Windows Server 2012, codenamed "Windows Server 8", is the sixth release of Windows Server. It is the server version of Windows 8 and succeeds Windows Server 2008 R2. Two pre-release versions, a developer preview and a beta version, were released during development. The software was generally available to customers starting on September 4, 2012.
In this easy step by step guide, we will learn how to install and activate Windows Server 2012.
Before you start make sure you have the minimum requirements to install Windows Server (Windows Server Requirements):
Processor: Minimum: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
Ram: Minimum: 512 MB
Disk Space: Minimum: 32 GB
Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor
Keyboard and Microsoft® mouse (or other compatible pointing device)
You can then download the evalution copy of Windows Server 2012 from here, Download the ISO and burn it to some DVD: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx?ocid=&wt.mcid=TEC108133
Now that we have everything we need, We can Start:
1- Insert the Windows Server 2012 DVD, and once you get the following message press Enter to boot from the setup
2- Wait for a while till the setup loads all necessary files (Depending on your machine, it will take couple of minutes)
3- Once the setup files are loaded, the setup will start with the following screen. You can change these to meet your needs (the default values should be fine for now)
4- Once you click Next, you can start the installation, click "Install now"
5- You will see the following screen, wait until it finishes loading
6- In the following setup screen, you will see four options. Select Windows Server 2012 DataCenter Evaluation (Server With GUI).
7- After you click Next from previous screen, Read the License terms, tick the "I accept the license terms" and click Next
8- Now It will ask you for the drive (or partition) you want to install Windows on. Here I'm installing it on the one partition I have here. NOTE: This will remove the content of the partition. Either you create a partition to install windows on, or you can test this on a testing machine
9- Now once we picked our partition, clicking on next from previous screen will start the setup. This process might take a while.
10- Once the setup is done, it will restart and start your Windows Server 2012 for the first time. It will ask you then to set up a password for the Administrator user
11- The setup will finalize your settings, might take a couple of minutes
12- Once the setup is done, you can log in for the first time to your Windows Server, as the screen says, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to log in, and use the password you set in the setup process
13 - Once you Log in, Windows Server 2012 will show the Server Manager
Congratulations! you have now Windows server 2012 Installed with Datacenter.
That wasn't hard, Where to go now?
We have a great free video training (Windows Server 2012 Jump Start: Preparing for the Datacenter Evolution)
Microsoft Virtual Academy, Great place to get a professional training and compete with other IT Pros from your country and around the world, Did I mention its FREE!
Windows Server Certifications, Once you get the training you can test yourself by taking Windows Server exams, and gain a professional title, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM).