Server 2012

  • 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 32 GB available disk
  • DVD drive
  • Super VGA (800x600)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Internet access

Maximum Hardware configuration for Windows Server 2012

  • 640 logical processors
  • 4 TB RAM
  • 63 Failover cluster nodes

Server Core

Server Core is  just a installation option - no special edition.

Advantage of Server Core

  • Uses less ressources
  • Uses less disk space
  • Needs less patching
  • More secure to attacks

With Server Manager and other tools, administrators can install a server using the server core option, join these into existing domain via PowerShell and never touch the console again. All necessary tasks can be run from a remote workstation.

Roles available in server core installation Roles not available in server core installation
Active Directory Certificate Services Active Directory Federation Services
Active Directory Domain Services Application Server
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Fax Server
Active Directory Rights Management Services Network Policy and Access Services
DHCP Server Remote Desktop Services:

Remote Desktop Gateway
Remote Desktop Session Host
Remote Desktop Web Access
DNS Server  
File and Storage Services  
Print and Document Services  
Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Connection Broke
Remote Desktop Desktop Licensing
Remote Desktop Virtualization Host
Remote Access  
Web Server (IIS)  
Windows Server Update Services  


The Minimal Server Interface

The Minimal Server Interface consists of the program an the prompt (as you see in Server Core). To activate the Minimal Server Interface make sure that only the Feature "Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure" is installed. The following video shows how to change between the different options.

Features on demand

Windows Server 2012 has its features in the so called side by side directory, usually C:\Windows\WinSxS. With features on demand administrators can activate any of the features without supplying a installation medium. The disadvantage of it is that the WinSxS Directory is very large. If you are running out of space, perhaps because if you are using SSDs, you probably have to reduce the amount your installation is using. You can deinstall features via Powershell.

CBT Nuggets have a really good video for this here



Upgrade paths

Versions prior to 2008 are not supported. Also not supportet are upgrades from pre-RTM versions and Itanium versions.

If you are running

You can upgrade to these editions:

Windows Server 2008 Standard with SP2 or Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with SP2 Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter with SP2 Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Web Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Standard
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard with SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SP1 Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with SP1 Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Web Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2012 Standard

See http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2012/10/22/windows-8-windows-server-2012-upgrade-paths-and-editions.aspx and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204.aspx for more infos concerning upgrades.

Upgrades should be avoided and a new installation should be prefered.

If it can't be avoided, make sure

  • To check hardware compatibility
  • To check that you have enough disk space available
  • That Drivers are signed or disable the driver signature (F8 duringe Startup)
  • That you have your mass storage driver available (i. e. on a USB Stick)
  • To check application compatibility
  • That you have a backup
  • To disable Anti Virus
  • Disconnect UPS
  • That you have the correct version and keys available.


Read a step by step on how to install Hyper-V on Bare Metal at the Altaro Website.