Copy disk partition in Windows Server 2016

Published on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to clone disk in Windows Server 2016 to migrate OS, how to copy disk partition to larger hard disk. Copy SSD, HDD and RAID array easily.

Many administrators encountered the issue that system disk is getting full. In that case, there are 2 ways to migrate Operating System and programs to larger disk. If you back up everything on original disk and then restore to new disk, it costs double time, it requires a large storage device to save backup. In addition, sometimes Operating System cannot boot from new environment.

It is much easier and faster if you copy disk to a larger one directly. To clone disk in Windows Server 2016, there are also 2 ways by sector to sector copy and file system level copy. Sector to sector copy is very slow, and to most of servers there's no need to do such absolute clone. This article introduces the fast file system level disk copy to Windows 2016 server.

How to clone/copy disk in Windows Server 2016

There are many tools to help clone disk for Windows 2016 server, the steps are easy and similar. But comparing with other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has more benefits:

2 points you should know before copying disk for Server 2016:

  1. There should be no partitions in destination disk, if there are, the program will ask you to delete, so remember to transfer files if the destination disk is not brand new.
  2. The destination disk could be larger or smaller than source disk, but when copying to a smaller disk, its size should be larger than used space of all partitions in source disk.

Steps to copy/clone disk in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the front of source disk (Disk 0) and select Clone Disk, or click Clone Disk Wizard below Tools on top left directly.
  2. Select the destination disk in the pop-up window and click Next.
  3. Select the first option to delete all partitions on the destination disk. (No such step if there are no partitions.)
  4. Edit partition size and location one by one with additional disk space. (Start from the last partition on the right.)
  5. Click Next and back to main window, press Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

It required server rebooting to complete disk cloning.

Video guide to copy Server 2016 disk:

Video guide

How to copy partition in Windows Server 2016

If you want to copy system partition C on Server 2016, you should copy entire system disk, otherwise OS cannot boot from destination disk, because while copying single partition, system boot related files won't be cloned.

To transfer files in data volumes, you can move by copy and paste in File Explorer, why copy partition with software? 3 common reasons:

  1. If you copy and paste large amount of files one time, much more CPU and RAM resource will be used, it may course server stuck.
  2. Copy process may be terminated because of many reasons.
  3. To some special partitions such as for programs and Windows services, integrity can't be guaranteed by simply copying and pasting.

Before cloning partition:

  • There must be Unallocated space in the destination disk, if there is not, shrink a large partition to make.
  • The size of Unallocated space must be larger than the used space of source partition that you want to copy.
  • To the partitions that should keep original drive letter such as D: (with programs), change drive letters one by one. To other data volumes, this step is inessential.

Steps to copy (data) partition in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI:

  1. (Optional) Right click the large partition in destination 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 source partition such as D: and select "Copy Volume".
  3. Select the Unallocated space in destination disk and click Next.
  4. Edition partition size, location and type.
  5. (Optional) Right click original drive (D:) and select "Change Drive Letter", select any letter in the pop-up window.
  6. (Optional) Right click the target partition, run "Change Drive letter" again and select D: in the pop-up window.
  7. Click Apply on top left to execute.

Video guide to copy Server 2016 partition:

Video guide

How to copy RAID 0/1/5/10 partition

To Operating System and NIUBI Partition Editor, there's no difference if you use physical hard disk including SSD and traditional mechanical disk or any types of hardware RAID array virtual disk. So, if you want to copy/clone RAID partition in Windows Server 2016, you can copy disk partition between physical disk and raid virtual disk with same steps.

RAID 1 is common used for Operating System and programs, RAID 5 is common used for both OS and data. To the raid arrays that cannot replace with larger disk and rebuild array without losing data, you can copy source raid virtual disk to a physical disk, and then copy again to the new raid array. To the raid arrays that can replace with larger disk or add more disk and rebuild without losing data, you can expand virtual disk without copying.

As a disk partition management tool, besides copy disk and partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps do many other operations.