By Nicky / Last update August 18, 2021

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Why need to clone Windows Server 2012 (r2) hard drive?

In our daily life, cloning hard drive in Windows Server 2012 (r2)/2008 (r2)/2003 is a common requirement for some reasons: 

  • Create a backup of the disk: There are some problems that may occur after OS upgrading, including files missing or corruption, therefore, cloning hard drive to an external hard drive for backup is necessary.

  • Avoid reinstalling: If you want to avoid reinstalling the system, applications, user settings, etc. on new hard drive or hardware, you can clone the hard drive directly. 

  • Get a larger capacity: When your disk space is not insufficient, you will find that your PC/laptop will run slower and slower. Therefore, you may need to replace the current hard drive with a larger one for larger capacity.

  • Get a better performance: Compared with HDD, SSD is more is much faster and consumes far less power. So, if you want better performance, you can also clone the old hard drive to SSD.

Professional disk clone software for Windows Server 2012 (r2)

To clone hard drive, you’d better select a professional disk clone software. Here, I want to introduce you powerful disk clone software – AOMEI Backupper Server. It supports both Windows Server and Windows PC operating systems, including Windows Server 2019/2016(R2)/2012(r2)/2008(r2) and Windows 10/8/7, etc. And it has the following advantages:

  • Clone HDD to SSD or larger HDD with secure boot.

  • Support intelligent clone (default). It's very useful when you clone large hard drive to smaller hard drive.

  • Support cloning drive with different partition style. For example, you can clone GPT disk to MBR.  

  • Provide “SSD Alignment” feature, which can improve the reading and writing speed of SSDs.

  • Allow you to resize partitions without leaving unallocated partitions when cloning small disk to large disk.

  • Have a clear interface and user-friendly design. Even if you are using it for the first time, you can figure it out easily. 

Cloning Windows Server 2012 (r2) hard drive step by step

To start with, you need to do the following preparations:

  • Connect the target disk to Windows Server computer and make sure it can be detected.

  • If there is any important data on it, you can back up files to an external hard drive in advance. Because all the data on the destination disk will be covered after cloning the source disk to the destination disk. 

Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Server. Then, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Select "Disk Clone" option under the "Clone" tab. To clone system only, you can click System Clone in the following picture.

Choose Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the disk you want to clone as the source disk and then click “Next”.

Choose Source Disk  2.png

Step 3. Select the other disk as the destination disk, and then click "Next".

Choose Destination Partitioned HDD

Step 4. Tick “SSD Alignment” if your destination disk is SSD. Confirm the settings of the source and destination disk, and then click "Start Clone".

Disk Clone Preview


Manually Adjust

Migrate Windows Server hard drive via Windows Server Backup

Actually, besides clone, backup and restore is another way to migrate Windows Server 2012 (R2) hard drive to another drive. Windows Server Backup, a built-in backup and recovery tool in Windows Server, can help you backup disk and restore it on another disk. Here are the detailed steps.

Note: If you did not install Windows Server Backup, install it first. And then, follow the Backup wizard to create system image backup at first.

Step 1. Press Win + R and type “wbadmin.msc” to open Windows Server Backup. Or you can open it by click Start and select Administrative Tools

Step 2. On the Right Panel, click Recover option. 

Step 3. Under the Getting Started screen, choose the source path where the backup is stored.

Select Source Path

Step 4. Select the Recovery Type and items that you backed up before. 

Step 5. Select the Recovery destination. Here, choose your target hard drive.

Select Recover Destination

Step 6. Confirm the configuration options selected in the Recovery Wizard. Click the Recover button to begin the restore process.

Start Recover


There are two ways offered in this article to help you clone Windows Server 2012 (r2)/2008 (r2)/2003 hard drive. Obviously, AOMEI Backupper Server makes it much easier. And after cloning, you don't need to worry about any boot problem. With its useful features like "SSD Alignment" and "Edit Partition", you can easily improve the performance of your SSD and take full use of your disk.

Besides disk clone, you can also achieve system clone or partition clone with this software. What’s more, it offers the backup and restore features. If you want to protect unlimited PCs and Servers within your company, you may pick AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus.