Windows Server 2012 comes into 2 different editions (Datacenter, Standard) on The MSDN/TechNet installation DVD. The evaluation DVD can be downloaded via the TechNet Evaluation Center. You can burn this .iso file using for example ImgBurn. After burning the DVD follow the installation steps below.

1. Boot up your Windows Server 2012 dvd. After you see the screen below, choose the appropriate settings and click Next.
Main installation screen

2. At the next screen just click the Install now button.
Start Installation

3. Select the version of Windows Server 2012 that says Full Installation. Don’t select one of the Server Core Installation’s, because then you won’t have a GUI 😉
Choose Edition

4. If you agree to the license terms, check I accept the license terms and click Next.
License terms

5. We will use the Custom (advanced) in this manual which allows us to install a clean Windows Server 2012. The Upgrade option can be used to upgrade from Windows Server 2012.
Installation Type

6. Select the harddisk and partition where you want to install Windows Server 2012 and click Next.
Installation location

7. Now Windows Server 2012 setup will install the selected version to your harddrive.
Copying files Automatically restarting Finishing installation

8. After the installation has finished you will be asked to enter a password for the built-in Administrator account. You MUST type in a strong password with at least one capital letter and one number, for example P4ssword (capital P/number four), otherwise you will get an error message saying that your password does not meet the password complexity requirements. You can disable this strong password enforcement later. Click Finish to apply the new password.
Set a password

9. The installation will now apply the settings whereafter the Windows Server 2012 lock screen shows up. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination and enter your password.
Windows Server 2012 Lock Screen Log in with the password you just chose

10. In the Server Manager click Manage in the upper right, choose Server Manager Properties and check Do not show me this console at logon to not show the Server Manager at start-up. You can access the Server Manager later via the the shortcut in your pinned items bar or Start screen.
Server Manager


Continue to the installation of the Device Drivers…

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9 Responses

  1. Gideon says:

    Following Zain: for god’s sake, just write MANUALLY down on a paper the PID code number!

  2. lassen says:


    many thanks for this great site! i just finished to install the ws2012 datacenter, and i faced the next problem: i cannot modify the display resolution. i have 2 video cards but one of them has a yellow exclamation mark, so i thing that’s the source of my problem… what can i do, what i have to do to be capable vary this setting?


  3. Zain says:

    Some systems come with a product key already in the BIOS. I experienced this with my Lenovo W530 and it led to this problem:

    After working for a time (several hours) trying to get the PID.txt stuff to work I finally found a comment at the bottom of this article:

    Which led me to figure out that I had to install the Eval version of W12K from here:

    Once that was done I had to run the following command with my product key where the X’s are:

    DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

    Which finally got me where I needed to be. It’s a major PITA but easy once you figure it out.

  4. kris says:

    Do you have idea to make it more better even after installing desktop experience in Windows 2012 server. I means perform look loose then Win7.


  5. kris says:

    My computer (on Win server) running slow. Can you help me to make it better.

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