Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to clone the OS disk on a Windows 2003 server. The server has 2-SCSI drives, and I simply would like to clone the first drive to the second.

There is no RAID card in the server, and software mirroring requires dynamic disks. When I tried to convert the disk from basic to dynamic it hosed the disk and I had to recover it with a hex-editor utility.

I don't know what is new and good right now for cloning (Clonezilla, Norton?). What have you used for something like this? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can boot with a live linux distro and type:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=1m

Where /dev/sda is the device node of the input (source) drive and /dev/sdb is the device node of the output (destination) drive. This will make the drives EXACTLY identical. The destination drive must be at least as large as the source.

share|improve this answer
Not being a linux person, this looks cryptic. I do have a bootable linux CD I use for cleanups that is running Ubuntu (don't remember version). Will that work? If so, how do I determine the "device node" of each drive? – charnley Mar 31 '11 at 20:55
The lowest UID in the SCSI chain should be sda. But, to be safe you can just download SystemRescueCD and use GPartEd to clone the partition. – Sean C. Mar 31 '11 at 23:01
Your Ubuntu rescue disk may automatically mount recognized filesystems... look at the output of "df" for /dev/sd* ... if you see something mounted, you should recognize the contents somewhat, but the output of "mount" will tell what's mounted, and you can find the ntfs mounts if they exist. – Robert Novak Apr 1 '11 at 4:02
I just wanted to add in here in case anyone more reads this. Sean C's suggestion to use a linux liveCD and the dd command worked perfectly. I downloaded Ubuntu and burned it to a CD, then booted to that. Then I ran these commands from the terminal: sudo fidsk -l, sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdc, and then sudo fdisk -l again to see how it worked. I cloned a 74GB SCSI disk in about an hour and it boots perfectly - it is an exact copy. Thank you! – charnley Apr 5 '11 at 22:30
I'm glad I was able to help you, charnley! If you think the answer was worthwhile you could vote me up and mark it as the answer! :) Thanks and enjoy the cloned disk! – Sean C. Apr 5 '11 at 23:08

MaxBlast 5 saved my life when my hard drive was dying. Download the program, install and run it will let you burn an ISO. Boot up to it and it will let you clone the disk, block by block if you need.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.