How to clone c drive Windows Server 2022 2019 2016 (OS Migration)

Two parts

Guide: Clone c drive to another disk for Windows Server 2022 2019 2016 2012

Conditions: The new disk shall be empty and unallocated, no partition on the disk

How to create a used disk to be unallocated? -> Remove all partitions on the disk if it's a used disk. This following image shows how to delete all partitions with Partition Resizer.delete all partitions

Steps to clone c drive to another disk on Windows Server 2022-2008

Preparations: Insert the disk to machine if it's an external hard disk.

Step1. Download, install Partition Resizer on your machine, click Tools -> Migrate OS Wizard

prepare c drive cloning

Step2. At this step, you need to select the target disk that the cloned c drive shall be located.

prepare c drive cloning

Note: Then here is an option that you can change the size of your c drive to be cloned: If your c drive is 256GB with only 40GB data, here you may shrink it to get it smaller or remain the same capacity to be cloned. And then click NEXT button in the software.

prepare c drive cloning

There is a reminder of what you need to do when the OS migration is completed.

prepare c drive cloning

Note: You need to do nothing if you disconnect the old c disk(source disk) from pc and keep the cloned c disk(target disk) on the pc, which would directly boot from the new cloned disk drive c.

Step3. Confirm the c disk cloning by clicking APPLY CHANGES button in the software to get the cloning started.

prepare c drive cloning

Here are some different scenarios for most users.

Scenario#1: Replace the old disk with the new cloned disk -> Nothing needs to be changed

Scenario#2: Keep the old and the new disk at the same machine? -> Change the boot order from BIOS, or you need some boot order management software to help you choose which disk to boot everytime when starting your pc.

Note: If the cloned c drive is not showing a drive letter, it would also work if you disconnect the old disk, and then use the new disk to replace the old disk.

Video - how to change the boot order from BIOS.

How to clone c drive on the same disk as backup on Windows server

Cloning the C drive on the same disk can have some benefits, but it also comes with potential drawbacks. Let's consider both sides:


  • 1, Quick Recovery: If your primary C drive fails or becomes corrupted, having a clone on the same disk can provide a quick and easy recovery option. You can simply boot from the cloned drive and continue working without much downtime.
  • 2, Simplicity: Cloning the C drive on the same disk is a straightforward process. It requires fewer steps compared to cloning onto a separate disk, which involves physically connecting another storage device.


  • 1, Single Point of Failure: Storing the clone on the same disk means that if the disk itself fails, you lose both the original C drive and its clone. This defeats the purpose of having a backup or recovery option.
  • 2, Limited Protection: Cloning onto the same disk does not safeguard against data loss due to other issues such as file corruption, accidental deletion, or malware attacks. A separate backup solution is still advisable to protect against these risks.

Considering the drawbacks mentioned above, it is generally recommended to clone your C drive onto a separate physical disk, such as an external hard drive or a network-attached storage (NAS) device. This approach provides better data redundancy and protection against disk failures or other localized issues. Additionally, regularly backing up your important files and data using reliable backup software or cloud-based services can offer more comprehensive data protection.

The truth: Cloning c drive on the same disk is not recommended since the disk has only one boot sector, the cloned c drive will not boot on the same disk when there is already a bootable c drive.

Better choice:

1, System backup and restore would help restore Windows Server OS.

2, Clone c drive to an external hard drive as backup plan

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