By Ivy / Last Updated June 22, 2020

Windows Server 2012 Backup - cannot restore from network location

"I am having trouble in restoring Windows Server 2012 backup from network location with WSB. All the steps are normal. But when I enter the path of network shared folder, it says: "The specified remote share does not contain any backups. Provide a path to a remote shared folder that contains backups." Then, I check my path and make sure there is nothing wrong. Any thoughts? "

This Path Does Not Contain Any Backup

For this problem, there are 2 possible reasons.

  • Your backup image is corrupted.

  • You are not using the root folder of the backup path. eg: You create a backup on \\server\share but use \\server\share\WindowsImageBackup to restore your server.

Now, continue to see below and learn the detailed steps.

How to restore Windows Server 2012 backup from network location?

To restore Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 backup over network, you need to schedule backup to network drive first. Then, you could use it to restore windows server 2012 backup to another machine when needed.

Here are 2 methods for you. One is using the built-in tool Windows Server Backup, the other one is to make use of a reliable third-party tool like AOMEI Backupper Server.

Both ways could help you restore Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 and its R2 version from network. But the second one is much easier. More so, it could restore image to a computer with different hardware and ensure secure boot. Also, it allows you to restore files from all kinds of backup image. Therefore, I'll describe this method at first. If you want to restore with Windows Server Backup, the built-in tool, go to method 2.

Method 1: Recover backup from network via AOMEI Backupper Server

To restore image backup using AOMEI Backupper Server, you need to do some preparations:

Download Free Trial Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019
Secure Download

Detailed steps to restore Windows Server 2012 from network location:

Step 1. Set boot priority for your bootable media and start from it. Wait until you see the interface of AOMEI Backupper Server. Click Select Image File in the main page.

Select Image File WinPE

Step 2. Click Share/NAS in the pop-up window.

Select Share NAS

Step 3. Click Add Network Location and then type network path, username, password in the next window.

Add Network Location

Step 4. Select the system image in the network path.

Select Image on the Network

Step 5. Tick Restore this system backup and click Next.

Restore Entire System Image

Step 6. Select a location for your backup and click Next.

Select Path

Step 7. If your target drive is SSD, please tick SSD Alignment. Because it could accelerate the writing and reading speed of SSDs. If you are restoring to a computer with different hardware, please tick Universal Restore.

Tick SSD Alignment

Step 8. Preview the details and click Start Restore. Then, just wait until the process is 100% completed and click Finish.

Method 2: Restore backup over network via Windows Server Backup

Before using this method, you need to get an installation disc from the manufacturer. It’s used to boot your computer and restore Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 image to different hardware.

The steps in different operating system have a little difference. Here, I’ll take server 2012 as an example to show you the detailed steps.

Step 1. Start your computer using the specified installation disc. Please change the boot order to CD/DVD in BIOS at first.

Step 2. Click Next > Repair your computer when your enter the recovery environment.

Repair Your Computer

Step 3. Click Troubleshoot at the Choose an option window.


Step 4. Choose System Image Recovery at the Advanced options window.

System Image Recovery

Step 5. Select the operating system (Here is Windows Server 2012).

Select Windows Server 2012

Step 6. Then, you will receive a message like”Windows cannot find a system image on this computer”, just click Cancel and click Next to select a system image on the network.


Step 7. Click Advanced and select “Search for a system image on the network ” in the pop-up window.

Search for a System Image on the Network

Step 8. After that, click Yes to confirm that you want to connect to network and type the path of network shared folder which contain a system image. Type username and password if you are asked.


Step 9. Select the image and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the rest of steps.

Select Image on the Network

Plus: Restore files from Windows Server 2012 backup

Some users just want to restore files from Windows Server 2012 backup instead of the entire backup. To realize this goal, you could use Explore Image of AOMEI Backupper Server in the working computer.

The detailed steps: Open AOMEI Backupper Server, click Home>Tools>Explore Image, select image and assign the drive letter for the partition you want to explore, then click Next to finish.

Explore Image

Wrapping things up

To restore Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 backup from network location, you could use both Windows Server Backup and AOMEI Backupper Server.

However, to be honest, I personally prefer the second one, because it’s much easier. The only problem is that this version could only be used on several computers. To protect or recover unlimited servers, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper TechPlus.