By Lucas / Last Updated October 13, 2021

Why copy partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2)?

In most cases, there are two main reasons that account for hard drive or partition cloning on Windows Server 2008 (R2), for data backup and transfer. When it comes to Server security, backup and clone drive are good ways to deliver system or data to safe places. Some users copy system and data partition to external hard drive as a dedicated backup. Once terrible things happen, they can get everything back to life in a short time.

Besides, hard drive failure is a common issue during computer management. After a couple of years’ use, it is necessary to upgrade old hard drive to new disk to guarantee smooth running of Windows Server OS. In addition, a part of users who running Server 2008 (R2) want to copy partition to another partition just for better and more effective disk partition management.

You may hold other reasons in mind for cloning volume in Windows 2008 (R2), but what counts next is to find out how to copy partition steadily and safely.

How to clone partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2) step by step?

This operation can be finished via two different tools. One is Server snap-in utility, Windows Server Backup, and the other is professional Server manager, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. You need to connect extra hard drive to Windows Server 2008 if you plan to copy partition to another disk.

Content table:

1. Copy partition in Windows Server 2008 with AOMEI Partition Assistant

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a reliable and easy partition manager that allows you to copy partition on Server 2008 (R2), 2003/2012 (R2)/2016/2019/2022 to another partition on same hard drive or another disk with ease. “Partition Copy Wizard” is designed for this kind of task in particular. It has graphical user interface.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant. To clone drive on Windows Server 2008, click on "Partition Clone Wizard" in the “All Tools”.

Partition Clone Wizard

Step 2. Select a copying method according to your requirements and click “Next”. Here we select the first one to only copy used space to another place.

Select Copy Method

Step 3. Select source partition to clone from the given list.

Select Source Partition

Step 4. Select destination partition/space to clone to. You can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD” if you want to copy partition to SSD.

Select Destination Space

Step 5. You can edit cloned partition including partition size, partition type and drive letter on Server 2008 before you start.

Resize Partition

Step 6. Back to the main interface, click "Apply" and then "Proceed" to execute the pending operations.



  • If copy partition to existing partition, all data on destination will be overwritten. So, backup important files in advance.

  • You can delete old partition after ensuring everything works well on the cloned partition or disk.

Bonus highlight: copy Windows Server 2008 (R2) boot partition

Above is how to copy a data partition to another disk in Windows Server 2008. If you plan to copy system partition to new disk on Server 2008 (R2), it is strongly recommended to use “Migrate OS to SSD”. With that feature, all system related partitions will be copied simultaneously and successful boot is ensured.

Below are the detailed steps to clone Windows Server 2008 system partition to new disk. Before you do, please make sure there is no unallocated space on the target hard drive.

Step 1. Launch the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Click “All Tools” and then “Migrate OS to SSD”. In the next pop-out window, click “Next” to continue.

Migrate Os To Ssd

Step 2. Select an unallocated space on the target SSD or HDD. Click “Next”.

Select Unallocated Space

Step 3. Here you can edit the system partition size and change drive letter. Then, click “Next”.

Resize Partition

Step 4. Then a note on how to boot from the cloned hard drive will appear, and you can read it carefully when necessary. Then click “Finish”.

Boot Note

Step 5. At last, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to actually start cloning Windows Server 2008 partition to another disk.


2. Clone (Windows Server 2008) partition via Windows Server Backup

Compared with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, Windows Server Backup provides a roundabout solution for partition cloning. It is a native and complete solution for day-to-day backup and recovery on Server 2008 (R2). It supports full computer backups which can be used to perform bare metal restore. You can use this utility to back up all volumes, selected volumes, or the system partition.

In a nutshell, you make a backup for a partition on the hard drive, restore the backup image to the other disk, and then delete the old partition (optional). That is an acceptable way to realize partition clone or backup.

Please note that Windows Server Backup only supports recover system backup image to different local drives. That is to say, you can only restore the partition to the location it was if you make backup for a data partition. Then, there is no possibility for data partition copy to different drives. Anyway, go and learn the specific steps.

Tip: you need to install Windows Server Backup if this is the first time you use it. To install this feature, you need to go Server Manager > Features > Add Features > Select Features > Windows Backup Features. Windows PowerShell will be installed at the same time.

Step 1. Open Server Manager on Windows Server 2008. Click on Storage and you’ll see Windows Server Backup ready. Double click it. In the right Actions pane, you have options to backup Server 2008 once or scheduled. Take Backup Once Wizard for example. Following steps will copy C drive to another hard drive.

Step 2. At the Select backup configuration page, you need to decide whether backup full server or not. To backup only C drive, you need to choose Custom.


Step 3. At Select backup items page, the C drive is selected by default. Then, select a destination and complete the backup. Please note that you cannot store backups on USB flash drives or pen drives.


Step 4. Now, go to Disk Management to create a new partition, for example E, on destination disk, so that you can recover system image to.

New Simple Volume

Step 5. Click on Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup this time. At Select recovery type page, you need to choose Volumes. Next, tick C drive and select the new created E drive in the drop-down menu as destination volume. All data on E drive will be lost.

Recover to E drive

Step 6. Go to Disk Management again after the recovery completes, and mark E drive as Active partition.

Mark partition as Active

Step 7. Shut down Windows Server 2008 (R2) and press F2 to enter BIOS. You need to change boot priority to the new disk if you want to boot from that disk. A better way is to remove old hard drive to test if you can boot successfully.

Change boot priority BIOS


To copy partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2), both tools are workable. However, it can be easily told that AOMEI Partition Assistant offers a simpler solution. For instance, you don’t need that many operating steps. Windows Server Backup also does not support to copy data partition to another drive through that method.

Moreover, many useful features are added in AOMEI Partition Assistant such as merging partitions on Server 2008, cloning an entire disk, recovering lost partitions and converting MBR to GPT without data loss.