By Ivy / Last update October 20, 2022

Windows Server 2012 Standard File History desktop backup

In Windows Server 2012 Essentials there is nice feature like centralized File History backup from desktops. I would like to have similar functionality on my Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Server – Is it possible? If not, is any third party solution which will provide files backup with central management for reasonable price?

Windows Server Essentials, for example, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, is a great choice for business or enterprise owners to manage multiple computers and backup tasks centrally over network.

By default, if you connect all the client computers, the File History is automatically turned on, just like the following picture, and you can configure file history backup settings in the Client computer backup settings and tools dialog box.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials File History Backup

But if you are running Windows Server 2012 Standard, you cannot see File History option even if you install the client computer backup tasks. It's worth mentioning, you still can create client computer backup in Windows Server 2012. 

And there is another problem you are experiencing - Windows Server 2012 end of life, which means you will not receive any security update like drivers, Windows updates, etc from Microsoft. So if you use the built-in backup software to backup files, there is a high risk of data loss. To avoid any data loss, it's suggested to try third-party centralized backup software - AOMEI Centralized Backupper. 

Create Windows Server 2012 File History via Client Computer Backup

From above, you can get clearly that there are 2 workarounds for Windows Server 2012 enable file history. This is the first one, and it requires all the client computers to join the domain. If you don’t have a domain, please directly go to the second workaround. 

First, you need to install Windows Server Essentials. Just launch Server Manager and click Add Roles and Features, then in the wizard, click Next, select installation type and server, tick Windows Server Essentials Experience and follow the wizard to complete the installation.

Windows Server Essentials Experience

Next, go to Server Manager again and configure the Essentials feature. click the flag shaped icon and Configure Windows Server Essentials, then click Next until the Create a network administrator account, type company name, Administrator account, password and click Configure to start this operation.

Create Account

Thirdly, connect all the clients computers to server. Log on to the client computer and make sure it has a valid connection to the internet, open internet browser (eg: Internet Explorer), type http:///Connect or http:///connect andpress Enter, click Download software for Windows, then run this application to join domain by following its prompt.

Connect Your Computer To The Server

Last and the most important part, create file backup for client computers. Launch Windows Server Essentials Dashboard, click DEVICES, select Client computer backup tasks, set up Client computer backup settings, include schedule and its retention policy, click Apply at last.

Client Computer Backup

Server 2012 essentials disable client computer backups

Besides, some users still want to disable file history backup on the client computer because it is not working as expected and populates a lot of data on the server computer. Below are an example from spiceworks community. 

Dear SPW's, for some reason, a server 2012R Std. with Essentials role has gone haywire, and started to do backup of clients, filling the server space with data. I have disabled the backup of the clients from the Essentials console, however, they keep doing backups. So, here it goes - is there ANY way except the already tried solution to forever disable that backup of the client computers? Some kind of service or anything that will finally stop those annoying backups from starting?

In this case, you can choose to disable client computer backups completely. If that's not what you want, you can choose to disable the backup share by deleting it manually.

Another safe way to create Windows Server 2012 File History Backup

AOMEI Centralized Backupper is one of the best Windows Server 2012 file history backup software, With it, you can centrally backup all client computers to network share or NAS and therefore save administration time & costs, remotely monitor and manage all backup jobs from the central management console, etc. To be specific: 

  • It supports createing create centralized system backup, disk backup, partition backup, and SQL Server Backup, and run it automatically with daily, weekly, monthly backup settings. 
  • It is able to backup only changed files with the help of incremental or differential backup.
  • It allows you to delete old backup automatically with one of backup scheme feature. 

Thus, you can keep your data always to be the latest versions and has enough space for new backups. Please download AOMEI Centralized Backupper, and create a file backup for Windows Server 2012.

Download Free Trial Server 2008/2012/2016/2019/2022
Secure Download

(Note: This software has 30-day free trial, so you don't need to pay for it. Click here to learn more about its different editions if necessary.  )

First, install and launch the software. Go to Computers tab and choose to Install client program on all the wanted client computers manually or remotely.

install client program

Note: If you need to install client programs manually,click Request Control instead.

Next, once you have gained control of all the client computers you want to back up, switch to Tasks tab and create a New Task by selecting File Backup from the list.

If you want to create other centralized backup tasks, just click System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, SQL Server Backup, etc. accordingly.

File Backup

Thirdly, select the controlled computers, setup source and destination path. 

In "Step 1", click Add Computers to select the client computers under the Controlled Computers.

Add Computer

In "Step 2", you can either Select items based on each client or Select items based on backup rules, click Add to specify the data or rules you want to apply.

Add

In "Step 3", click the select box and tap Add Storage, then type the IP address, username or password or the target network path. If you have already added a network share or NAS, you can directly select it.

Add Network Location

Finally, click Settings, Schedule, Scheme to onfigure backup settings and the rules to manage disk space. Then, confirm all the selected items and settings and click Start BackupCreate and execute backup tasks

  • Settings: You can manage backup encryption, notification, compression and splitting here.

  • Schedule: Set up a automatic backup on basis of daily, weekly monthly. You can also choose backup type (full/incremental/differential) in Advanced tab. 

  • Scheme: Create a rule to auto delete old backups and therefore save your storage space.

Start Backup

All the created backup task will be listed under the Tasks tab. You can manage backup tasks here, or click restore backup under under Advanced option.

restore from file backup task

Summary

You may be disappointed if you plan to create Windows Server 2012 file history backups, because you are only allowed to do that in the Essentials version. But it does not matter, you still can try the client computer backups and best centralized backup software -  AOMEI Centralized Backupper.

Both of them help you backup client computers in domain or all the client computers are on the LAN. Considering the data loss risk due to Windows Server 2012 end of life, it's suggested to use AOMEI Centralized Backupper. And it offers you more convenience features, such as, differential backup, backup scheme, etc. Why not have a try!