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How to Clone Servers

Updated on February 1, 2013

Cloning File Servers for Lazy IT

Hello Lazy IT professionals!

So you are having to build a whole bunch of servers but don't want to build them individually.

Cloning is for You!

First here's what you will need.

  • Hard Drive Duplicator Dock, You can find them by Google, or going to
  • Your server
  • Basic Hardware skills
  • A willingness to do minimal work.
  • 2 Hard Drives.
  • A master drive in which to copy, ie, A previously built server, of same model / make.
  • Master Hard Drive needs to be equal or lesser size to the drive you are about to copy from the master.

Example: In this tutorial we are using a Dell Optiplex XE, We have a pre-built master drive with windows 2003 server.



So you have your master HDD built with Server 2003 in this instance. Here is what you need to do next.

  • Attach SATA cables to SATA 0 and SATA 1
  • Attach Both HDD to each SATA and Power
  • Setup RAID
  • For a File Server I like to use a RAID 1 Mirror In case one hard drive fails the other Hard Drive will keep the machine up. Then all you have to do is replace the bad hard drive with a new one, and Bam, the data syncs and rebuilds.
  • Name your Raid something you can remember.


You have the Raid Set up, now you are ready to begin the cloning process.

Here are the steps.

  • Power the Machine off.
  • Remove 1 of the HDDs
  • Leave the other connected to the machine

On the duplicator you have 2 docking spots, depending on which one you bought. Either way each one should have a copy button.

  • Place the Master Drive from the previous Server Build into the (Source) Slot on your Duplicator.
  • Place the one drive from your cloning operation into the (Target) Slot on your duplicator.
  • Make sure your duplicator is set to Copy.
  • Wait for both HDD to power and cycle. Press Start.
  • Depending on the speeds of your HDD, and the amount of Data, this can take anywhere from 20mins - 1 hour.
  • After the clone is complete, Re-attach your newly cloned HDD to the Machine in which you are attempting to build. Check the RAID.
  • If the RAID says Degraded, you are in bad shape or have a bad Drive.
  • It Should Say Normal.
  • Turn off your machine, and remove the other drive.
  • Place the other Drive into the Target slot on the duplicator, with your master in the Source Slot.
  • Press Start
  • After it is complete, re-attach the drive to the machine.
  • Fire up your machine, Check the RAID
  • NORMAL is GOOD, DEGRADED is BAD. Rebuild can happen also, if so, open the OS and let it run.


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    • billspit profile image

      billspit 5 years ago from Alabama