How to Clone Windows Server 2012 R2 Disk to SSD/HDD/RAID

by John, Updated on: July 12, 2022

Windows 2012 server has been running for many years, system disk may be not big enough when building the server. Therefore, many server administrator need to replace disk with larger one. To improve server performance, many people want to replace traditional HDD with SSD. There are 2 ways to replace disk and migrate operating system/programs. Make an image backup and restore to the larger disk, or clone Windows Server 2012 to new drive directly. It costs double time to back up and restore. Furthermore, in some cases the restored disk can't boot if the disk type or something else is different. It is better to clone Windows Server 2012 to new hardware. In this article, I'll introduce how to clone disk/partition in Windows Server 2012 R2 with safe and fast tool. 

Clone Windows Server 2012 to SSD/HDD/RAID

There are 3 common types of storage device in a server: traditional mechanical disk, solid state drive (SSD), hardware RAID array. If you use mechanical disk as system disk before, you'd better change to SSD or hardware RAID. SSD is much cheaper and bigger now, it is affordable even to a personal user. If you clone Windows Server 2012 to SSD, server performance will be enhanced to a new level without doing anything else.

It is also okay if you want to clone Windows Server 2012 to a RAID array. One point you should know, if you want to clone disk to RAID 1, use either method:

  1. Copy disk to a larger one with full disk space. After copy, rebuild RAID 1 with another larger disk.
  2. Build RAID 1 with 2 larger disks, and then copy from original disk.

Some people did wrong when replace RAID 1 with larger disks. They rebuild RAID 1 with one original disk and a new larger disk, and then rebuild RAID 1 with another larger disk. If you do like that, you'll get a new RAID 1 with same size. If you check in Disk Management, both RAID are exactly the same. Additional disk space can only be seen in RAID controller.

To clone disk in Windows Server 2012 (R2) to SSD/HDD/RAID, NIUBI Partition Editor is good choice. It uses  file system level copy method, so it copies very fast. Furthermore, because of the unique file-moving algorithm, it is additional 30% to 300% faster than other disk copy software. Another benefit is that you can change partition size while clone. When clone Windows Server 2012 with NIUBI, mechanical disk, SSD or RAID can be the source and target device.

How to clone partition in Windows Server 2012 (R2)

Copying partition is used when you want to migrate data, or move a partition to another disk. While copying a partition in Server 2012 (r2), the target disk could be smaller, equal or larger than source disk. Before cloning Server 2012 partition:

Steps to copy partition in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with NIUBI:

  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

How to copy disk in Windows Server 2012 (R2)

The target disk should be blank with Unallocated space. If there are files and partitions on it, move files and delete all partitions. The target disk could be smaller, equal or larger than source disk, but the Unallocated space should be larger than the used space of all partitions on source disk.

It doesn't require server rebooting to clone disk partition with NIUBI Partition Editor. Therefore, you can clone system disk for Windows 2012 server regularly without interruption. Whenever the system disk is down, you just need to restart and boot from the clone disk. This can be done in several minutes.

Steps to clone disk in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with NIUI:

  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 clone disk directly.

Watch the video how to copy disk and modify target partition:

Video guide

Besides copying disk/partition in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022/2003/2008, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you shrink, extend, move, merge, convert, defrag, hide, optimize, wipe, scan partition and much more.