Installing Windows Server "8" Beta

Updated: February 29, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012


This topic is no longer updated and has been superseded by Installing Windows Server 2012.

Preinstallation information

System requirements

The following are estimated system requirements for the Windows Server 2012. If your computer has less than the "minimum" requirements, you will not be able to install this product correctly. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you install.


Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache. The following are the processor requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor


The following are the estimated RAM requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 512 MB


If you install the Traditional Chinese version (ZH-TN), ensure that you allocate more than 512 MB of RAM, either for a physical computer or a virtual machine.

Disk space requirements

The following are the estimated minimum disk space requirements for the system partition.

  • Minimum: 32 GB


    Be aware that 32 GB should be considered an absolute minimum value for successful installation. The system partition will need extra space for any of the following circumstances:

    • If you install the system over a network.

    • Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.

Other requirements

You also need to have the following:

  • DVD drive

  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor

  • Keyboard and Microsoft® mouse (or other compatible pointing device)

  • Internet access (fees may apply)

Important information for x64-based operating systems

Ensure that you have updated and digitally signed kernel-mode drivers for Windows Server 8 Beta

If you install a Plug and Play device, you may receive a warning if the driver is not digitally signed. If you install an application that contains a driver that is not digitally signed, you will not receive an error during Setup. In both cases, Windows Server 2012 will not load the unsigned driver.

If you are not sure whether the driver is digitally signed, or if you are unable to boot into your computer after the installation, use the following procedure to disable the driver signature requirement. This procedure enables your computer to start correctly, and the unsigned driver will load successfully.

To disable the signature requirement for the current boot process:

  1. Restart the computer and during startup, press F8.

  2. Select Advanced Boot Options.

  3. Select Disable Driver Signature Enforcement.

  4. Boot into Windows® and uninstall the unsigned driver.

For more information, see

Before you start Setup

Before you install Windows Server 2012, follow the steps in this section to prepare for the installation.

  • Disconnect UPS devices. If you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to your destination computer, disconnect the serial cable before running Setup. Setup automatically attempts to detect devices that are connected to serial ports, and UPS equipment can cause issues with the detection process.

  • Back up your servers. Your backup should include all data and configuration information that is necessary for the computer to function. It is important to perform a backup of configuration information for servers, especially those that provide network infrastructure, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. When you perform the backup, be sure to include the boot and system partitions and the system state data. Another way to back up configuration information is to create a backup set for Automated System Recovery.

  • Disable your virus protection software. Virus protection software can interfere with installation. For example, it can make installation much slower by scanning every file that is copied locally to your computer.

  • Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. You should run this tool to test the RAM on your computer. To use the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, follow the instructions in the Windows Memory Diagnostic Users Guide (

  • Provide mass storage drivers. If your manufacturer has supplied a separate driver file, save the file to a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive in either the root directory of the media or the amd64 folder. To provide the driver during Setup, on the disk selection page, click Load Driver (or press F6). You can browse to locate the driver or have Setup search the media.

  • Be aware that Windows Firewall is on by default. Server applications that must receive unsolicited inbound connections will fail until you create inbound firewall rules to allow them. Check with your application vendor to determine which ports and protocols are necessary for the application to run correctly.

    For more information about Windows Firewall, see

Known issues

If you use the Offline Files feature and are upgrading to this release from an existing Windows server installation and you select Keep my personal data, any unsynchronized data will be lost. To avoid this, either open Sync Center and click the Sync button prior to upgrading or select Keep my personal data, apps, and settings at the time of upgrade.

Supported upgrade paths

Upgrades to this version from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are supported. However, only upgrades from the same server edition are supported. You will not be able to upgrade to subsequent releases from this release.

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