How to Backup Windows Server 2012 R2 to External Hard Drive

Data backup is of utmost importance for preventing data loss in case of accident operations. Are you looking for a method to back up your Windows Server 2012 R2 to a external hard drive? This article will offer you a detailed guide to accomplish the task.

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Updated by Gap on Dec 19, 2023

Backing up your Windows Server 2012 R2 is essential to safeguarding your valuable data and ensuring business continuity. A convenient and reliable method for carrying out these backups involves using an external hard drive. This article will navigate you through two simple methods to back up your Windows Server 2012 R2 to an external hard drive using Windows Server Backup and a secure, trusted tool known as EaseUS Todo Backup.

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Before beginning the backup procedure, kindly select an external hard drive and connect it to your Windows Server. Additionally, it is essential to verify that the drive has ample capacity to store your server's data and confirm its detection by your computer.

Backup with Windows Server Backup

Windows Server comes with a built-in feature, Windows Server Backup, which facilitates the backup process. Please follow the steps detailed below to back up your Windows Server to an external disk.

1. Open Windows Server Backup
Click on the Windows Server Start menu, then search for "Windows Server Backup" and open it.

If it is not installed, please add the feature through Server Manager.

2. Start the Backup Schedule Wizard
To proceed, please navigate to the console and locate the Local Backup node on the left-hand side. Afterward, click on Backup Schedule... in the Actions pane. Once you have completed this step, click on Next to proceed further.

3. Select Backup Configuration
In the Backup Schedule Wizard, select the type of backup you want to execute. Windows Server 2012 R2 provides two options: Full server backup and Custom backup, which enables the selection of specific volumes and files for backup. Choose a backup configuration and click Next to proceed.

4. Specify Backup Time
The above process will prompt you to set the backup time. Adjust the backup frequency according to your needs. You can choose to schedule backups for your data once a day or several times throughout the day. Once you have made your selection, click on Next to continue.

5. Specify Destination Type
Please select the option Backup to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups. This will allow you to save your Server data to an external disk. Once you have made your selection, click on Next.

After following the aforementioned process, you will be directed to a screen where you can choose the external disk that you have previously connected. Once you have made your selection, click on the Next button.

A notification will pop up, informing you that the chosen disks will be reformatted and all data on them will be permanently erased. Kindly take this into consideration before proceeding with a click on Yes.

6. Confirmation
After completing the above steps and confirming the details, click Finish to perform the backup.

Backup with EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup provides a variety of features for disk, system, files, SQL Server, Exchange Server, and even active directory backup. It allows users to select a specific destination for their data, whether it be an internal or external hard drive, tape, network drive, or cloud storage. Unlike Windows Server Backup, the backup process in EaseUS Todo Backup won't format the destination disk, thus conserving space. And with its user-friendly interface, safety measures, and cost-efficiency, EaseUS Todo Backup is a preferred choice for data backup.
Below is a step-by-step guide on using EaseUS Todo Backup to back up Windows Server 2012 R2 to an external disk.

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1. Firstly, click on New Task on the left-hand side to start creating a backup task. 

2. Secondly, choose the particular data that you want to protect in order to avoid any future loss of data. You can opt to back up your disks, files, emails, etc., based on your personal preference.

3. Thirdly, choose a destination to save the backup data by clicking on Browse...Here, click Computer to locate the storage path on an external disk. Once you’ve done this, please click OK.

EaseUS Todo Backup provides various advanced settings to cater to your specific requirements. You have the flexibility to set up regular backup tasks according to your preference, whether it be on a one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Additionally, you can choose from different backup types - full, incremental, or differential - and select the scheduling option that suits you best, ranging from Off to all.

To optimize storage space usage, the Backup Cleanup feature allows you to automatically delete old backups. Furthermore, Backup options offer additional customization features for your backup tasks, including encryption, compression, and email notification.

Once you have configured your backup task accordingly, simply click on Proceed to initiate the backup process of your Windows Server 2012 R2. Subsequently, the backup data will be securely saved onto your external disk. 


Backing up your Windows Server 2012 R2 to an external disk guarantees the security and accessibility of your data while reducing the chances of data loss. Although Windows Server Backup offers a basic backup function, EaseUS Todo Backup provides a more user-friendly, secure, and comprehensive solution for data protection. As an administrator, we highly recommend utilizing EaseUS Todo Backup to ensure the safety of your Windows Server.

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For All Windows PCs and Servers

Backup Windows Server 2012 R2 to External Hard Drive FAQs

1. Does Windows Server have a backup feature?
Yes, it does. Windows Server Backup offers basic backup functions to protect individual folders, files, and systems in case of data loss. You are also suggested to use a reliable third-party product, EaseUS Todo Backup, to accomplish the backup.
2. How do I backup my operating system to an external hard drive?
You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to easily finish the process. Set up a system backup task, and choose the storage path as your external hard drive. Once the backup is done, the system image will be saved on your external hard drive. 
3. Does the server need a backup?
Yes, it is highly recommended to have a backup for the server in case of data loss.
4. What is the size limit for Windows Server backup?
Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition: The maximum size limit for a backup is 2 TB.
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition: There is no specific size limit for backups in this edition. It can support backups larger than 2 TB.
However, there is no size limitation in EaseUS Todo Backup.


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Updated by Gap

Gap has been working as an experienced data backup and security engineer at EaseUS for over 10 years, focusing on working with clients to assess needs and implemented procedures and tasks for appropriate backup solutions.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 47 reviews
  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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  • EaseUS includes all the features I expect from backup software like versioning, incremental backups, and scheduling. For more advanced users, EaseUS allows you to install a pre-boot environment onto your hard drive so you can use it to restore files without burning a CD or putting it on an external USB drive.

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