Fix System Image Restore Fails Because of EFI/BIOS

Posted by @Cody

April 25, 2017

How to solve the problem that system image restore fails because of efi/bios? AOMEI Backupper can restore system to a computer that uses different firmware.

The Symptom

When trying to use Windows system repair disc or installation disc to restore system image backup, the system image restore fails because of efi/bios with the following error message:

Windows cannot restore a system image to a computer that has different firmware. The system image was created on a computer using EFI/BIOS and this computer is using BIOS/EFI.

Restore Failed

This is especially happens when restoring full system to another computer with dissimilar hardware. You may slso receive the error that the system image was created on a computer using EFI and this computer is using BIOS.

The Cause

There are two different kind of boot modes in computers, Legacy BIOS-based and Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). UEFI is the main booting mechanism used recent computers, while old computers uses BIOS. UEFI mode requires the system to be installed on a GUID partition table (GPT) disk, and BIOS the master boot record (MBR) disk.

Windows won’t allow you to restore system from UEFI based computer to bios computer, and vice versa. Some UEFI based computer supports both UEFI boot mode and Legacy BIOS-compatibility mode, so this error may happen even when you restore system backup to the original computer being backed up.

The Solution

To solve this system restore not working error is to make sure that the backup and the computer to be restored are using the same mode. If the backup was created on a computer using BIOS, change the boot mode to Legacy. If the backup was created on a UEFI computer, change to UEFI boot mode.

If a computer uses UEFI mode, it will created an EFI partition and UEFI system can only be installed on a GPT disk. For BIOS based computer, system is installed on an MBR disk most likely with a system reserved partition. Therefore, you can verify whether your computer is using UEFI or BIOS with Disk Management. To open Disk Management, you can enter “diskmgmt.msc” in the Run box or Search box.

To change the firmware mode, Boot the computer into boot menu by pressing a specific key during bootup. You can consult the manufacturer on this matter. Usually the key to open boot menu is the Esc, F2, F9, F12, or other key. On the boot menu, select UEFI or Legacy.


Advanced solution

There is also another to restore system regardless of the computer firmware. A freeware for Windows 10/8.1/8/7, AOMEI Backupper Standard can easily restore system from BIOS based computer (MBR disk) to UEFI computer (GPT disk) and vice verses. You do have to change boot mode or convert the partition style, and it just works. If you want to restore system form a GPT disk to an MBR disk, make sure the system supports UEFI boot mode. In Windows 8 and later version of Windows, both 32-bit and 64-bit are supported in UEFI computer, but only Windows 7 64-bit supports UEFI boot.

To restore a system image to a computer with different firmware:

1. Download and install this free backup software. Then use it to create a full system backup.

2. Launch AOMEI Backupper on the computer to be restore. If the computer cannot boot, boot it from a bootable rescue bootable media created by AOMEI Backupper.


3. Under Restore tab, and locate the image backup file by clicking Path.


4. Specify a partition to as the destination partition. Note that the selected partition will be deleted and recreated.

Select Destination

5. Then click Start Restore to start the process.

Note: If you are trying to restore to another computer with dissimilar hardware, please make sure the Enable Universal Restore option is checked, or the system won’t boot after the restoration. It’s an advanced feature in AOMEI Backupper Pro Edition and fortunately, you can experience it by downloading the 30-day free trial.

Start Restore

With AOMEI Backupper, you would never meet such problem that system image restore fails because of EFI/BIOS. Besides, AOMEI Backupper is also a cloning software that allows you clone large hard drive to small SSD, and migrate OS to another hard drive.