How to Clone Windows Partition

Hi Experts,

I have a harddisk, which has two partitions C & D. C is system partition and D installing applications and MSSQL Database (engine and database files). I have added a new harddisk to computer because C partition doesn't have enough space. I am planning to have a byte to byte clone from partition D to new harddisk. After clone, delete partition D and assign new drive as D.

Now the question is, after this kind of clone, whether applications and MSSQL Database Engine can still work?
Second question, if it works, which software is recommended for byte-to-byte clone?
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What hardware do you have?

The approach you outline if followed perfectly could work, but one misstep and you are in a heap of pain.

Do you have an option of setting this up on a separate system with properly allocated resources/storage such that you will not have to go through this process for at least a couple of years?

How long a window do you have to clone data?
David_zuAuthor Commented:
I will use Acronis to take image of system so if anything is wrong, I can restore the system. The maintenance time window will be 2 days (weekend). The size of partition D is around 150 GB. The new harddisk is 1TB so I think I am not going to worry about the migration again. Do you have any recommended software for byte-to-byte clone?
TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
Yes applications and MSSQL Database Engine can still work
After your clone successfully with acronis just make sure the new disk letter is D and change the old D to X
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Make sure SQL is not running (after backing up the databases)
Backup athe current D\ drive and restore it onto the new drive.  It should preserve .

Easyeus has a backup tool that will clone.
Different drive vendors include disk cloning options.

Cloning drives tools, Linux liveCd uses a variation of DD.

You mentioned that you are planing on removing the current D partition and extending C by that amount.

Have you tested the acronis restore from image to make sure it works?

If you go full by replacing the current single drive with two new drives and restore the image from the backup,.  At least that will keep you with a way back if anything goes wrong.
I would suggest to capture an image of the system while SQL is off to make sure the highest possibility that the restore will not suffer from data issues related to mssql.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How should you move the data?  Well, I would suggest you don't seem to have faith in your backups - why not RESTORE your backups to prove to yourself that they work - and if they don't, you know you have a serious issue.

Otherwise, why waste the time cloning?  Stop the SQL services and use XCOPY or ROBOCOPY the contents of the drive to the new drive with a different drive letter.  Then swap the drive letters after you're done.

Or you could simply get everyone out of the database and detach it, move it, and re-attach it.

Don't overthink what you're doing.
David_zuAuthor Commented:
I think Arnold has good point. I can backup the whole system and restore two partitions to two new harddisks. In case there is failure, I can simply reinstall the old harddisk to fail back the system.
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Windows Server 2008

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