Move Windows Server 2008 (R2) to New Machine with Different Hardware

March 4, 2015

Moving Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 to new machine with dissimilar hardware can be as easy as pie as long as we find the best solution. And this article will tell us what the best solution is.

It is often the case that we just want to move our Windows Server 2008 to new hardware (computer). No matter it is for personal or business use. Cloning the whole system is unpractical because it is time-consuming. Especially, when we want move Server 2008 to numbers of computers, cloning seems more infeasible. Then how about making a system backup and restore the image on the new hardware? It sounds good. But we should firstly find out a powerful software to give us a hand. Luckily, we have AOMEI Backupper.

AOMEI Backupper Server is a popular backup program that helps us to deal with all kinds of issues related to data protection at low price. It can be applied to all windows Server operating systems as well as all windows PC operating systems. When dealing with “moving Windows Server 2008 to new hardware”, Backupper can competent this task by providing us the feature called Universal Restore. This function can be used to restore all kinds of Windows OS to different hardware, promising that all hardware can be booted properly after the restoration.

The following are concrete steps:

Step 1: First of all, we need to make a system backup. Launch AOMEI Backupper, and turn to the "Backup" tab. We can see there are four backup options: file backup, system backup, disk backup and partition backup. Choose "System Backup".

System Backup

Step 2: It can be observed form the picture that AOMEI Backupper has automatically chosen the source partition for us, so we only need to select a location as the destination path in this part. It is recommended to backup Server 2008 to NAS/network; in this way we can find the system image directly form the new hardware. Then click "Start Backup".

Tips: we can edit the task name in the upper blank for a better distinguish.

System Backup Server

Step 3: When the system backup is finished. Turn to the Utilities tab. We can see several assisting features listed there. Choose AOMEI PXE Boot Tool.

PXE Boot Tool

Step 4: On the welcome page, select an option to start the service. Boot from AOMEI Windows system is recommended, the tool helps us to create directly a Windows PE system for network boot.

Start Service

Step 5: Now set the new hardware to boot from network. Then it will enter into AOMEI Windows PE in which AOMEI Backupper is internally installed. Click the "Restore" tab. In the backup list, there is no backup image, so we need to browse a path to select an image file. Since we have stored the system image to NAS/network, we are expected to find that system image by browsing NAS/network. Then click "Next" to go on.

Backup List

Step 6: AOMEI Backupper will pop-up a small window, saying that "The program detects the selected backup is system image, would you like to do a system image restore?" Click "Yes".

Confirm Operation

Step 7: In Backup Point part, select a backup time to restore. Click "Next" to continue.

Backup Point Server.jpg

Step 8: The Operation Summary part indicates the operations that will be executed. After checking and verifying that nothing is wrong, tick the "Universal Restore" option and click "Start Restore". This Windows Server 2008 restoration will be completed under the restart mood, when all is finished, we should disconnect PXE Boot service. Next time the new hardware will be booted properly.


  • AOMEI PXE Boot Tool is really of great help when operating Universal Restore. The more hardware we intend to restore, the more obvious the advantage is.
  • To make full use of the disk of new machine, it is better to partition that hardware with a professional partition tool. AOMEI also offers us a FREE partition manager - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to better manage our hardware. Download to enjoy the benefits.

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