SFC/Scannow: Repair Windows Server 2012 (R2) using the Command Line

In this article, we will introduce how to use the SF/Scannow command to repair Windows server 2012 R2 boot failure issues step by step. Besides, an easier tool will also be shared to repair Windows Server.


By Emily / Updated on September 14, 2023

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Windows Server 2012 failure

Windows Server is a group of operating systems released by Microsoft and it is designed to correspond to their home operating systems (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, etc.). Since Windows Server is designed for professional tasks, when things go wrong it can have massive consequences for businesses and users alike.

Server 2012 R2

The typical Windows Server user may experience issues such as their system not booting, a blue screen after the system starts up, not being able to open any files on their desktop, or being unable to update the system. Most of these problems are caused by a corrupted system file, a damaged boot record, or related issues. All can be unfortunately usually caused by user error. So, what should we do if we encounter these problems in Windows Server 2012 (R2), 2008 (R2), 2016, or 2019?

Fix Server 2012 (R2) with SFC/Scannow Command Line 

If your Windows Server is experiencing the blue screen of death or other problems, you can use the System File Checker tool (of SFC for short) to repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2). SFC is a command prompt-based tool and you will require administrator rights to open and run the program. It is able to scan your Windows system files for corrupted files or other changes. If a protected file is detected to be incorrect or corrupted, SFC will automatically extract the correct file from the system backup to replace the incorrect version. Here is how to use it.

1. Put the Windows Server 2012 (R2) installation disk into the CD drive, and start the computer.

2. When the message press any key to start from CD or DVD shows up, press any key and the Windows Setup screen will pop up.

3. Select the language to install, the time and currency format, the keyboard or input methods, and click Next.

4. Hit Repair your computer.

5. Click the operating system you want to repair and click ‘Next’.

6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click on ‘Command prompt’.

7. Type SFC/scannow in the command window and press the Enter key.

Sfc Scannow Server 2012

The system will automatically scan the integrity of all the protected system files and repair the incorrect files by itself. It will take around 5 minutes to complete, so please be patient. As well as using the SFC command, you can also check and fix the system boot record via the command prompt window. You just need to input the following commands in turn and press enter after each:

▶ bootrec / fixmbr
▶ bootrec / fixboot
▶ bootrec / rebuildbcd

After the scanning and repair process is finished, you can restart your computer to see if you can enter the desktop successfully.

Alternative to SFC /Scannow to fix Server 2012 R2 easily

If you cannot repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2) by using the Command Prompt as you have unfortunately misplaced your Windows Server installation DVD or CD, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition, a far more advanced partition tool than SFC. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition is compatible with Windows Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, and 2022.

This tool can help you repair your Windows Server 2012 (R2) without the original Windows Server installation DVD or CD. It just requires an empty USB drive to make a bootable USB, with which you can enter the WinPE mode to repair your Windows Server 2012, or any other Windows Server operating system issues.

Another advantage of using AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition rather than SFC command is that you can perform all operations in a user-friendly interface rather than manually typing out various commands into CMD – saving you countless hours and lots of effort.

Free Download Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008/2003
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Step 1. Connect an empty USB drive (larger than 8 GB) to a working Windows Server computer, then install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition. Click “Tools” in the top toolbar, and choose “Make Bootable Media”

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Insert your bootable USB into your Windows Server 2012 which you need to fix, restart it, and enter the BIOS. Here you should make the bootable USB the first boot device so that your Server can boot successfully from it.

Change Boot Order

Step 3. Once logged in, you’ll see AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition start automatically. From here, you can try to check the OS partition for possible errors and fix them. Right-click on the system partition and select Advanced -> Check Partition.

Check Partition

Step 4. Select Check partition and fix errors in this partition by using chkdsk.exe and click OK.

Check Partition and Fix Errors

Step 5. Now you should wait for a few minutes while the partition is checked and fixed.

★★★AOMEI Partition Assistant Server doesn’t just check your disk for errors and fix them. It has a range of useful features to help you fix Windows Server 2012 boot issues such as the Partition Recovery Wizard and the Rebuild MBR function.
If your Windows Server is unable to boot because the partition has been deleted by accident, you can use the ‘Partition Recovery Wizard’ function to find the lost partition and restore it.
If the Windows Server issue is caused by a damaged MBR (Master Boot Record) table then the Rebuild MBR function will be able to rebuild the table to allow your system to boot.

Rebuild Mbr For Server

Once you have tried the solutions and successfully repaired your Windows Server 2012, you can disconnect the bootable USB and restart your computer. The above methods are applicable to fixing other Windows Servers such as 2008 (R2), 2011, 2016, 2019, and 2022.

The Bottom Line

If your Windows installation DVD or CD is available, you can use SFC /scannow command to repair your Windows Server 2012. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to have misplaced your Windows installation DVD or CD, or you simply don’t want to use CMD, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition is a great alternative. As always, we recommend creating regular backups to your Windows Server 2012 (R2) or, If any data loss happens during your operation, you can use the "Recover Data" function to retrieve lost data.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.