How Do I Clone Windows Server 2008 (R2) with Ease?

January 30, 2018

This article presents you detailed steps to clone Windows Server 2008 R2 with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. This cloning software is also suitable for Windows Server 2016/2012 (R2)/2008/2003.


“I have Windows Server 2008 R2 installed on a hard disk drive that owns two partitions: Partition C installed with system and partition D stored with data. I have been told that SSD performs better than HDD in many aspects, especially when it is used as system disk; therefore I’m intending to upgrade HDD to SSD to get a better performance. As I have been familiar with Windows Server 2008 R2 and it works well, I want to apply the same system on SSD. I want to know what I should do to. Should I clone Windows Server 2008 R2 to SSD or backup Windows Server and restore it to SSD or make a fresh installation? Which one is the best way? Can you give some advice and tell me how to clone Server 2008 R2 or…”

The best solution: Clone Windows Server 2008 R2 to SSD

As the scenario has mentioned, own Windows Server 2008 R2 on SSD while replacing HDD with SSD,there are three methods for you to choose: fresh installation, backup and restore, and clone from HDD to SSD. The first way demands you to install system from scratch, which will cost you lots of time and energies and the previous data will be lost. For the second method, it is workable to do it with Windows built-in tool-Sysprep. However, the operation of this tool is complicated. As for the last way, it can directly migrate Windows Server 2008 R2 to SSD without reinstalling. It is obviously that Windows Server 2008 R2 cloning is the most convenient and simplest way. Under this circumstance, if you want to replace hard drive and keep the same system, the best way is to clone Windows Server 2008 R2 on HDD to SSD. 

The best server cloning software

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a professional and reliable tool for cloning Windows Server 2008 R2 to SSD or HDD. It can clone the system partition and related partitions from one hard drive to another and then you can gain an exact OS copy on target disk. What’s more, AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to copy partition on disk or clone hard drive to another one, which offers you more choice about cloning. With friendly-user interface and humanity design, this server cloning software is easy to use for everyone.

Clone Windows Server 2008 R2 with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server

Before realizing how to clone Server 2008 R2 with AOMEI Partition Server, you need to make some preparation work:

  • Connect the target hard drive to your machine and make sure the Windows can detect it. Then Open Disk Management and initialize the disk.

  • When the size of the target hard drive is smaller than the used space of system drive, it is a good choice to delete some individual files such as movies, videos, music etc. (you can backup them if you want).

To clone Windows Server 2008 R2 with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, refer to the following step-by-step tutorial on how to clone Server 2008 R2.

Step 1. Install the third party Server cloning software – AOMEI Partition Assistant Server and run it. Select the disk that contains system and click “Migrate OS to SSD”. Then, click “Next”.

How to Clone Server 2008

Step 2. Select an unallocated space on SSD or HDD. Click “Next”.

PS: If there is no unallocated space on the target hard drive, all partitions on target disk will be deleted. If you are unwilling to do so, you can apply AOMEI Partition Assistant to resize partition without data loss on the target disk to get unallocated space.

Select an Unallocated Space on External Hard Drive

Step 3. Here you can resize the system partition and change drive letter. Then, click “Next”.

Resize Partition

Please read the content on the pop-up windows carefully and keep it in mind. Then, click “Finish”

Note about Migrate OS to SSD or HDD

Step 4. Check all pending operations and click “Apply” to implement Windows 2008 R2 migration (reboot is required as the operation need to be performed under PreOS mode).

Implement OS Migration


  • Please confirm that the destination disk is bootable before formatting or wiping your original hard driv

  • Apart from Windows Server 2008 R2, AOMEI Partition Assistant also can support Windows 2016/ 2012 (R2)/2008/2003.

How to fix “OS won’t boot after migration” problem?

Generally speaking, operating system can boot perfectly after migration. But in few cases, the OS may be unable to boot for some reasons. Some advice to fix this problem will be presented will be presented below:

  • Check the startup setting. Enter BIOS to set the destination disk as first boot order. If the target disk is MBR style, set boot mode to Legacy; if it is GPT style and your machine supports UEFI/EFI, set the boot mode to UEFI/EFI;  if not, you have to convert disk to MBR.

  • If information like” Operating system not found” or “Missing operating system” shows when you try to boot, there may be something wrong with the MBR table that contains the Partition Table for hard drive and a small amount of executable code for the boot start. Without a valid MBR, the operating system is unable to boot. You can rebuild MBR via AOMEI Partition Assistant.