Run Windows Server 2012 System Restore Command Line Correctly

If you don't know how to perform Windows Server 2012 system restore command line, please read on and learn 2 practical methods as well as from easy graphics.


by Miya Updated on October 23, 2023

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Where is the System Restore on Windows Server 2012?

“I have Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition and would like to use Windows System Restore. But, I can't find it.
Trying to start it using the Windows Run command restored didn't work. I can't find it in System Settings. And I couldn't find it in the Windows folders "System32" or "SysWOW64".
So my question is: Where is "System Restore"? Do I need to install it manually via Server Manager? etc....”

In fact, System Restore is a feature in Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11, but not in any of the server systems. So you cannot use System Restore to roll back system state to the previous time if there are problems related to installed programs, drivers, or updates.

But you can use System State Backup in Windows Server, which only creates a snapshot of your files at a certain point.  Thus,  you can easily and quickly restore your server computer from an emergency disaster. Unlike System Restore, it will not create a backup image automatically, please create one just in case. You can use Windows Server Backup or the Wbadmin command line.

Windows Server 2012 system restore command line you will use

wbadmin start sysrecovery -version:-backupTarget:{|}[-machine:][-restoreAllVolumes] [-recreateDisks] [-excludeDisks] [-skipBadClusterCheck] [-quiet]

◑ version:[versionidentifier]: Specifies the version for the backup to recover in MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM format, as listed by wbadmin get versions.

◑ authsysvol: Performs an authoritative restore of Sysvol.

◑ backupTarget:{[volumename] | [networksharepath]}: Specifies the storage location that contains the backup or backups that you want to recover. Useful when the location is different from the location where backups of this computer are usually stored. NetworkSharePath should be in Universal Naming Convention (UNC) format.

◑ showsummary: Reports the summary of the last run of this command. This parameter cannot be accompanied by any other parameters.

◑ recoveryTarget:[targetpathforrecovery]: Specifies the directory to restore to. This is useful if the files that comprise the system state are restored to an alternate location.

◑ machine:[backupmachinename]: Specifies the name of the computer for which you want to recover a backup. Useful when multiple computers have been backed up to the same location. Should be used when -backupTarget is specified.

◑ quiet: Runs the command with no prompts to the user.

How to perform Windows Server 2012 system restore from command prompt

In general, you may need to use the system restore command line when your computer is still bootable or not. It will be much easier if you can access your computer.

Just open the command prompt with administrator priority, and type the wbadmin system state recovery command line. 

For example, to run system state recovery from system state backup at E drive created at 18:28 pm in 01/09/2013, type as follows:

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery –version:01/09/2013-18:28 –backuptarget:E:

Command Prompt

For example, to run a system state recovery of the backup from 04/30/2005 at 9:00 A.M. that is stored on the remote shared folder \\servername\share for server01, type as follows:

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:04/30/2005-09:00 -backupTarget:\\servername\share -machine:server01

✎ Additional consideration:
To recover the system state using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

In addition, if your computer is not bootable, you need to open the command prompt in the recovery environment. It requires an installation disc or Windows Server 2012 recovery disk to boot it. The steps are:

Step 1. Insert the installation disc or recovery disk into your server 2012. Restart your computer, press a specific key to access BIOS, and usually, it's F2, ESC, F11, etc, set the bootable media as a first boot option. Then, save changes and boot from it.

Step 2. Wait until file loading completes. In the Windows Setup interface, select language and other preferences, and click Next.

Step 3. Click Repair your computer.

Repair your computer

Step 4. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options and then  Command Prompt.

Step 5. Type wbadmin system state recovery command in the command prompt window. Please use the above examples as a reference. 

The flexible way to perform Windows Server 2012 system restore 

AOMEI Backupper Server is a professional backup and restore software, that allows you to backup and restore system, disk, partition, files from graphic user interface or command line. And you can use it on both Windows systems (Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11/XP/Visa) and server systems (Windows Server 2003/2008 (R2)/2012 (R2)/2016/2019/2022). Besides, you can benefit a lot from the following features:

Various backup types
It offers different backup types for different needs. You can choose from system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file backup, and cloud backup according to your situation.
Multiple backup schedules
It enables you to set automatic backups. There are five schedule modes available: “Daily”, “Weekly”, “Monthly”, “Event triggers”, and “USB plug in”. 
Advanced backup schemes
It provides users with 3 different backup methods (Full/Incremental/Differential Backup) and cleanup methods(By quantity/By time/By daily/weekly/monthly). So you can choose to backup only changed files or delete old backup to free up more disk space.

Before you run Windows Server 2012 system restore with command line by AOMEI Backupper, make sure the following items:

Download AOMEI Backupper Server and install it on Windows Server 2012. Then, click Backup and System Backup, select a destination path to store the backup image, and click Start Backup to create a system image for Windows Server 2012.

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System Backup

Switch to the Tools tab and select Create Bootable Media. Then, select disc type - Windows PE and storage device - USB, CD/DVD, ISO, and click Next.

Create Bootable Meida

After all this is done, let’s take a look at how to run Windows Server 2012 (R2) system restore, you can use command prompt or from graphic interface.

Way 1: Run Windows Server 2012 (R2) system restore from command prompt 

Step 1. Boot the machine from the bootable media if it is not bootable, and it will bring you to the interface of AOMEI Backupper. Then open Windows shell command under Tools.

Windows Shell Command

Step 2. Type in the following command in command prompt to navigate to AOMEI Backupper installation directory by typing in: cd [installation path of AOMEI Backupper] and press Enter. For example: cd C:\Program Files\AOMEI Backupper. Note that the drive letters might change under Windows PE environment.

Step 3. Run the following command to start Windows Server 2012 system restore.

 AMBackup /r /t [backup type] /s "[backup location path]" /d [destination location]

Example 1: To restore the system backup saved in D:\system backup to disk 2, you can run AMBackup /r /t system /s “D:\system backup\system backup.adi” /d 2.

AOMEI Command Line

Example 2: To restore system in the image named "system backup10.adi" to the partition 0 on disk 0 and perform a universal restore, use the command AMBackup /r /t system /s "D:\system backup\system backup10.adi" /d 0:0 /x.

Besides system restore, this can be used to perform disk restore and partition restore. Also, it is very easy to create data backup using CMD and clone with the command line.

Way 2: Run Windows Server 2012 system restore from graphic interface

If your computer is bootable, you can directly open AOMEI Backupper Server and start Windows Server 2012 system restore. If not, boot from the bootable media you previously created and then follow the steps below. 

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Server. Click Restore from the left side and then Select Task.

Select Task

Step 2. Select the system image backup from the following list. Then, click Next.

Select Backup Image

Step 3. Select Restore the system backup and click Next

Restore Entire System Image

Step 4. If your old disk is damaged, you can choose to image Windows Server 2012 to new hard drive. Please tick Restore system to other location as well and then select new hard drive or partition on it in the following window. 

Select Location

Step 5. At this Operation Summary interface, confirm this task and click Start Restore to perform Windows Server 2012 R2 recovery. 

Windows Server 2012 Restore from Backup


  • You can set Shut down PC or Restart PC after Windows Server 2012 system restore.

  • This software also allows you to migrate an old server to a new server with its Universal Restore feature. It will install all the necessary drivers required to start a Windows.

  • To deploy image to multiple servers, try AOMEI Image Deploy tool. It's available in higher editions, such as AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus


All in all, there are two methods to perform Windows Server 2012 (R2) system restore with command line. You can choose one based on your preference. If you are not familiar with command line or think it's complicated, try to restore Windows Server 2012 from graphic interface of AOMEI Backupper. 

And you can even restore system to new hardware with a universal restore feature if your computer completely fails. For a company with multiple computers, you can deploy system images to them simultaneously with its image deployment software. To learn more, go to the edition comparison page.

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!