Use Wbadmin to Do Bare Metal Recovery to Dissimilar Hardware

Posted by @Cody

April 14, 2016

How to perform bare metal recovery to dissimilar hardware or identical hardware machine from command line prompt? WBadmin and AOMEI Backupper both are capable of dissimilar hardware restore in Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2.

When do you need a bare metal recovery?

If you have created a WBadmin bare metal backup, then Windows allows you to perform a Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) to a machine that the original backup was taken from or another machine that has different hardware compared with the original one. You can accomplish this via Windows backup and restore tool or Wbadmin utility. Under the circumstances when your PC or Server becomes malfunctioned or even unbootable, and when you want to transfer your full system to another machine, you can run a bare metal recovery to dissimilar hardware or identical hardware.

How to perform bare metal recovery with Wbadmin?

To perform bare metal recovery, you need to open a CMD command prompt in Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). If you cannot boot into WinRE, you can use a Windows installation disc or recovery drive used for disaster recovery. To open a command prompt from Windows installation disc, go Next > Repair > Troubleshooting > Command Prompt. Then run the following command to start the restoring process:

Wbadmin start sysrecovery –version:[backup version identifier] –backuptarget:[backup location] -machine:[name of the computer to be restored]

If you don’t know what the version identifier is, you can run “wbadmin get versions” to get version identifier. Under WinRE, the drive letter might change even when you try to restore to the original machine, so the program may fail to find the backup when use drive letter to specify the backup location. It is recommended to use volume GUID-based path when specifying backup target. You can run “mountvol” to show volume GUID path.

Example: Wbadmin start sysrecovery –version: 11/10/2015-06:48 –backuptarget:E: -machine:WIN-9814GD4FH95

Bare Metal Recovery

If you do not want to be prompted to enter “Y” to confirm the bare metal restore, you can add “-quiet” switch.

Although a BMR can be restored to dissimilar hardware, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and BIOS must not be mixed. You must make sure that both source machine and destination machine have the same boot mode either UEFI or BIOS. By default, recent machines are using UEFI mode while old machines BIOS. If you want to transfer an old system (BIOS based) to an updated UEFI-based machine, you need to convert the disk of the new machine from GPT to MBR disk and switch UEFI mode to Legacy mode.

A more flexible way to run dissimilar hardware restore

AOMEI Backupper, as Windows backup and restore software for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, can restore system backup from GPT disk (UEFI based) to MBR disk (BIOS based) and vice versa from either command line or graphic users interface (GUI). It supports restore under native Windows environment or Windows PE environment, so you don’t need to boot into WinRE or something when your machine boots properly.

To restore system to dissimilar hardware with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Make sure you have created a system backup or disk backup that is accessible to the machine to be recovered, and a bootable rescue media.

2. Boot the machine that you want to restore from the bootable media, and it will bring the interface of AOMEI Backupper. Then open an elevated command prompt under Utilities tab.

AOMEI Backupper

3. Type in the following command: cd [installation path of AOMEI Backupper] and press Enter. For example: cd C:\Program Files\AOMEI Backupper. Note that the drive letters might change under Windows PE environment.

Shell Command

4. Run the following command to start restore: AMBackup /r /t [backup type] /s "[backup location path]" /u "[user name]" /p "[password]" /d [destination location] /x /a

If the backup was saved in network share, you may need to enter user name and password. “/x” switch specifies universal restore to recover to dissimilar hardware, and “/a“is for partition alignment to optimize for SSD.


To restore the system backup saved in NAS to partition 0 on disk 0 using Universal Restore and Partition Alignment:

AMBackup /r /t system /s "\\\system backup\system backup.adi" /u "admin" /p "admin" /d 0:0 /x /a

Universal Restore

To restore the disk backup saved in D:\disk backup to disk 2 using Universal Restore:

AMBackup /r /t disk /s “D:\disk backup\disk backup.adi” /d 2 /x

Besides bare metal recovery to dissimilar hardware, AOMEI Backupper has many other useful functions, such as, system clone, PXE boot tool, merge image, file sync, incremental/differential backup and many more.