How to Migrate Windows Server 2016 to New Hardware Effortlessly

Posted by @Cody

December 29, 2017

Learn to migrate Windows Server 2016 to new hardware machine in 2 ways. This can help you change server machine and keep the same system and other data.

Can you move Windows Server to different hardware

When your Windows Server machine is really old or encounters some hardware problems, you may want to upgrade to a new server. You do not need to reinstall Windows Server system and transfer data because Windows Server 2016 can be migrated to a new hardware along with the data.

Because it is new hardware, you need to consider many things such as driver issues. Luckily, Windows Server Backup has bare metal recovery which allows you to restore Windows Server backup image to dissimilar hardware.

Therefore, you need to create a bare metal backup and then restore the backup to the new hardware machine.

Besides server hardware upgrade, you can also use this method to quickly recover from the following problem: hardware failure, system crash, computer theft, natural disaster, and human error.

Use Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup is not pre-installed in Windows Server 2016 as well as Windows Server 2012, so you need to install it first from Server Manager if you have not. After the installation, just go to Windows Backup Server and follow the wizard to create a full backup.

When choosing what to include in the backup, you need to check the item Bare metal recovery.

Bare Metal Backup

Windows Server 2016 migration process:

Step 1. After the backup completes, boot your new server machine with a Windows Server 2016 installation disk. Instead of Install now, select Repair your computer at the lower-left corner.

Repair Your Computer

Step 2: Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Image Recovery.

Advanced Options

Step 3: In the Re-image your computer screen, select the available system image to perform the restore.

Migrate Windows Server 2016 to New Hardware

Normally, the restoring process will take a few hours. After that, you can boot the new Windows Server 2016 machine and system, settings, and installed programs are the same as the old machine.

However, there are some known cases that the Windows Server 2016 migration will fail using this method:

1. System restore fails because of EFI/BIOS. Windows Server 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.

2. Windows Server will fail to boot if you restore to hard drive with different partition style.

Therefore, you need to make sure the new hardware machine must have the same firmware and hard disk initialized with same partition style. Most of the recent server machines, if not all, supports UEFI and is compatible with BIOS Legacy boot mode. You can boot into BIOS to change it and you can convert the hard drive partition style to MBR or GPT.

If you think it too cumbersome, you can use advanced software to migrate Windows Server to new hardware with ease.

Migrate Windows Server to New Hardware with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Server is backup and restore software which can support all versions of Server 2008 (R2)//2012 (R2)/2016. With its feature Universal Restore, you can restore system image to different hardware regardless of its firmware and partition style.

As mentioned before, you should also use AOMEI Backupper to create server backup. you can create system backup to only include system related partitions or disk backup to include the entire boot disk in the backup.

To create a system backup is very simple. Just download and install this backup tool. Select System Backup under the Backup tab, and then the program will automatically select the backup source. You only need to specify the backup location.

When that’s done, you can choose a way to boot the new hardware machine to restore the backup. you can choose from PXE boot or bootable media boot. If you need to open several destination computers, we suggest you use PXE boot, because it can open several destination computers on the same network.

Step 1. Use AOMEI Backupper bootable media or PXE boot tool to boot your target Windows Server machine.

Step 2. When AOMEI Backuper full interface is loaded, click Restore and then click Path to select the backup image you prepared before.

Main Console

Step 3. Choose one backup point and then click Next to go on. If you have created many incremental backups or differential backups, you will have a lot of backup points to choose from.

Backup Point

Step 4. Select the destination disk on the new hardware to restore system image and then click Next.

Select Location

Step 5. Make sure the option Universal Restore is checked. Then click Start Restore to start to migrate Windows Server 2016 to new hardware.

Start Restore

When the process complete, you can boot your new server and you can see everything has been transferred to the new server. Besides this feature, you can also use Disk Clone, System Clone, and File Sync to transfer and protect your data.