By Delia / Last update June 15, 2022

The main purpose of Windows Server cloning

Nowadays, the concept of backup is well established and most operating systems come with some data protection means. So how is cloning any different?

When we talk about Server cloning, we usually mean creating an exact copy of the entire disk. It needs to contain all the data along with the files required for Windows to run. With cloning, you can more easily achieve these purposes:

OS and data migration: Whether you are looking for more storage space, better performance or whatever reason, you can clone Windows Server from one hard drive to another without having to reinstall it.

Fast disaster recovery: If you have done a full clone beforehand, you can use the cloned drive as a replacement when something goes wrong with the current system or even the disk, without the need for a recovery process.

server cloning software

Does Windows Server come with cloning tools?

Microsoft does provide a comprehensive backup utility Windows Server Backup for server users. But no matter you are running Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, or the latest Windows Server 2019, 2022, WSB does not have cloning capabilies. It only allows you to create a full system backup for Windows Server bare metal recovery, which requires much time and effort. 

If you want to complete the opertion more effeciently (especially when you want to achieve system migration), it's recommended to use specialized Server cloning software. It will significantly simplify the operation and help to avoid the possible errors at restoration. 

Reliable Windows Server cloning software - AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Server is a professional clone software for Windows Server operating systems including 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2003 (including R2) and SBS 2011/2008/2003. It offers an intuitive interface that will guide you thourgh the whole process effortlessly.

  • It enables you to transfer the entire hard drive or selected partitions to another disk with Disk Clone or Partition Clone. If you only want to clone the OS instead of the whole disk, System Clone feature will meet your need.

  • The default Intelligent Sector Clone mode enables you to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD.  If you have a larger target drive, you can also use the Edit Partitions feature to modify partition size and fully utilize unused space

  • It offers a SSD Alignment option to improve the reading & writing speed of the target SSD and extend its lifespan.

You can download the free trial to have a taste of the Server cloning feature:

Download Free TrialServer 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008/etc
Secure Download

If you have multiple Servers & PCs, you can try Tech Plus edition for unlimited protection. Check Edition Comparison.

Step-by-step guide for Windows Server disk cloning

With the best Server cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Server, you just need to follow a few simple steps to complete the cloning operation.

★ Preparations:
Connect the target hard drive to the computer.
Download and install AOMEI Backupper Server.
The cloning process will erase all data on the destination disk, so please backup important files in advance.

How to clone Windows Server hard drive:

Step 1.  Launch this Server clone software, make sure it can detect both the source and target drives.

Step 2. Click Clone option on the left tab and select Disk Clone for entire disk. You can also choose Partition Clone for selected partitions or System Clone for only OS.

Choose Disk Clone

Step 3. All hard drives in your server will be displayed here. Select the source drive and click Next.

Choose Source Disk 2

Step 4. Select the destination drive, and then click Next.

Choose Destination Partitioned HDD

Step 5. Tick SSD Alignment if you are cloning to an SSD. Then, click Start Clone if there is no problem.

Disk Clone Preview Align Checked

Notes:

  • Edit Partitions helps you to adjust the partition size on the destination disk and assign unallocated space.

  • SSD Alignment is the option to accelerate and optimize the target drive if it is an SSD.

  • Sector By Sector Clone refers to copy all sectors even if the sector is blank or bad. If you want to transfer a system reserved recovery partition, then this option should be checked. But you’d better choose it carefully, because if there is a virus or bad sector on the source drive, it will be transferred to the target as well.

Can you clone Windows Server to virtual machine?

For users want to perform P2V migration, the Disk Clone feature may not help. But you can use the System Backup (or Disk Backup) feature to create a full image of operating system (or hard drive).

system backup

Then you can install AOMEI Backupper on a newly created VM and restore from the created system image easily. You can see here's an option called Universal Restore, it helps you to restore a system image created different hardware with secure boot.

restore system to vm

Conclusion

If you want to clone a hard drive in Windows Server, AOMEI Backupper is the best server cloning software you can rely on. The interface of this software is clear, and it is very easy to operate.

With it, hard drive cloning will be completed with ease. If you want to protect and recover unlimited PCs and Servers, AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus is suitable for you.