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.
(!) Do not use Windows\System32\drivers folder as drivers source.
(!) 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.
Before applying Universal Restore to a Windows operating system, make sure that you have the drivers for the new HDD controller and the chipset. These drivers are critical to start the operating system. Use the CD or DVD supplied by the hardware vendor or download the drivers from the vendor’s Web site. The driver files should have the *.inf, *.sys or *.oem extensions. If you download the drivers in the *.exe, *.cab or *.zip format, extract them using a third-party application (e.g. free 7-zip tool or any other).
The best practice is to store drivers for all the hardware used in your organization in a single repository sorted by device type or by the hardware configurations. You can keep a copy of the repository on a DVD or a flash drive; pick some drivers and add them to the bootable media; create the custom bootable media with the necessary drivers (and the necessary network configuration) for each of your servers. Or, you can simply specify the path to the repository every time Universal Restore is used.
Check access to the drivers in bootable environment
Make sure you have access to the device with drivers when working under bootable media. Even if you configure system disk recovery in a Windows environment, the machine will reboot and recovery will proceed in the Linux-based environment. Use WinPE-based media if the device is available in Windows but Linux-based media does not detect it.
What if you do not have drivers
Windows 7 includes more drivers than the older Windows operating systems. There is a great chance that Universal Restore finds all necessary drivers in the Windows 7 driver folder. So, you may not necessarily have to specify the external path to the drivers. Nevertheless, performing Universal Restore is critical so the system uses the correct drivers.
The Windows default driver storage folder is determined in the registry value DevicePath, which can be found in the registry key
This storage folder is usually WINDOWS/inf.
Apply Acronis Universal Restore
- Boot the machine from the Acronis Bootable Media.
- Select the Acronis Universal Restore option:
- Add a folder with the drivers under Automatic drive search:
- Click OK.