How to Install Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (Part 1)

If you would like to become a System Administrator, you want to become familiar with any Operation Systems that manage your organization. The Windows Server 2012 R2 is one of the most common servers (provided by Microsoft) one should know. When you first time install any of the software or OS, you may be frustrated with all of the steps but I am here to demonstrate how easy the process of the Windows Server 2012 R2 installation can be. If you follow along, you will succeed in your first time installation.

I’m writing my series in the following order to ensure a smooth process for a first-time user. Read along and you’ll find it much easier than you thought it would initially going in:

  1. Installing Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (the current post)
  2. Installing Domain Controller
  3. Join the Domain

Today, in Part 1, I will demonstrate how to install Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. Let’s get started!

[Note: I am using Windows 8 Pro hyper-V. You might have a different enviornment or it might not work on your computer, because your hardware or OS system might not be the same as my computer. Please check Microsoft’s minimum requirement here. If you don’t meet this, there is no guarantee that this process will work.]

Microsoft minimum system requirement to install Windows 2012 R2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Windows Server 2012 R2 supports high-scale workload and infrastructure innovation across storage, identity, networking, server management and automation, web and application platform, and more. Microsoft provides phenomenal features, however it can be costly. But don’t worry! You don’t need to purchase it at this time. Microsoft provides evaluation versions, which is like a trial so you can experience it and decide whether the software is a good fit for you or your organization. When you follow that link, you will see the image below.

Evaluation for Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

From there, sign into your account and follow Microsoft’s instructions. 

Enabling Hyper V

Find below the requirements to enable Hyper V. The Hyper-V server role in Windows Server lets you create a virtualized server computing environment where you can create and manage virtual machines. You can run multiple operating systems on one physical computer and isolate the operating systems from each other. 


  • Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise 64 bit Operating System
  • 64 bit processor with Second Level Address Translation
  • BIOS-level Hardware Virtualization support
  • At least 4GB system RAM

This demonstration is based on Hyper-V features. If you are using other Virtual Machine software such as VMware, Oracle VM VirtualBox, QEMU, and more, that is fine. 

find hyper-v checkbox to begin virtual machine creation process by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

1. Press the Window button and type “Turn Windows features on or off.”

2. Find the Hyper-V feature and check the checkbox.

3. Click ok, then Reboot the machine.

Once you reboot your computer, you are able to open the Hyper-V manager by pressing the Windows button and typing “hyper-v.” This will pop up the Hyper-v manager and your screen should look like the image below.  

open hyper-v manager interface once reboot machine by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

 Next, we need to connect to the local computer for now.

connect local computer to hyper-v manager interface by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

  1. Click Connect Server. If you click that, the pop up box will appear.
  2. Click Local computer.
  3. Click Ok.

Creating the New Virtual Machine

Think of this process as we are building a human and the Virtual Machine is the skeleton. Once you have the skeleton, you can add other parts, like organs, which will be the operation systems.

create new VM to local machine in hyper-v manager interface

On the image above, the left panel open new VM wizard and follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamicsshows your computer. Now we need to create the new VM to your local machine (see image above):

  1. Click New on the right panel.
  2. Click Virtual Machine. 

Once you’ve opened your New Virtual Machine Wizard (see image to right), follow these steps: Click Next.



Once you’re in the “specify name and location in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy DynamicsSpecify Name and Location” screen (see image left):

1. Name the VM

2. If you would like to store it in a different place, check in the check box. 

3. Select the location of the VM. 

4. Once you are done, click Next.



Next comes the “Specify Generation” window (see image below). There are two options to choose for your Virtual Machine:

1. Generation 1 specify generation 1 or generation 2 in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamicssupports legacy drivers and uses Hyper-V BIOS-based architecture. Hyper-V BIOS-based virtual machines can only initialize IDE Controller for Operating System to initialize a file system.

2. Generation 2 supports UEFI-based architecture, in which a subset of Integration Service components has been included to allow SCSI Controller to initialize before the Operating System starts loading.

assign memory in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy DynamicsAt this time, let’s stick with Generation 1. Click Next.

Next is the “Assign Memory” window (see image left). Assign the memory to the VM (I followed Microsoft’s recommendation). Click Next.







configure networking in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Once you get to the “Configure Networking” screen (see image right), click Next. 

[Note: You can go back to the setting and configure network anytime later on.]

Now that you’ve reached the “Connect Virtual Hard Disk” screen (see image below), there are three options available to you: 

  1. Creating a virtual hard disk
  2. Using an existing virtual hard disk (replacing)
  3. Attaching a virtual hard disk later

Since, we areconnect virtual hard dish in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics creating the VM, select the first option. Make sure you give some storage as well because you want to install OS and other test softwares.

Click Next.

install operating system later in installation options in new VM wizard to follow install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics







Finally, you’ll reach the “Installation Options” window (see image left). For this one, I recommend that you start with the option of: Install an operating system later.

Sometimes you will get an error (not booting your VM).

Click Next.

Now you’ll see the summary of everything we just did (see image below). Click Finish! 

completing the new VM wizard by following install steps by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

After Installing the New Virtual Machine

locate settings in newly installed VM by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Here we are! Now we’ve created a VM. We are almost there! Let’s mount the image file. 

Once you see the VM that you created, find Settings in the right panel and click it. 

expand ide controller and mount image in new VM by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Now that you’re in Settings (see image above), mount the image by:

  1. Expand IDE Controller by clicking the plus sign next to the IDE controller 
  2. Choose Image file and locate the ISO file
  3. Click Open
  4. Click Apply, then Close

begin to turn on the new VM by pressing start and connect by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Now that the image is mounted, let’s start to turn on the VM (see image above)

  1. Right Click and press Start.
  2. Right click again, Click Connect

Installing Windows 2012 R2 

select language time and keyboard to install windows server 2012 r2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Finally! We are here!

  1. Select the Language, Time, and Keyboard.
  2. Then Next.

GUI vs. CORE options to choose in install windows server 2012 r2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics

Here we are. We don’t know what to choose, right?

GUI vs. Core

Here’s a simple example:

GUI: Many pictures involved

CORE: No pictures involved

At this time, we are going to go for GUI because it provides a user interface of Windows (see image right) rather than text you may not know what to do with.

Standard vs. Datacenter

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Standard are very similar. The only differencestandard vs datacenter in install windows server 2012 r2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics between Datacenter and Standard is the virtualization rights included with the license.

Let’s choose Standard with GUI. Let the install begin (see image left)

Let’s go for Custom!




Your screen should then look like this: 

unallocated space on drive on choosing where to install Windows server 2012 r2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics









Select the drive, then click Next. We are here! (see image prep installation of windows server 2012 r2 by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamicsright)

Let’s wait until the install has finished.

create Admin account in new Windows server 2012 r2 and finish by Chinho Ko at Easy Dynamics(see image above) Here, create an Admin account and click Finish. Now you are all set! 

The Final Applause

We went over how to install the Windows 2012 R2. I hope that all of the screenshots help you to understand the process better. 

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of my 3-part blog series: Installing a Domain Controller

Have any other tips or shortcuts on how to install Windows Server 2012 R2? Share your wisdom with us in a comment below!  While you’re here, make yourself comfortable and check out our blog home page to explore other technologies we use on a daily basis and the fixes we’ve solved in our day to day work. To make your life even easier, subscribe to our blog to get instant updates sent straight to your inbox:



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