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How to Restore Image to Dissimilar Hardware with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Post By AOMEI Updated October 19, 2023


Universal Restore( Bare Metal Recovery ) is the process of restoring systems and data from the original computer to different hardware. It could be applied to many situations in people's daily life.

The following are the most common cases that would need the universal restore 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 restore the system image to the failed 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 systems between the 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" the system.

  • New computers that need to install an operating system: If you want to manage computers on the LAN, you can install the operating 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 the system image. This method can save significant time when installing operating systems and applications on different computers.

How to Perform Universal Restore with AOMEI Backupper in Windows 10 step by step

Prerequisites for universal restore

Before restoration, here are some things you need to prepare.

  • A bootable USB drive to boot the target computer. For more information about how to create a bootable disc, please see create bootable drive.

  • A system image created on a functional PC. You can save the image to a NAS, or a USB drive.

Detailed steps about how to do a universal restore

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

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

Select Image File

3. Select to restore the entire backup image or a partition, and click Next. Remember to tick Restore system to other location if you want to restore system image to a new hard drive.

Restore System

4. Select a restore path to receive the system image and click Next to continue.

Select Restore Path

5. On the "Operation Summary" page, preview the operation that will be executed. If your new computer has different hardware, the Universal Restore feature will be checked by default.  Then, click Start Restore.

Convert Virtual Machine to Physical Machine


  • Before universal restore on a new machine, it is recommended to first delete all partitions on the destination drive.
  • The system image cannot be restored to the same drive the backup image resides on 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 images to be used, they must be created from the boot system disk.


Universal Restore allows you to migrate systems and data across hardware platforms and provides a flexible and reliable solution for hardware failure, system migration, disaster recovery, hardware upgrades, and backup verification scenarios. It ensures system continuity and data security, enabling you to quickly recover and resume normal operations.

The whole process is very simple and easy. This feature 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.



Q: Why there is no "Universal Restore" when restore a disk image?

A: Please check if the disk you backed up is a system disk, if not, "Universal Restore" is unavailable when do a restore.