When system disk is getting full, if you back up everything and then restore to new disk, it costs double time. In addition, sometimes Operating System cannot boot from new environment. It is much easier and faster if you clone disk to a larger one directly. To clone disk in Windows Server 2016, there are 2 ways by "sector to sector" clone and "file system level" copy. Sector to sector copy is very slow, and to most of servers there's no need to do such clone. This article introduces fast file system level copy method. You can clone Windows Server 2016 disk to SSD, HDD or hardware RAID array fast and easily.
How to clone Windows Server 2016 to SSD/HDD
There are many tools to help clone Windows Server 2016 disk to SSD or larger hard drive, the steps are easy and similar. But comparing with other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has more benefits:
- Extremely fast - besides file system level copy method, NIUBI has advanced file-moving algorithm to help copy disk partitions additional 30% - 300% faster.
- Hot Clone - it is able to clone disk partition without rebooting server, so your server can keep running while clone system disk. If your origin server goes down, you just need to change BIOS and boot from the clone disk. Therefore, you don't have to waste a long time to restore from image backup.
- Change partition size - while copy disk partition, you can resize partitions on target disk.
3 points you should know before cloning disk in Windows Server 2016:
- There should be no partitions on target disk, if there are, the program will ask you to delete.
- The target 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 on source disk.
- The source and target disk could be SSD, HDD or any types of hardware RAID array.
Steps to clone Windows Server 2016 disk to SSD/HDD/RAID:
- 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.
- Select the destination disk in the pop-up window and click Next.
- Select the first option to delete all partitions on the destination disk. (No such step if there are no partitions.)
- Edit partition size and location one by one with additional disk space. (Start from the last partition on the right.)
- Click Next and back to main window, press Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)
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 operating system 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 copy and paste in File Explorer, why copy partition with software? 3 common reasons:
- If you copy and paste large amount of files one time, much more CPU and RAM resource will be used, it may cause server stuck. It is very slow to copy and paste large amount of small files.
- Copy process may be terminated because of many reasons.
- To some special partitions, integrity can't be guaranteed by simply copying and pasting.
Before cloning Server 2016 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 partition in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI:
- (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.
- Right click the source partition such as D: and select "Copy Volume".
- Select the Unallocated space in destination disk and click Next.
- Edition partition size, location and type.
- (Optional) Right click original drive (D:) and select "Change Drive Letter", select any letter in the pop-up window.
- (Optional) Right click the target partition, run "Change Drive letter" again and select D: in the pop-up window.
- Click Apply on top left to execute.
How to copy RAID partition in Windows 2016 server
To Operating System and NIUBI Partition Editor, there's no difference if you use physical hard disk including SSD and traditional mechanical HDD or any types of hardware RAID array. Therefore, the steps are the same if you copy from or to SSD/HDD/RAID array.
RAID 1 is common used for Operating System and programs, RAID 5 is common used for both OS and data. If you want to clone and expand RAID 1 in Windows 2016 server, there are 2 options:
- Copy original RAID 1 to one of the larger disk, extend partitions to use full disk space.
- Rebuild RAID 1 with another larger disk.
- Build a new RAID 1 with the larger disks.
- Copy original RAID 1 to the new RAID 1 with NIUBI Partition Editor.
Besides clone disk partition in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022/2012/2008/2003, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you convert disk/partition type. Shrink, extend, move, merge partitions to optimize space usage and do many other disk partition management operations.