Fix System Image Restore Fails Because of EFI/BIOS

Posted by @Cody

November 26, 2018

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 you are 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 for system image restore failing due to EFI/BIOS

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 in recent computers, while old computers use BIOS. UEFI mode requires the system to be installed on a GUID partition table (GPT) disk, and BIOS on 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 computers support both UEFI boot mode and Legacy BIOS-compatibility mode, so this error may happen even when you restore system backup to the original computer where you created the system backup.

The solution to system image restore failing because of EFI/BIOS

To solve this system restore not working error, you should make sure that the computer backed up 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 on the destination computer. 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.

UEFI BIOS

Advanced solution to system image backup and restore

There is another tool to restore system regardless of the computer firmware. AOMEI Backupper Professional for Windows 10/8.1/8/7 can easily restore system from BIOS based computer (MBR disk) to UEFI computer (GPT disk) and vice versa. You don't have to convert the partition style, and it just works. If you want to restore system from 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 support UEFI boot mode, but for Windows 7 only 64-bit supports UEFI boot.

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

1. Install and launch this backup software on the source computer. Then use it to create a full system backup to a USB drive or network location.

2. Launch AOMEI Backupper on the computer to be restored. If the system backup file is saved on a USB drive, then connect it on this computer; if the computer cannot boot, boot it from a bootable rescue bootable media created by AOMEI Backupper.

3. Under Restore tab, select “Universal Restore” to ensure the system is bootable after recovery. Then, select the system backup task to restore and click “Next”. 

Universal Restore

4. Select the backup point of your system backup and click “Next”.

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

6. Then click Start Restore to start the process.

Click 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 to clone large hard drive to small SSD, and migrate OS to another hard drive.