Guide: Windows 10 Backup Restore to Different Computer

Many users want to restore Windows 10 backup to another computer with dissimilar hardware to keep the well-setting Windows 10 while upgrading the hardware. But how can you do that without boot problems?


By Delia Updated on February 29, 2024

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Scenario: Windows 10 system image restore to different computer

Usually, you can create a system image and use it to restore the same computer when needed. But sometimes, you may need to restore the Windows 10 backup to dissimilar hardware. For instance:

In these cases, your target computer has different hardware from the one used to create the backup, which causes compatibility problems when recovering. So, can you actually restore a Windows 10/11 backup to another PC with different hardware and what is the easiest way to do it? Keep reading to get the answer.

windows 10

Can you restore Windows 10 to another computer with dissimilar hardware?

✤ Issue I: Hardware compatibility

When you install Windows on a computer, it is set up using drivers specific to that computer's motherboard and chipset. Therefore, when you create a full system image of your old computer and restore it to different hardware, you are likely to receive errors about "hardware abstraction layer" and "hal.dll", or encounter a BSOD saying: Stop 0x0000007B after booting the new computer. Inaccessible_Boot_Device.

This is very common with earlier operating systems such as Windows XP/Vista/7/8. On newer systems such as Windows 11 and Windows 10, the situation may be better, but you may still encounter various errors using the built-in Backup and Restore tool.

To circumvent recovery and boot errors as much as possible,  you may need to use a backup tool that supports dissimilar hardware restore.

 Issue II: License type

Having resolved the above issues, you still need to check your license type to determine if it can be migrated to a different computer.

For OEM licenses that are pre-installed on your computer by the manufacturer, they are tied to the motherboard and can only be migrated between the same hardware; if you are using a Retail license purchased from a local shop or online retailer, you can transfer it between different hardware.

To check your license type, you can press Win+R to bring up the Run window, type "Slmgr /dli" and press Enter, a pop-up window will then appear with information including your license type.

License Type

How to backup Windows 10 and restore on another computer

In the case that Windows tools couldn’t fix existing issues, you need the help of third-party backup software. The one I use here is AOMEI Backupper Professional. It supports any version of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, and includes all the features you need in one place: System Backup, Create Bootable Media, and Universal Restore.

The Universal Restore function could help you restore system image to computer with dissimilar hardware securely. It also applies to physical-to-virtual(P2V) and virtual-to-physical(V2P) migration.

AOMEI Backupper

Easiest Windows backup and restore software for personal use.

There are three main steps involved to restore Windows 10 system image to different computer: create a bootable USB, create a system image and run system image recovery. Learn the detailed steps below.

Step 1: Create WinPE bootable disk to USB

Install the Professional edition on the source computer and create a bootable USB. You can use it to boot the target computer into WinPE and perform system restore if the target computer has no system and cannot boot normally.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2: Create Windows 10 system image

Run AOMEI Backupper on the source computer and create a system image. Please save the created backup image at an accessible place for the target computer, such as removable device or network location.

System Backup

Step 3: Windows 10 image backup restoring to different hardware

*The following tutorial is based on the scenario where the target computer has no system or is unbootable. If your target computer can boot normally, then you do not need to create a bootable media, just install AOMEI Backupper on the target computer to perform a Universal Restore.

1. Insert the bootable media into the target computer, press the specific key at startup (depends on computer brand and model, could be Del, Esc, F2, etc.) to enter BIOS, and set the bootable media as the first boot option. Then the PC will automatically guide you into AOMEI Backupper interface.

2. Click Restore on the left panel. Then click Select Image File to select the Windows 10 backup image (usually it is a .adi file).

Select Image File Winpe

If the Windows 10 backup is saved on network drive, choose Share/NAS > Add Network Location, and type the display name, IP address, username and password of your network drive. Then, you can select the backup image.

Path Username Password

3. Select Restore this system backup and tick Restore system to other location in the bottom.

Restore to Other Location

4. Choose the destination disk you want to restore to, then click Next.

Select Destination

5. Preview all the operations and make sure the Universal Restore option is checked. After confirmation, you can Start Restore. When the execution has been finished, click Finish, then you have completed restoring Windows 10 backup to dissimilar hardware.

Restore Windows 10 Backup to Dissimilar Hardware

6. Remove the bootable media and restart your PC. You may still need to change the boot sequence and boot mode in the PC's BIOS/UEFI Setup Utility to have your PC boot successfully.


  • The Universal Restore option is ticked by default if the program detects any hardware of target computer is different from the source computer.
  • This program also suggests you to check SSD Alignment box if the destination disk is an SSD.
  • If you want to deploy system image to multiple computers, you can consider using AOMEI Image Deploy tool.


AOMEI Backupper Professional makes restoring Windows 10 backup to dissimilar hardware easy as you can see. Create Windows 10 backup image, make bootable media, and place backup image on the bootable media for preparations. Then, boot the target PC with bootable media, and perform restoration there. That is clear.

This operation guidance can be applied in other operating systems as well. In addition to the features mentioned above, AOMEI Backupper is also a disk clone software that can help you migrate Windows 10 from HDD to SSD without reinstalling. 

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.