By Cherry / Last Updated November 11, 2020

Why should you clone hard drive on Windows Server 2016?

Whichever system you are running, Windows Server 2016, 2012 or 2008, one of the primary tasks is to keep the data safe. As you know, there are many factors could cause system or hard drive failures. If you don't want to suffer serious data loss as a result, cloning the data on Windows Server could be an effective means.

Besides, the hardware is constantly updated with the progress of technology. If you want to replace the old hard drive to a new SSD or larger HDD without losing data, you may need to clone hard drive on Windows Server 2016.

How to clone hard drive on Windows Server 2016?

There are more than one way to clone Windows Server 2016. For example, you can create a backup of hard drive on Windows Server 2016 and restore it to another disk, or directly clone the hard drive with powerful server cloning software. Usually we take the second approach because it's easier in operation and higher in success rate.

Method 1. Backup hard drive on Windows Server 2016 and restore it to another disk

Microsoft provides a server backup solution - Windows Server Backup (WSB). You can use it to create image backup of Windows Server and restore it to another disk.

Step 1. Add Windows Server Backup to your server. The path is: Server Manager > Dashboard > Manage > Add Roles and Features.

Step 2. Go to Server Manager > Tools > Windows Server Backup > Local Backup. It provides you Backup Schedule and Backup Once options. Make the choice according to your requirements.

Step 3. Follow the wizard to set up the backup configurations, items for backup, destinations and click Backup. For detailed steps with screenshots, you can refer to creating image backup for Windows Server.

Add Items

Step 4. When the backup is complete, you'll get an image file of the hard drive. If you want to transfer it to another disk, please replace the hard drive properly, and then restore the image file.

Using Windows Server Backup to clone hard drive has many limitations. For example, if you are cloning the hard drive to another one with different motherboard, or dissimilar processor, you may fail. Therefore, you could consider using an alternative to clone Windows Server 2016, here we highly recommend a Windows Server disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Server.

Method 2. Clone hard drive Windows Server 2016 with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Server is a professional disk cloning program for Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003, etc. It can backup or clone Windows Server with rich options and features.

  • It enables you to clone Windows Server 2016 data in forms of of Disk Clone, System Clone, and Partition Clone. Just make the choice according to actual situation.

  • It supports two cloning methods, sector by sector clone and intelligent clone (default). The latter clones only used sectors so as to clone larger drive to smaller drive.

  • It supports command line operations like clone hard drive in Command Prompt to execute unattended tasks.

  • If you clone Windows Server 2016 to SSD, it helps align partitions on SSD, which improves SSD’s performance.

  • It has a user-friendly interface which is a big help for the user who has less computer experiences.

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Step-by-step guide to clone Windows Server 2016 hard drive:

Preparations: Download and install this software. If you want to clone the hard drive to an external hard drive, plug it in and make sure it can be detected by the computer.

Step 1. Select Clone on the left pane, it will show you 3 modes to clone Windows Server data. To clone an entire hard drive, choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the disk you want to backup as the source, then click Next.

Source Disk

Step 3. Select the destinations disk to store the data and click Next.

Destination Disk

Step 4. Confirm the information in Operation Summary page, if there's no problem, click Start Clone and wait it to complete.

Operation Summary

There are three more options you can use to satisfy other requirements:

  • Edit Partitions: You can edit the partitions on the destination disk by clicking .

  • Sector By Sector Clone: If you want to clone exactly same bytes with the source disk, you can tick the box before Sector by sector clone, but you have to prepare a hard drive at least same large as source disk.

  • SSD Alignment: It can optimize the performance of SSD. If you are cloning hard drive to an SSD, you can check the box in order to get better performance after cloning.

Note: If you are trying to clone content from GPT disk to MBR disk, you need to make sure that there are less than 4 primary partitions on the GPT disk, otherwise, you need to convert the MBR to GPT first.


As you can see, AOMEI Backupper Server can help you easily clone Windows Server 2016. Compared to Windows Server Backup, this disk cloning software is easier and simpler, and it is more flexible. Besides, you can use it to migrate OS or to restore the whole hard drive when it is necessary. Besides cloning, it has many other utilities you can use to solve your problems. Go for it now and discover more!

If you want to protect unlimited PCs and servers within your company, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers unlimited billable technical services to clients. It also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.