By Bryce / Last Updated March 4, 2021

When clone hard drive on Windows Server?

It is common that users have a plan to clone hard drive on Windows Server. Generally speaking, users intend to clone 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 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 disk to disk on Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003?

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 operating system, if you just copy the folder, the OS will be unable to boot properly. Thus, in order to manage to transfer all the content including operating system, you can clone Server hard drive with the help of third-party Server cloning software.

How to pick up right Server cloning software?

It is vital to apply proper cloning software to copy disk to disk in success for Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003. With so much third-party software in the market, you may be confused about which to choose. Therefore, here offer four elements for reference:

  • Bootable clone: a good cloning tool should make it is available to boot from the cloned disk without failure after cloning hard drive with Windows Server installed.

  • Comprehensiveness: Great cloning software shall covering different demands about cloning Windows Server disk. It should allow you to clone disk to a smaller one or clone a certain specific partition only.

  • Operability: If the Server cloning software is complicated even difficult to manipulate for users, it counts for nothing for most users even it owns powerful functions.

  • Compatibility: When the software is only suitable for one system, it will be abandoned once you upgrade or downgrade your system.

Fortunately, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can meet all the above demands. With a user-friendly interface, it is easy to operate even for a green hand. With high compatibility, it is workable with Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003 and other Windows systems. With powerful technology, apart from copying Server hard drive, it can copy data partition or system partition on one hard drive to another, which offers you flexible choices for data transferring.

The next part will show you how to clone Server hard drive with one of the best Server cloning software AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. You can download its demo version to have a try!

Download Demo Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003
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How to clone Server hard drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant Server?

Before cloning Server hard drive, the following work shall be completed:

  • Connect the external hard drive to your machine and ensure that it can be detected.

  • Defrag the hard drive if it is HDD to speed up the cloning process.

  • Access Disk Management and Initialize the new hard drive.

Then, you can clone disk to disk on Windows Server 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. Select the disk that you intend to copy and click “Clone Disk” in the drop-down 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”.



  • A reboot is required to clone system disk to disk on Windows Server.

  • After copying GPT disk to MBR, enter BIOS and enables Legacy.

  • Before cloning MBR disk to GPT, confirm that if your Windows system is 32bit or 64bit. If you use the Windows Server 32bit OS, it will be unable to boot after being cloned to the destination disk. Then, you need to upgrade your system to 64bit or convert GPT to MBR first, cause Windows 32bit OS can only boot from MBR. If your system is 64bit, you need to make sure that the motherboard supports EFI/UEFI, and then, enter BIOS to change Legacy to EFI/UEFI after cloning.


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 resize partition, allocate free space, recover lost or deleted partition, etc., it can help you to manage your disks and partition effectively and conveniently. And there is AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited edition for company and organization. It has all functions of Server version and provides unlimited usage within one company so that you can save much money.