How to Use AOMEI Universal Restore to Restore Image to Dissimilar Hardware?

Posted by @AOMEI

May 10, 2017

Computer crashes suddenly, and you didn’t backup any data or system before. How should you do? AOMEI Universal Restore can help you rescue broken computer. It can restore the system to a machine with dissimilar hardware.

About AOMEI Universal Restore

AOMEI Universal Restore, also called Dissimilar Hardware Restore, is an excellent feature in AOMEI Backupper Professional, Server, and Technician versions. With this feature, you can restore a backup image, system image in particular, created on one computer to another or new computer that has dissimilar hardware installed. This is also helpful in migrating system from physical machine to virtual one (P2V). To be specific, with a system image or a disk image that contains system programs, you can easily perform OS migration to dissimilar hardware to avoid reinstalling system and applications. In company, this function saves more than time and efforts.

When Need to Restore to Dissimilar Hardware?

Dissimilar Hardware Restore could be applied to many situations in people’s daily life. Following are most common cases that would need the help of this recovery function.

  • Instant recovery of a crashed system on different hardware. When a computer crashes and you want to restore it, you can create a system image on another functional PC using AOMEI Backupper. And then restore the system image to this broken computer to save it.
  • Migration system to a machine with dissimilar hardware installed. You can use AOMEI Universal Restore to restore system image that is created in other computer to your computer.
  • Real-to-virtual and virtual-to-real computer migration for system recovery, as well as testing and other purposes. For better install different systems to test software or other function, software testers can use it to install system between real computer and virtual machine.
  • The computer that is changed hardware. If you change hardware such as mother board, CPU etc, the computer will require being reinstalled system; to prevent reinstall system, you can use AOMEI Universal Restore to install system.
  • Computers that need to be installed system. If you want to maintain computers in LAN, you can install computer firstly, and configure drives and applications for this computer, and then backup system image. Then, you can boot all other computers with AOMEI PXE Boot tool or bootable media, and use AOMEI Universal Restore to restore system image. Due to different hardware and configurations, this way can save much time on installing system and applications in different computers.

How to Operate Universal Restore in AOMEI Backupper?

As covered before, there are so many situations we need to restore system to dissimilar hardware. Following will take the second situation, migrate system to a machine with dissimilar hardware installed, for example. This process involves two computers, so you need to install AOMEI Backupper Proffesional, Server or Technician (any of them based on your needs) on the first computer and create a system image based on this PC. If the target computer cannot boot, it is necessary to create a bootable device to start it before restoring. Also, if the target PC is functional, you still need bootable device so that you can enter into WinPE to restore system. In conclusion, you need to do following preparations:

  • An USB drive used as bootable device to boot target computer. Learn more information on creating bootable disc, please see create bootable drive using AOMEI PE-builder.
  • A system image created on functional PC. If you plan to store system image on USB stick, please get one more. If you want to store system image to NAS or LAN network, then the second USB drive is unnecessary.

Tips: After you create a bootable media with USB flash drive, you can use copy system image to USB drive, or you can upload your system image to LAN.

Steps to Restore System Image to Dissimilar Hardware

Step 1. Boot the second computer via created bootable USB drive. You may need to change boot priority to USB drive in BIOS. Connect the USB drive that contains system image to this PC, if any.

Step 2. The bootable USB has AOMEI Backupper built-in. Under WinPE environment, launch this software and go Restore tab. If there is no image detects, click Path to navigate manually.


Step 3. Select the right backup point of the system image.

Backup Point

Step 4. Select the destination partition that you’ll restore system image to. Please note that the destination path will be overwritten. Please backup files you care most beforehand.

destination partition

Step 5. Preview the Operation Summary. Check Enable Universal Restore box and click on Start Restore.

Operation Summary


  • It is advised to checkAlign partition to optimize for SSD box to improve reading and writing performance if the destination disk is an SSD.
  • After restoring, many other drivers, such as Display driver, NIC driver, or Audio driver, etc, need to be reinstalled and then the devices of the computer can be used normally.

The whole process is very simple and easy. AOMEI Universal Restore is just a function added in restoration of AOMEI Backupper. The whole process of restoration is not different from the restoring operations in former version. The only difference is that you can restore system image that created in other computer to your computer. This function is like a bridge among dissimilar computers, and with this function, you can fix, and install your computer indefinitely. For more information on how to operate universal restore, you can refer to restore Windows 10 to dissimilar hardware. Except for this function, AOMEI Backupper also does great job in restoring normal backup images. Just download and enjoy it.