By Ivy / Last Updated August 9, 2019

When you search “clone to dissimilar hardware”, you may see that there are dozens of articles about backup and restore system to dissimilar hardware. Then, you will be very confused. What is the meaning of dissimilar hardware clone? How to do that?

Don’t worry. Just see below. I’ll answer you one by one.

What does “clone to dissimilar hardware” mean?

Cloning to dissimilar hardware means migrating OS or disk to another computer with different hardware, such as, motherboard, CPU, etc. It’s very similar to backup and restore to different hardware. The only difference is that both operation use different functions. The first one use the Clone feature while the second use both Backup feature and Restore feature.

During the cloning process, there is a possibility that the cloned SSD won’t boot, owing to wrong boot mode and boot order, damaged MBR or BCD, etc. Thus, you need to use a reliable disk cloning software.

Can you clone system or disk to dissimilar hardware?

In general, you are only allowed to clone system or disk to a computer with the same hardware. If clone Windows to different hardware, your computer may not start as normal. But, in Windows 10, there are compatible drivers which can guarantee to access the system.

In sum, cloning OS or hard drive to different hardware can only be used on Windows 10. And you cannot use this method on all the previous version of Windows 10, such as, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc.

When need to do dissimilar hardware clone?

1. Migrate the current system to a new computer with a different hardware. If you use a computer for many years and it becomes slower and slower, you may want to replace it. But, in most cases, users want to retain the original system, because they are used to all the settings and preferences on the old computer. More so, they are not willing to reinstall all the programs from scratch. It’s time-consuming. Thus, cloning to dissimilar hardware can be a great choice.

2. Recover the failed system with different hardware. This is another situation. When one of your computer crash, you can clone system or disk on a working computer and then replace HDD with SSD, change the boot order in the BIOS and boot from the cloned SSD.

How to clone to different hardware with AOMEI Backupper?

There are many disk cloning software on the market, why do we use AOMEI Backupper Professional. This software allows you to clone only OS, clone MBR to GPT disk and vice versa, clone HDD to smaller SSD, clone 2TB MBR to 3TB GPT, etc. And it can ensure secure boot and avoid reinstalling Windows. Besides, it offer you additional features, such as, Align SSD, Edit partitions.

Detailed steps:

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it. Connect the SSD disk to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Click Clone and System Clone. To clone disk, you can click Disk Clone.

Choose System Clone

Step 3. Select the connected SSD as the destination path and click Next.

Choose Destination Partition

Step 4. Tick Align SSD. It can improve the performance of your SSD disk. Then, preview the system partition and boot related partition as well as SSD disk, click Start Clone.

System Clone Preview Both Checked


  • If your computer does to start, you still can create a bootable disk and then clone the system or disk.

  • If you are using Windows 7/8//8.1 or want to clone to dissimilar hardware free, you can consider using Backup and Restore feature. It’s worth a shot.

  • If you want 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 Tech or TechPlus. You need to upgrade to it first.

Wrapping things up

You may want to clone to dissimilar hardware under a certain situation. Please remember that this method only works for Windows 10. Don’t use it on Windows XP/7/8/8.1, because your computer will fail to boot after cloning to different hardware.

If your computer is Windows 7/8/8.1/Vista, you can backup system first, then restore system image via Universal Restore feature. This feature is to ensure that you can boot normally after system restore.