How to Use AOMEI Universal Restore to Restore Image to Dissimilar Hardware?

July 3, 2019

Computer crashes suddenly, and you didn’t backup any data or system before. How should you do? AOMEI Universal Restore can help you rescue broken computer. It can restore the system to a machine with dissimilar hardware.

About AOMEI Universal Restore

AOMEI Universal Restore, also called Dissimilar Hardware Restore, is an excellent feature in AOMEI Backupper Professional, Server, and Technician versions. With this feature, you can restore a backup image, system image in particular, created on one computer to another one that has dissimilar hardware installed. This is also helpful in migrating system from a physical machine to a virtual machine (P2V). To be specific, with a system image or a disk image that contains operating system, you can easily perform OS migration to dissimilar hardware to avoid reinstalling system and applications. In company, this function saves more time and efforts.

When Need to Restore to Dissimilar Hardware?

Dissimilar Hardware Restore could be applied to many situations in people's daily life. The following are the most common cases that would need the help of this recovery function.

  • Instant recovery of a crashed system on different hardware. When a computer crashes and you want to restore it, you can create a system image on another functional PC using AOMEI Backupper. And then restore the system image to this broken computer.
  • Migrate system to a machine with dissimilar hardware installed. You can use AOMEI Universal Restore to restore a system image created on other computers to your current one.
  • Real-to-virtual and virtual-to-real computer migration for system recovery, as well as testing and other purposes. Software testers can use this function to install system between physical computer and virtual machine.
  • There is a computer hardware change. If you change the hardware such as motherboard, CPU, etc., the computer will require a system reinstallation. To prevent this, you can use AOMEI Universal Restore to "install" system.
  • New computers that need to install operating system. If you want to manage computers in LAN, you can install system on one computer, configure drivers and applications, and then perform a system backup. Then, you can boot all other computers with AOMEI PXE Boot Tool or Backupper bootable media, and use AOMEI Universal Restore to restore system image. Due to different hardwares and configurations, this way can save much time of installing systems and applications on different computers.

How to Operate Universal Restore in AOMEI Backupper?

As mentioned above, there are so many situations we need to restore system to dissimilar hardware. We will take the second one as an example. This process involves two computers, you need to install AOMEI Backupper Professional, Server or Technician on the first computer and create a system image based on this PC. If the target computer cannot boot, it is necessary to create a bootable device. In conclusion, you need to do the following preparations:

  • A bootable USB drive to boot target computer. More information about how to create bootable disc, please see create bootable drive.
  • A system image created on functional PC. You can save the image to NAS, or a USB drive.

Steps to Restore System Image to Dissimilar Hardware

Step 1. Boot the second computer via bootable USB drive. You may need to change boot priority in BIOS.

Step 2. Go to Restore tab. If there is no image detected, click Select Image File to navigate manually.

Select Image File

Step 3. Select the backup image you want to restore and click Next.

Select Backup Image

Step 4. Select to restore the entire backup image or a part, and click Next.


Step 5. In the "Operation Summary" page, preview the operation that will be executed. Tick Enable Universal Restore and click Start Restore.

Universal Restore


  • The system image cannot be restored to the drive where it is saved as the selected drive will be formatted before restoration begins.

  • After restoring Windows to a computer with dissimilar hardware, it may be necessary to enter license codes to reactivate Windows, Office, etc.

  • Some drivers (such as the video/sound card drivers, display driver, NIC drivers, etc.) are not installed by Universal Restore for dissimilar hardware. As these drivers will not affect system startup, they can be installed following the restoration.

  • Universal Restore is available for system disk restore only. So, for disk backup image, it must be created for a running system disk.

The whole process is very simple and easy. This function is like a bridge among different computers. With this function, you can install systems on dissimilar computers more effectively. For more information about how to operate universal restore, please refer to restore Windows 10 to dissimilar hardware.