I have two Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition Virtual Machines running on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition with Hyper-V role. As a student, I've been playing around with the virtual machines and trying various modifications to test its performance. When I first installed it, both vms automatically validated themselves.

Now, I want to start from scratch by resetting both vms to factory default settings. How do I do it?

I ran the iso as primary boot and it only gave me the option to install it. I don't want to invalidate my windows license key.

  • There's no factory reset button for Windows. You can run sysprep on each instance, but you'll have to activate them again.
    – joeqwerty
    Jun 29, 2016 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I discovered there are two ways to reset Windows Server 2012 R2

  1. Run the dvd installer with the Windows installation in place. There is no option for a clean install but it does wipe out the previous Windows installation and preserve the key (even though it asks you to enter it at the beginning).
  2. The second method is to call Windows directly have them activate your Windows. For students, its free :D

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