How to Clone Windows Server 2012 (R2) to SSD or HDD?

To clone Windows Server 2012 (R2) hard drive to another SSD or HDD to improve performance, you can get detailed steps from this post.


By Cherry / Updated on July 7, 2023

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Scenario: How can I clone Windows Server 2012?

I have a Windows Server 2012 Machine with 1 physical hard drive. I worked with it well. But recently, I found there is nearly no free space on the hard drive. I’m planning to switch my hard drive to a larger one, how can I switch the hard drive while keeping the old Server 2012 and other data?”

- Question from

Need to clone Windows Server 2012 to new hardware

Like the scenario, many Windows Server 2012 users may find that the disk space is running out and the system starts to freeze from time to time. In this case, switching the current disk to a better one is a once-and-for-all method. Thus, cloning Windows Server 2012(R2) is your best option.

Cloning your Windows Server 2012 can offer various advantages, from data protection to system migration and improved server performance.

It refers to creating an identical copy or replica of a Server, including the operating system, applications, and data. It involves duplicating the entire server setup onto another disk or storage medium. Cloning a Windows Server 2012 provides a convenient and efficient way to replicate your server environment without the need for manual configuration and installation.

To solve the problem just like the Scenario, you have 2 options:

▶ 1. You can migrate OS to HDD/SSD only and leave the hard drive as the data storage drive. This way, you do not need to spend large money to purchase a big drive.

▶ 2. If you have an adequate budget, you can upgrade the hard drive to a larger HDD/SSD, and migrate all data from the old hard drive to the new HDD/SSD.

There are many other problems that you can solve by cloning Windows Server 2012. For example, cloning Windows Server 2012 to another hard drive can prevent data loss. Thus, when the system fails, you’ll just swap it with the latest clone. Well, how to safely clone Windows Server 2012 (R2) disk to another HDD/SSD?

Secure cloning software for Windows Server 2012 (R2)

Speaking of cloning Windows Server 2012, you will need Server cloning software. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server should be the greatest one. It allows you to copy Windows Server 2012 (R2) disk to another HDD/SSD with a few simple steps. And it supports Server 2008(R2), 2012(R2), 2016, 2019, and 2022, if your other Server devices need professional management, you can also trust this tool.

With this software, you can clone your Windows Server 2012 (R2) flexibly.  No matter the entire Windows Server 2012 hard drive, or a specific partition, it will operate well. Even if you only want to migrate OS to SSD/HDD, you can use its "Migrate OS to SSD" function.

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1. A hard drive that is larger than the original hard drive on your Windows Server 2012 (R2) machine. If you only want to clone a part of the data to the new hard drive, the drive should be large enough to store the data. Connect the hard drive to the machine and make sure it can be detected.
2. Install AOMEI Partition Assistant Server on your Windows Server machine.

After all the preparations, we can start to follow the steps below to clone the Windows Server disk to another HDD or SSD.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. It will show you the basic environment of the hard drives on your machine. Here, right-click on the Server disk and choose "Clone Disk".

Select Copy Disk

Step 2. Here you can select the way to clone Windows Server 2012 (R2) disk, "Clone Disk Quickly" or "Sector-by-Sector Clone".

Disk Copying Methods

Clone Disk Quickly: This way is highly recommended because it only clones the used space on the source disk, which means it allows you to clone disk to a smaller drive, and it allows you to edit partition size as you like.
Sector-by-Sector Clone: This way would clone every byte on the source disk no matter it is used or not. Thus, you do not be allowed to adjust the partitions’ size during cloning. Plus, it will take more time and need a larger target disk.

Step 3. Then, you need to choose the hard drive you prepared before as the destination drive. If you are cloning to an SSD, here you should check the option “Optimize the performance of SSD”, which helps you clone hard drive to SSD alignment.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Here you can edit partitions. Or you can resize Windows Server 2012 partition with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server after clone.

Edit Partition Size

Step 5. It will show you a note about how to boot from the cloned drive after cloning. Read it and remember it. Click "Finish".

Boot Note

Step 6. You will back to the main interface, click "Apply" to submit the whole progress.


This progress will execute under PreOS mode. When it finishes, you can change the boot order to boot from the new drive. Or you can switch the old drive out with the new drive, and boot from it directly.


Clone Windows Server 2012 (R2) disk with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server seems a very easy thing. It does a really good job on this task. Besides Disk Clone, it also provides you Partition Clone function, so you can only clone a specific partition instead of the whole partition.

If you only want to move OS to a new hard drive, its "Migrate OS to SSD" function will achieve that goal. It should be the greatest cloning software for Windows Server that meets your multiple requirements. 

FAQs for how to clone Windows Server 2012

Q1. Is cloning Windows Server 2012 a complex process?
Cloning a Windows Server 2012 is relatively straightforward, especially with the help of reliable cloning software. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can easily clone your server without much hassle.

Q2. Can I clone my Windows Server 2012 to a different hardware configuration?
Yes, you can clone your Windows Server 2012 to a different hardware configuration. However, keep in mind that there might be compatibility issues with certain hardware components.

Q3. Can I clone my Windows Server 2012 to a virtual machine?
Yes, you can clone your Windows Server 2012 to a virtual machine (VM). Virtualization platforms like VMware and Hyper-V offer tools and features that allow you to clone your server to a VM. 

Q4. What should I do if the cloned disk fails to boot?
If the cloned disk fails to boot, first check the boot order in your server's BIOS settings. Ensure that the cloned disk is set as the primary boot device. If the issue persists, it could be due to compatibility or configuration problems.

Q5. Can I use cloning as a method of server migration from Windows Server 2012 to a newer version?
Cloning can be a viable method for server migration from Windows Server 2012 to a newer version. However, keep in mind that there may be differences in hardware requirements and system configurations between the two versions. It is essential to thoroughly research and plan the migration process to ensure a smooth transition.

Cherry · Staff Editor
Cherry is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, cooking, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.