By Ivy / Last update April 21, 2022

User Case: Deploy Windows 8 System Image to New Computer

System image is the complete same copy of your original system. It is widely used to rescue data when system is crashed accidently due to hardware failure, virus, human error or other reason. However, recently some users expect to restore Windows 8 system image to new computer which has different configurations like the following case.

“I am a user of Windows 8, I have used my system for long time and I enjoyed it. Now I need to buy a new computer to replace the old one. It may sound great, but the problem is I don’t want to reinstall system and applications that I have always used. Is there a way that can help me to deploy my system image to a new computer which has a different motherboard, CPU to make my wish come true?”

Deploy Windows 8 System Image to New Computer

Actually, deploying Windows 8 system image to new computer using backup and restore method is an effective method. If the new computer has different hardware, you need to ensure it has all the necessary drivers for system startup. This is what the universal restore feature in backup software can do. And I'll introduce you to the stepwise guide.

Similarly, you can apply this solution to multiple computers, it's especially useful for batch built systems in a company or other scenario. In this situation, you need to use both backup software and image deployment software. The core of image deployment software is to restore system image to multiple computers instead of only one computer. Anyway, you will learn all of them in the following. 

How to Deploy Windows 8 System Image to New Computer

From above, you can see two situations for system image deployment in Windows 8. And no matter which situation you are in, you can learn how to do it.

>> If you want to deploy Windows 8 system image to new PC, you just need to use a professional backup software. The overall steps should be:

  • Create a system image backup for deployment.
  • Create a bootable USB if the new computer is not bootable.
  • Boot the new computer from bootable USB and restore system image to its disk.

>> If you want to deploy Windows 8 system image to multiple computers, you need to use both backup software and image deployment software simultaneously. And his involves the SID (Security Identifier) and  WSUS incompatibility due to it. The overall steps should be:

  • Create a bootable USB with a professional backup software.
  • Remove SID for the computer you want backup. 
  • Boot into Windows PE and create a Windows 8 image for mass deployment.
  • Create image deployment environment with AOMEI Image Deploy.
  • Start all the client computer and deploy images to multiple computers.

Situation 1: Move Windows 8 System Image to New Computer

Although you can use Windows 7 File History to create Windows 8 system backup, but you cannot restore system to new computer, let alone different hardware. Thus, you can only turn to a professional backup software if you want to move Windows 8 system image to new computer. 

AOMEI Backupper is a good choice and it provides 2 different versions of the software for individual users to backup system. You can check the following chart and select one proper for you. 

  AOMEI Backupper Standard AOMEI Backupper Professional
Supported Systems Windows 11,10, 8, 7, XP, Vista Windows 11,10, 8, 7, XP, Vista
Schedule Backup Daily, Weekly, Monthly Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger, USB Plug in
Backup Method Full Backup and Incremental Backup  Full, Incremental and Differential Backup.
Cleanup Method Not Support  By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly
Other useful features Comment, Email Notification, Automatic Splitting, etc Email Notification, Customize Splitting, Encryption, etc
Restore feature System Restore System Restore, Universal Restore

Well, which one should you use? Both of them can satisfy your needs if you move Windows 8 to new computer with the same hardware. If you want to restore system to different hardware, try AOMEI Backupper Professional. 

Here I'll take AOMEI Backupper Standard as an example and show you all the steps. The Professional version is the same, except it will use the "Universal Restore" feature automatically if the hardware of new computer is different. 

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: Both Standard and Professional version support only Windows 11, 10, 8,7, XP, Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backuper Server edition.)

Create a system image backup for deployment

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click "Backup" >  "System Backup". 

2. Select a destination path to store backup image. You can backup Windows 8 to external hard drive, USB drive, or network drive.

3. Click "Start Backup" to execute this operation. 

Select Destination

Create a bootable USB if the new computer is not bootable

1. Switch to the "Tools" tab and select "Create Bootable Media".

2. Select bootable disc types - Windows PE and click "Next".

3. Select boot device - USB, CD/DVD or ISO file. Afterward, click "Next" to start the creation of bootable media.  

Select Bootable Media

Restore system image to disk on the new computer

1. Insert the bootable USB into the new computer and boot from it. Please remember to connect the disk containing system backup for deployment.

2. After loading, you will see the main page of AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click "Restore" > "Select Image File" to manually choose backup image. If it's on the network drive, click "Share/NAS" as instead.

Select Image File Winpe

3. Select "Restore this system image" and "Restore to other location". Then, click "Next"to go on.

Restore to Other Location

4. Select the disk on the new computer to receive the backup image.  Then, click "Next".

Select Destination

5. Tick "SSD Alignment" if the disk on the new computer is an SSD. It is able to accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk. Then, click "Start Restore" to move Windows 8 to new computer.

Preview Restore to Other Location

Note:✎...
If your new computer has different hardware, it will check the "Universal Restore" feature and ask you to upgrade now. And we offer a 5% discount for the professional version in one computer.

Situation 2: Deploy Windows 8 image to multiple computers

If you want to deploy Windows 8 to multiple computers, you can try image deployment software - AOMEI Image Deploy. And you choose to download the stand-alone version of it or directly use AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition.

  AOMEI Image Deploy Free Edition AOMEI Image Deploy Technician Edition AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition
Usage  image deployment software image deployment software all-in-one backup software integrated with deployment feature
Applicable operating systems unlimited PCs and up to 20 servers unlimited PCs and servers unlimited PCs or unlimited PCs and servers
Real-time process monitor monitor IP address, restore status and progress, and final result. monitor IP address, restore status and progress, and final result. monitor IP address, restore status and progress, and final result.
Batch preset client computers name  Yes Yes Yes
Batch preset client computers IP address No Yes Yes
Dissimilar hardware restore No  Yes Yes
Business use No  Yes Yes
Price $0 $199 at least $599.2

Then, which one should you use? The stand-alone version of AOMEI Image Deploy or AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus. It depends on how much you value your data, what you intend to do with the software, and your budget

>> For stand-alone image deployment software, the Technician edition is recommended and you still need a free backup software to create system image for deployment. The price is affordable for many users and it saves much tedious installation and follow-up work after deploying image. Since because it is able to batch preset IP and dissimilar hardware restore. See detailed steps in image deploy page.

>> For all-in-one backup software, it is able to deploy Windows 8 system image independently. And it is very helpful for continuous data protection. More supprising, it allows you to create portable version of this software to a removable device, so you can perform any operation on any computer without installing it agin.

Preparations for cloning Windows 7 to multiple computers

  • Go to the download page, then download and install all-in-one backup software on the server computer. Here take AOMEI Backupper Technician as an example. It's suggested to use Windows 7 or higher version as server computer. Since this software requires Windows AIK/ADK if you use previous version of Windows 7, so you can create Windows PE successfully. 

  • Be sure the server computer and all the client computers are in the same network segment in a LAN. 

  • Verify the network card of client computers and see if it supports network boot (PXE boot).

  • Remove all the other disks on the client computer in case of mistake selection and data loss due to it. 

Deploy Windows 8 to multiple computers step by step

1. Create a bootable USB with AOMEI Backupper. Please refer steps in Situation 1. 

2. Remove SID on the computer you want to backup. 

Press "Win + R" and enter "sysprep" in the textbox to find Sysprep.exe. Run it and choose Enter System OOBE, tick Generalize option, and select Shutdown. This step is necessary for users to avoid compatible issues after deployment.

sysprep remove sid

3. create a system image without SID.

  • Insert the bootable USB created in step 1, set it as the first boot option and boot from it.
  • In the main page of AOMEI Backupper, click "Backup" >  "System Backup". 
  • Then, select a network share or NAS to store backup image and "Start Backup" to excute this operation. Note the network path should be on the same network segment with all the client computers and server computer. For detailed steps, you can refer to backup Windows 10 to network drive.  

Create System Image

4. Create image deployment environment.

  • Switch to "Tools" and select "AOMEI Image Deploy" to launch the image deploy software. 

AOMEI Image Deploy

  • Then, click "Create WinPE automatically" to create a bootable ISO file and tick "Enable DHCP", so you can boot up client computers over network. 

Create WinPE

Notes:✎...
If there are drivers being incompatible with your hardware and the WinPE cannot start up the client computers, select "Create bootable WinPE ISO manually" option. It allows you to create Windows PE and add compatible device drivers into WinPE by clicking “Make WinPE” in the main page and then “Add Drivers” . Then, you need to select ISO files manually by clicking “Browse”.
Usually, the DHCP server is enabled if you use a router and used to assign IP address for computer. And it's suggested to tick  "Enable DHCP" to ensure your computer can be connected to network automatically. Note  there has to be and one only DHCP server within LAN, otherwise, the client IP address distribution may be messed up.

5. Start all the client computers.

  • After creating image deployment recovery environment, click "Next". And start all the client computers, set the PXE boot or network boot as the first boot option, and boot from it when you see the “The service has started, waiting for connect…” prompt in AOMEI Image Deploy. 

Boot

  • Once the client computers connected, you will see the IP address of server computer and client computer as well as the connection status. At the same time, you will see the IP address of all the client computers as well as the connection status in this software, click "I confirm ...." and "Next".

Connect Client Computers

Notes:✎...
You can only boot the client computers when you see the prompt “The service has started, waiting for connect…”. Otherwise, client computers cannot boot successfully.
Be sure the client computers use “UEFI and Legacy” or “Legacy Only” boot mode.

6. Specify backup image and image deployment settings.

  • Click “Browse” > “Add share or NAS device”  and input the display name, IP address, user name and password. Then, you can select the backup image (its file name is .adi) you want to deploy.
  • Then, select "All" to select all the online client computers or only tick some of the client computers for image deploy.
  • Afterward, set the disk number and deployed computers at a time. 
  • One more thing, batch preset computer name, IP address and enable "Universal Restore" to ensure your computer is bootable after image deployment.
  • Finally, click "Start Deploy" to deploy image to multiple computers.

Configure Deployment

Notes:✎...
All the client computers need to use the same disk number as the server computer, otherwise, this software will report an error. And if you restore to the wrong disk, there may be data loss.
If there is only one disk on the client computers, it is 0. And the disk number ranges from 0 to 256.
The number of deployed computers is at least 1, and 33 at most. The more computers you want to deploy, the longer it will take to deploy. The suggested number of deployed computer is 5 and in this case, it will restore 5 computers every time and then go for the next 5 computers.
If you cannot find what you are looking for and need further help, please do not hesitate to send an email to[email protected], or visit www.aomeitech.com.

Summary

You can easily deploy Windows 8 system image to new computer, whether it's one or multiple computers, with the help of AOMEI Backupper. And it is able to restore system to new hardware and batch preset IP addresses if you apply the deployment operation on multiple computers. Besides, you can create portable version of this software to removavle device if you use the Technician or TechPlus edition, and use it on unlimited PCs or servers without installing again.