2149: Acronis Universal Restore

Acronis Universal Restore lets you restore an image of Windows operating system to different hardware environment; Acronis Universal Restore allows to change Windows Hardware Abstraction Layer and install HDD controller and NIC drivers

This article refers to:

  • Acronis Universal Restore


Acronis Universal Restore module is the implementation of the unique technology developed in Acronis that allows changing Windows Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL.dll) and device drivers.

It is designed to allow a machine to boot its operating system initially after a restoration/deployment of an image to hardware that is different from the one it was taken from, and then proceed with the installation of other drivers and configuration.

Acronis Universal Restore is a module that allows changing Windows Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL.dll) and install mass storage boot device drivers into the system.

It installs boot device drivers (e.g. hard drive or RAID controller drivers) into the system during the recovery process, so that the operating system can boot from this boot device. If there are proper NIC drivers present in the folder with the drivers, Acronis Universal Restore will copy them into the restored system and will schedule their installation on Windows boot-up.

(!) All the other drivers (e.g. video and sound card drivers, plug and play drivers) are not installed by Acronis Universal Restore, as they can be installed in Windows after the successful migration.

Acronis Universal Restore is applicable for:

  • Instant recovery of a failed system on different hardware (hard drive controllers, RAID controllers, NIC) (Acronis Universal Restore);
  • Hardware-independent cloning and deployment of operating systems (Acronis Universal Deploy and Acronis Universal Restore);
  • Real-to-virtual and virtual-to-real computer migration for system recovery, testing and other purposes (Acronis Universal Restore).

Universal Restore is not available:

  • when the image being recovered is located in Acronis Secure Zone or
  • when using Acronis Active Restore,

because these features are primarily meant for instant data recovery on the same machine.

Acronis Universal Restore in the following products does not support server operating systems:

  • Acronis Backup for PC
  • Acronis Backup Advanced for PC
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery Workstation
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Workstation
  • Acronis True Image Echo Workstation
  • Acronis True Image 2014 Premium
  • True Image 2013 by Acronis Plus Pack
  • Acronis True Image Home 2010/2011/2012 Plus Pack

(!) Acronis Universal Restore does not support or install plug and play drivers.

Acronis Universal Restore is required to restore the image of operating system to another hardware configuration. It does automatically detect if the HAL should be changed (and changes it) and also installs drivers for HDD controllers and NIC (if they can be found).

If any system-critical driver cannot be found, one will get a warning message during the restoration process.

More information

(!) You do not need to have Acronis Universal Restore installed to back up a system. You only need Acronis Universal Restore to restore a system to dissimilar hardware.

Acronis Universal Restore installation file just modifies the existing installation of Acronis True Image product and adds the Acronis Universal Restore option to the Recovery wizard. Please note that the builds of Acronis True Image product and Acronis Universal Restore add-on should be the same.

Acronis Universal Restore is available only for the following products:

For instructions on how to use Acronis Universal Restore see:


Operating Systems:



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