By Ivy / Last update March 8, 2022

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Why perform dissimilar hardware clone?

In some situations, you need to clone system to dissimilar hardware. We summarize the most common situations in the following: 

  • Migrate system to new computer. You may want to replace a very old computer, but retain the original system and all the settings and preferences on the new computer. And you don't want to reinstall Windows and programs from sratch. 
  • Recover a computer without backup image. You don't create a system image or disk backup before your computer fails, thus you can only create a system image on another working computer and then restore system image to it.
  • Change computer hardware or it fails. This is just the opposite of the reason above. You can only restore system image created before on the current computer if you change the hardware after backing up. The same is true for hardware failure, but you need to replace it with new one in advance.

Best software to clone system to dissimilar hardware

Searching this keyword “clone to dissimilar hardware” online, you may see 2 common ways, namely using clone or backup and restore. Both of them can help you migrate OS or disk to another computer with different hardware, such as, motherboard, CPU etc. At this moment, you need the best software AOMEI Backupper Professional to clone or restore the system. 

Clone system to dissimilar hardware: It supports "System Clone", "Disk Clone", "Partition Clone", and the previous two cloning method is able to clone system to dissimilar hardware. You can choose them depending on the items you want to migrate.
Restore system to dissimilar hardware: Similarly, you can use "System Restore" and "Disk Restore" to move Windows 10 to new computer with dissimilar hardware. Its "Universal Restore" feature is able to resolve the incompatible drivers issues of computer with different hardware, such as, motherboard.

 In addition, you can enjoy other useful features during the process, for example, optimize the performance of SSD disk with "SSD Alignment" while performing HDD to SSD clone, adjust partition size of the destination disk with its "Edit Partitions" when you clone disk to a larger disk, etc.

How to clone Windows 10 system to different hardware safely 

Before you start to clone Windows 10 system to different hardware, please download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional on your computer. Note that the clone feature in the free trial can only be demostrated, so you need to upgrade to professional version if you want to use the cloning method. 

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(Note this version only works for Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.)

Way 1: Directly clone system to different hardware 

The cloning method only applies to latest system - Windows 10 and Windows 11 and it requires the hardware to be similar. If you use previous system, go to Way 2. 

Step 1. Connect the target disk (eg: an SSD disk) and make sure it can be detected. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, click Clone and System Clone

Choose System Clone

Tip: If you want to clone hard drive to different hardware, you could consider using Disk Clone feature. It will clone entire disk, besides system partition, still includes all the other data partitions.

Step 2. Select the connected SSD as the destination path and click Next.

Choose Destination Partition

Step 3. Tick SSD Alignment to further improve the reading and writing speed of your SSD disk as well as prolong its lifespan. Then, preview the operation, and click Start Clone to clone system to dissimilar hardware.

System Clone Preview Both Checked

After cloning, please disconnect the cloned hard drive from the first computer and then install it on another computer. After that, start your computer and boot from it.

❤ If your computer doesn't start, you still can create a bootable disk and then clone the system or disk.
❤ If you want to deploy or clone image to multiple computers, you can use the built-in tool AOMEI Image Deploy. But this tool is only available on AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus. You need to upgrade to it first.

Way 2: Backup and Restore system to different hardware 

Unlike using the cloning method, you need to make more effort if you use the backup and restore method. Check the following content and do as suggested.

  • Create a system image backup or disk backup with this software, it depends on the items you want to retain. Here take System Backup as an example. 

System Backup

  • Create boot repair USB to boot computer if it does not install the operating system or when it's unbootable. Go to Tools and use Create Bootable Media feature in it. 
  • Prepare two hard drives. One is to store backup image temporarily and the other is destination disk.

That's all the important steps for dissimilar hardware restore. After that, you can use the created bootable media to start your computer and then restore backup to a computer with dissimilar hardware. Connect the drive containing backup image and target disk to the computer with dissimilar hardware as well. And then follow the steps below:

Step 1. On the the blue screen of AOMEI Backupper, click Restore > Select Image File to find and select the image file manually.

Select Image File Winpe

Step 2. Tick restore this system backup and Restore system to other location, then click Next.

Restore to Other Location

Step 3. Select a destination for the system image you want to restore and click Next. The first partition on the target disk is the suggested location, otherwise the system could not boot from the target disk. 

Select Destination

Step 4. Preview the operation summary, tick Universal Restore and click Start Restore to restore system to dissimilar hardware. 

Preview Restore to Other Location

Tip: If your target disk is an SSD disk, it's suggested to tick "SSD Alignment" to boost the reading and writing speed of SSD disk. And it can further prolong the lifespan of SSD disk.

Wrapping things up

You can clone to dissimilar hardware using cloning or backup and restore method. The previous is limited to Windows 10 and 11 while the last one applies to all editions of Windows systems. Besides, the second one is recommended if you want to protect system continuously.

For bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware within one company, try AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition. It supports deploy or clone system to multiple computer simultaneously over network, which makes things easier. And you don't need to perform this operation one by one.