By Lily / Last update December 13, 2021

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Can you put a system image on another computer?

After building or buying a new PC, you may wonder if you can copy Windows image from your old PC to the new PC. Thus, you can enjoy familiar system settings and applications without reconfiguration or reinstallation.

To answer your question shortly, moving Windows installation from one computer to another is possible in some cases, but there’s no guarantee. Here are two major problems that may occur:

  • Boot problem

When you install Windows on a computer, it sets itself up with drivers specific to that computer’s motherboard and chipset. As a result, Windows could fail to boot on different hardware because some drivers don’t work.

  • Licensing problem

Windows could become deactivated after moving to another computer. If you are using a retail license, you can reactivate Windows by re-entering your product key. If you are using an OEM license purchased by yourself, you may try reactivating it using Microsoft’s “Phone Activation”. However, if the OEM license is preinstalled on your old computer, Microsoft definitely won’t let you reactivate it, so a new license key is needed.

Is there a way to have Windows 10/7 system image restored to a different computer without hardware issues?

Professional tool to restore Windows backup to another computer

To avoid boot issues on dissimilar hardware, you can just reinstall Windows or use the preinstalled Windows on your new computer, and then reinstall important programs and transfer files from old PC to new PC. If you think the whole process is too complicated and time-consuming, it’s time to turn to the specialized backup and restore software - AOMEI Backupper Professional.

  • It offers different backup types to help you backup system data, disk/partition data and personal data.

  • It is embedded with the Universal Restore feature which ensures secure boot after restoring system image to a different computer.

  • It owns the System Clone feature that enables you to migrate OS to SSD on the same computer without the backup and recovery process.

  • It allows you to create bootable media to boot a crashed computer or bare metal.

All Windows PC operating systems are supported, including Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista and XP. Click the button below to download the free trial of AOMEI Backupper right now.

Download Free Trial Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to transfer operating system from one computer to another efficiently?

To restore Windows 10/7 backup to another computer, you need to do the following preparations:

1. Create a system image on the old PC

Click Backup and select System Backup. Follow the wizard to complete the process. You are suggested to save the image file in a network location so that it can be accessed easily from your new PC.

System Backup

2. Make a bootable USB drive

Click Tools and select Create Bootable Media. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the job.

Create Bootable Meida

Now you can copy Windows image to your new PC with the following steps:

Step 1. Boot your new computer from the bootable drive you’ve created. 

Step 2. AOMEI Backupper will load automatically. Click Restore and then Select Image File.

Select Image File

Step 3. In the pop-up window, select Share/NAS > Add Share or NAS Devices. Then, type the network path for the system image and click OK.

Add Network Path

Step 4. Navigate to the system image folder, select the right image file and click OK.

Select System Image

Step 5. Select Restore this system backup, tick Restore system to other location in the bottom and click Next.

Restore to Other Location

Step 6. Select a destination to restore Windows image to and then click Next.

Select Destination

Step 7. On the “Operation Summary” page, tick Universal Restore to ensure secure boot. Then, click Start Restore to begin.

Universal Restore

Note: If your new PC is using an SSD, it is suggested to tick SSD Alignment to optimize SSD performance.

★ Video tutorial of moving Windows to dissimilar hardware:

Summary

Copying Windows image to another computer may cause boot problem and licensing problem. Luckily, AOMEI Backupper can help you restore system image to a different computer while ensuring the system is bootable after recovery. If you want to migrate an old server to a new server, then AOMEI Backupper Server is at your hand.