By Emily / Last Updated November 29, 2019

Windows Server failure

Windows Server is a group of operating systems released by Microsoft and it is designed to correspond to their home operating systems (Windows 10, 8, 7, etc.). Since Windows Server is designed for professional tasks, when things go wrong it can have massive consequences for businesses and users alike.

The typical Windows Server user may experience issues such as their system not booting, a blue screen after the system starts up, not being able to open any files on their desktop, or being unable to update the system. Most of these problems are caused by a corrupted system file, a damaged boot record, or related issues. All can be unfortunately usually caused by user error.

So, what should we do if we encounter these problems in Windows Server 2012 (R2), 2008 (R2), 2016, or 2019?

How do you fix Windows Server 2012 (R2), 2008 (R2), 2016, or 2019?

If your Windows Server is experiencing the blue screen of death or other problems, there are two main Windows Server repairs tools that can help. Here we will focus on how to repair Windows Server 2012 via the two main utilities.

#1: Common tool: SFC /Scannow (Require a Windows installation DVD/CD)

First, you can use the System File Checker tool (of SFC for short) to repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2). SFC is a command prompt based tool and you will require administrator rights to open and run the program. SFC is able to scan your Windows system files for corrupted files or other changes. If a protected file is detected to be incorrect or corrupted, SFC will automatically extract the correct file from the system backup to replace the incorrect version. Here is how to use it.

1. Put the Windows Server 2012 (R2) installation disk into the CD drive, and start the computer.

2. When the message press any key to start from CD or DVD shows up, press any key and the Windows Setup screen will pop up.

3. Select the language to install, the time and currency format, the keyboard or input methods, and click Next.

4. Hit Repair your computer.

5. Click the operating system you want to repair and click ‘Next’.

6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click on ‘Command prompt’.

7. Type SFC/scannow in the command window and press the Enter key.

Sfc Scannow Server 2012

The system will automatically scan the integrity of all the protected system files and repair the incorrect files by itself. It will take around 5 minutes to complete, so please be patient.

As well as using the SFC command, you can also check and fix the system boot record via the command prompt window. You just need to input the following commands in turn and press enter after each:

  • bootrec / fixmbr

  • bootrec / fixboot

  • bootrec / rebuildbcd

After the scanning and repair process is finished, you can restart your computer to see if you can enter the desktop successfully.

#2: An alternative to SFC /Scannow tool for Windows Server 2012 (R2) (this does NOT require a Windows installation CD/DVD)

If you cannot repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2) by using command prompt as you have unfortunately misplaced your Windows Server installation DVD or CD, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition, a far more advanced partition tool than SFC. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition is compatible with Windows Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016, and 2019.

This tool can help you repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2) without the original Windows Server installation DVD or CD. It just requires an empty USB drive to make a bootable USB, you can enter the WinPE mode to repair your Windows Server 2012, or any other Windows Server operating system issues. An advantage of using AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition rather than SFC is that you can perform all of the operations in a user-friendly interface rather than manually typing out various commands into CMD – saving you countless hours and lots of effort. Below is a step by step guide on how to do it.

Step 1. Connect an empty USB drive (larger than 8GB) to a working Windows Server computer, then install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition. Click Make Bootable Media on the left hand side and follow the wizard to create a bootable USB stick.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Insert your bootable USB into your Windows Server 2012 which you need to fix, restart it, and enter the BIOS. Here you should make the bootable USB the first boot device so that your Server can boot successfully from it.

Step 3. Once logged in, you’ll see AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition start automatically. From here, you can try to check the OS partition for possible errors and fix them. Right click on the system partition and select Advanced -> Check Partition.

Check Partition

Step 4. Select Check partition and fix errors in this partition by using chkdsk.exe and click OK.

Check Partition and Fix Errors

Step 5. Now you should wait for a few minutes while the partition is checked and fixed.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server doesn’t just check your disk for errors and fix them. It has a range of useful features to help you fix Windows Server 2012 boot issues such as the Partition Recovery Wizard and the Rebuild MBR function.

If your Windows Server is unable to boot because the partition has been deleted by accident, you can use the ‘Partition Recovery Wizard’ function to find the lost partition and restore it. If the Windows Server issue is caused by a damaged MBR (Master Boot Record) table then the Rebuild MBR function will be able to rebuild the table to allow your system to boot.

Rebuild Mbr For Server

Once you have tried the solutions and successfully repaired your Windows Server 2012, you can disconnect the bootable USB and restart your computer. The above methods are applicable to fixing other Windows Servers such as 2008 (R2), 2011, 2016, and 2019.

The Bottom Line

If your Windows installation DVD or CD is available, you can use SFC /scannow command to repair your Windows Server 2012. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to have misplaced your Windows installation DVD or CD, or you simply don’t want to use CMD, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition is a great alternative.

As always, we recommend creating regular backups to your Windows Server 2012 (R2) in case anything goes wrong in the future.