System Requirements and Upgrade path for Windows Server 2012

This post provides and elaborates prerequisite and information about installing the Windows Server 2012 operating system. This guide helps you to understand work around and avoid known installation issues also elaborate steps to take care prior to installation.

The Microsoft defines and provides the estimated minimum system requirements for the Windows Server 2012. If your system, the server doesn’t meet minimum requirements, Windows server 2012 will not install correctly. Recommended requirements will vary according to your require features, Server role and applications.


Processor performance depends on the clock frequency of the processor as well as on the count number of processor cores and its cache memory size. The below are the minimum processor requirements for this Windows server 2012

  • Minimum: 1.4 GHz, 64-bit processor

Disk space requirements

Following are the estimated minimum disk space requirements for the root system drive partition.

  • Minimum: 32 GB

Note: – Above said space, 32 GB is a bare minimum space requirement. You need more extra space if you install over the network and systems which having more than 16 GB RAM. Extra space requires for paging and hibernation.


Following are the estimated minimum RAM requirements for Windows Server 2012

  • Minimum: 512 MB

Other requirements Windows server 2012

Your system also must have met the following:

  • Gigabit 10/100/1000 base T Ethernet adapter.
  • DVD drives, if you plan to install the operating system from a DVD media device.

The following items are not mandatory required, but are necessary for certain features and application:

  • Super VGA 1024 x 768 or higher-resolution monitor
  • Mouse and Keyboard or other compatible pointing device.
  • Internet, access to get the latest windows and application update.

Important information for x64 based operating systems

You should ensure that kernel mode drivers are updated and digitally signed for Windows Server 2012.
While installing a Plug and Play device, you may receive a warning if the hardware drivers are not digitally signed. Or if installed application that contains a driver that is not digitally signed, remember you will not receive an error during Setup. Windows Serve 2012 will not load the unsigned driver in both cases.

If you get the digital sign error or system unable to boot after installation, then you have to disable the driver signature requirement from Advance boot option. Following is the procedure to disable the driver signature requirement. By applying this it will enable your computer system to start correctly and the unsigned driver will load successfully.

  1. Restart the server and during startup, press F8.
  2. Select Advanced Boot Options and Enter.
  3. Select and Disable Driver Signature Enforcement.
  4. Reboot into Windows and uninstall those unsigned driver.
  5. For more information, see

Before you start Windows Server 2012 Setup

Before you install Windows Server 2012, follow the steps to prepare for the installation/ upgrade.

  • Back up your servers. If you intend to upgrade, you should backup all your data including all configuration information, system state data (Boot and system partition), and Network host configuration such as DHCP. Or you can take backup and create sets for Automated System Recovery, Which help you to recover the system to a previous state if anything goes wrong while setup.
  • Disconnect Serial cable, UPS devices. If you have an attached any serial device like UPS to your server, then disconnect before running setup. Because Setup automatically attempts to detect devices that are connected to serial ports, and connected UPS equipment can create issues with the hardware detection process.
  • Disable your Antivirus software. Antivirus protection is scanning each, and files which can be interfered and make installation much slower.
  • Provide mass storage drivers. If your server hardware manufacturer has supplied separate drivers for the server hardware, then make a copy on CD, DVD, or USB (flash drive). You can copy drivers directly in amd64 folder. Press F6 or click Load Driver on the disk selection page you can browse to locate the drivers.
  • Be aware that Windows Firewall. By default Windows firewall is ON, it may block the inbound connection. Create require inbound and outbound rules necessary for application to be working properly. For more information about Windows Firewall, check this link

Supported upgrade paths for Windows Server 2012

  • The below table briefly summarizes supported upgrade paths to Windows Server 2012. Please read the general guidelines for supporting paths:
  • Windows server upgrade not supported, 32-bit to 64-bit architectures
  • From one build type to another upgrade are not supported.
  • From one language to another language upgrade not supported.
  • Pre-release versions of Windows Server 2012 upgrade not supported. You have to go for clean installation to Windows Server 2012.
  • Upgrades that switch from a Server Core installation of the Server with a GUI mode of Windows Server 2012 vice versa are not supported.
Current Operation SystemUpgrade Support To
Windows Server 2008 Standard with SP2 or Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with SP2Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter with SP2Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Web Server 2008Windows Server 2012 Standard
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard with SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SP1Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with SP1Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Web Server 2008 R2Windows Server 2012 Standard
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Vasant Sakpal

Vasant Sakpal is a tech savvy writer who works and Founder of leading SaveInTrash - Explore Technology Website. You can also contact him, if you are looking forward to Hire Advertise and Review Services.

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