By Bryce / Last Updated April 26, 2023

When clone hard drive on Windows Server?

 Generally speaking, users intend to clone Windows Server disk under the following circumstances:

▶ Upgrade hard drive without reinstallation: For better machine performance and user experience, you may want to upgrade your hard disk drive to a solid-state drive; for more storage capacity, you plan to replace the small drive with a large one.
Migrate OS: When you want to have the same operating system configuration on another machine, you can transfer the OS to it.
▶ Protect data and system: Cloning server hard drive makes it possible to replace the original hard drive when the disk is damaged or the operating system is damaged.


Why need Server cloning software?

As mentioned above, there are many occasions where copying Server hard drive is necessary. Then, how can you clone hard drive in Windows Server? Windows 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003 doesn't  offer professional cloning utility for users. And Windows Server's built-in function “copying” and “pasting” is limited to successfully transferring individual files like videos and photos and portable programs. As for the operating system, if you just copy the folder, the OS will be unable to boot properly. Thus, to manage to transfer all the content including the operating system, it's time to resort to third-party Windows Server cloning software. 

Overall & professional cloning software for Windows Server

To complete disk to disk copy in Windows 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003, it's highly recommeneded to use this great cloning uitlty, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server due to the follwing highlights:

☞  Bootable clone: It is available to boot Windows Server from the cloned disk without failure after cloning the hard drive with Windows Server installed using AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.
☞ Comprehensiveness: It covers different demands about cloning Windows Server disk. It should allow you to clone a disk to a smaller one, migrationg OS to another drive, or clone a certain specific partition only.
☞ Operability: AOMEI Partition Assistant Server it not noly owns powerful function, but also easy to sue for most users. 
☞ Compatibility: It can work with all editions of Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2) /2008 (R2)/2003, thus you don't need to abanded it when you ugprade to Servver 2022 from 2019 or downgrade your system.

What's more, the software offers demo version for you to preveiw and simulate all operations. You can click the following button to download the demo version. 

Download DemoServer 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 
Secure Download

Detailed steps on how to clone Server hard drive 

Before you clone a hard drive on Windows Server, the following work shall be completed.

1. Connect the SSD or HDD to your machine and you may need a SATA-to-USB cable if it doesn't have an extra slot.
2. Remove all unnecessary files on the source disk to speed up the cloning process. 
3. Access Disk Management and Initialize the new hard drive.

Then, you can clone disk to disk on Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003 in accordance with the next detailed guide (Here take Windows Server 2012 hard drive cloning as an example.)

Step 1. To clone Windows Server 2012 hard drive, fire up the Server cloning software-AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Click “Clone Disk” in the right menu.

Select Copy Disk

Step 2. Choose an appropriate way to copy Windows Server 2012 hard drive. Then, click “Next

Disk Copying Methods

☞ Clone Disk Quickly (Recommended): Only copies the used disk space and allows you to adjust partition size. The space of the destination disk can be smaller than the source disk but has to be larger than or equal to the used space of the source disk.
☞ Sector-by-Sector Clone: Copies every sector of the disk and doesn’t permit you to adjust partition size. The space of the target disk has to be equal to or larger than the space of the source disk.

Step 3. Select a destination disk to clone the source disk to (When the target disk is SSD, tick the box before “Optimize the performance of SSD” to align SSD partitions). Then, click “Next”.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. You can adjust the partition size on the target disk. Then, click “Next”.

Edit Partition Size

☞ Clone without resizing partition” – the size of source partitions remains unchanged.
☞ Fit partitions to entire disk" – automatically adjust the size of partitions to fit the entire destination disk.
☞ Edit partitions on this disk” – adjust the partition size by you.

Read the Note about how to boot OS from the cloned disk and keep it in mind.

Boot Note

Step 5. You will return to the main menu. Confirm the pending operations. Then click “Apply” and “Proceed”.


Notice: A reboot is required to clone the system disk to disk on Windows Server.

What to do after cloning the Server hard drive?

After you clone a Windows system hard drive to SSD or HDD, you need to set up the new hard drive as the boot drive. Here are the detailed steps to complete the operation.

Step 1. Restart your PC and enter a functional key (usually, the key is F2 or Del) to enter BIOS. 

Step 2. Use arrow keys to select the new cloned SSD or HDD as the first boot drive. Then, save the changes and exit from the BIOS. 

Change Boot Priority

Step 3. And you can make the PC boot from the new cloned drive. 

Note:  If you cloning MBR disk to GPT disk, you need to change Legacy to EFI/UEFI as well. 


We can know that AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can copy disk to disk on Windows Server just within simple clicks. There is no doubt that it is great cloning software for Windows Server. Moreover, with lots of other useful features such as resizing partition, allocating free space, recovering lost or deleted partitions, etc., it can help you to manage your disks and partition effectively and conveniently. 

And there is AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited edition for companies and organizations. It has all functions of the Server version and offers "Create Portable Version" function, which creates AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device and then you can connect the deivce to other comptuers and run PA from the device without installation.