Clone disk & partition for Windows 2012 Server

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to clone disk and copy partition in Windows Server 2012 R2. Migrate Operating System, programs and data to larger disk partition.

No matter you use single physical hard disk or any types of hardware RAID array that built with several disks. Both physical and virtual disk partition may be full after running the server for a period of time.

You need a fast and easy solution to increase free space of a partition or increase entire disk space. Free unused space can be transferred inside a disk, but if there is not plenty of free space in entire disk, you have to copy and migrate to another larger one.

This article introduces how to copy single partition and clone entire disk in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with detailed steps.

1 How to move free space before cloning

In some servers, system partition C is getting full but there is available free space in the other partitions. In that case, you can add more space to C drive from other partitions without migrating disk.

With NIUBI Partition Editor, you can shrink the drive that has plenty of free unused space to get Unallocated space, and then combine Unallocated space to C drive or other partition that is running low. During this process, Operating System, programs and associated settings, as well as everything else keep the same with before. You won't see any difference except partition size changed.

To accomplish this task, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to move free space in Windows Server 2012:

Video guide

2 How to copy partition in Windows Server 2012

Copying partition is used when you want to migrate data, or this partition is full and no available free space in entire disk. While copying a partition in Server 2012, you can copy as same size or expand to larger size.

Before cloning partition:

Steps to copy/clone partition in Windows Server 2012:

  1. (Optional) Right click the large partition in target disk and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag either borer towards the other side in the pop-up window to make Unallocated space.
  2. Right click the partition that you want to copy (such as D:) and select "Copy Volume".
  3. Select the Unallocated space in target disk and click Next.
  4. (Optional) Right click original drive (D:) and select "Change Drive Letter", select any letter in the pop-up window.
  5. (Optional) Right click the target partition, run "Change Drive letter" again and select D: in the pop-up window.
  6. Click Apply on top left to execute.

Video guide to copy and migrate single partition:

Video guide

3 How to clone disk for Windows 2012 server

Hard disks are much larger than ever before, it is very common to use 500GB disk for Operating System and programs. Storage disks are much larger (usually 1TB to 4TB). It costs too much time to copy such large disk sector by sector. NIUBI Partition Editor use file system level copy method, it is much faster.

Before cloning disk:

The target disk should be blank with Unallocated space. Transfer files and delete all partitions in it.

Steps to copy/clone disk in Windows Server 2012:

  1. (Optional) Right click the partitions in target disk and select "Delete Volume" one by one. To brand new disk, you need to online and initialize it first.
  2. Right click the front position of the disk that you want to copy and select "Copy Disk", or click Clone Disk Wizard on top left.
  3. Select Unallocated space in target disk.
  4. Edit the size and position of each partition one by one from the last partition.
  5. Click Apply to execute.

After copying:

Replace original disk or change BIOS and boot from the large disk.

Video guide to copy and migrate entire disk:

Video guide

About RAID array virtual disk

There is no difference when you resize RAID partition inside raid array virtual disk, or copy a RAID virtual partition to other disk or raid array.

If you want to copy and migrate a RAID array virtual disk in Windows Server 2012, you have two options:

Option 1:

  1. Copy original raid array to a single disk.
  2. Build a new raid array with larger disks with original controller.
  3. Copy to new raid array from the disk again.

Option 2:

  1. Build another raid array with larger disks with other controller.
  2. Copy to the new raid array directly.
  3. Check whether new raid is bootable before unplugging the original.

Decide whether you want to resize partition, copy partition or clone entire disk, and then follow the corresponding method above. Besides resizing and copying disk partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you move, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan partition and much more.