15721: Acronis Snap Deploy 3: Deploying to Dissimilar Hardware with Acronis Universal Deploy

Last update: 14-06-2011

You need Acronis Universal Deploy to deploy the image of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware

This article applies to:

  • Acronis Snap Deploy 3 for PCs
  • Acronis Snap Deploy 3 for Servers


With Acronis Universal Deploy you can deploy a system image of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware.

Acronis Universal Deploy 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 Deploy 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 Deploy, as they can be installed in Windows after the successful deployment.

(!) The Acronis Universal Deploy option is not available in the standalone mode.


Before deploying a system image to a new computer with dissimilar hardware please do the following:

  • Create a master image of the system you want to deploy: see Acronis Snap Deploy 3: Creating Master Image;
  • Make sure that master image contains supported operating system: see Acronis Universal Restore;
  • Obtain drivers for the hard disk drive controller or chipset drivers for the new computer. These drivers are critical for booting the operating system. You can download the drivers for your motherboard on the Vendor's web-site. Please note, if you downloaded the drivers in *.exe, *.cab, *.zip format, you should extract them first. The driver files should have *.inf, *.sys or *.oem extensions;

Creating deployment template with Acronis Universal Deploy:

  1. Install the following components from Acronis Snap Deploy installation file:
    • Acronis License Server;
    • Acronis Snap Deploy Management Console;
    • Acronis OS Deploy Server;
    • Acronis Universal Deploy.
  2. Add to License Server the licenses for Acronis Snap Deploy and Acronis Universal Deploy (for PCs or for Servers, depending on operating system you plan to deploy: see Acronis Snap Deploy 3 License Policy):

  3. Launch Acronis Snap Deploy Management Console, connect to the computer where OS Deploy Server is installed and press Manage Deployment:

  4. Go to Templates tab and press Create Template:

    Deployment template is a set of configuration parameters of the deployment operation: path to the master image, settings to be applied to the deployed systems, etc.

  5. Create Deployment Template Wizard welcome window is displayed. Click Next;
  6. Select Create new template if you want to create a template from scratch, or Use an existing template if you want to modify a previously created template:

  7. Select the location of master image and specify the image that you want to deploy:

  8. If master image contains multiple disks, select which disk you want to deploy:

    If the selected disk contains several partitions, you will be offered to select the partition(s) to deploy on the next step.

  9. Select a disk to which to deploy the master image:

  10. If disk that you selected contains only one partition, select whether the master image should occupy the whole disk or a selected partition only:

  11. If you want to create new local user accounts on target computers (in addition to the accounts that exist in master system), press Add and specify account name, account group (Administrators, Power Users or Users) and password for the account:

    If you do not need to add new users, skip this step by pressing Next;

  12. Specify DNS names and domain or workgroup membership for the target computers:

    You can use wild cards to generate unique names for target computers. For detailed information on using wild cards please see Acronis Snap Deploy User Guide.

    See also Acronis Snap Deploy 3: "There are clients that do not fit into specified ranges defined by templates".

  13. Configure the Internet Protocol settings for the target computers:

  14. On the next step you can select Change Security IDs. If this option is enabled, the computer security identifier (SID) will be automatically changed after the restore:

    The SID can remain unchanged if there is no computer with the same SID in the same workgroup or domain.

  15. If necessary, you can select files to be transferred to all target computers after deployment. The files must be located on a network share. Check Execute file if you want to execute the files after deployment;
  16. If necessary, you can specify service applications from the master system image for executing on target computers after deployment;
  17. Select Use Acronis Universal Deploy:

    Acronis Universal Deploy uses three sources for drivers:

    • Windows default driver storage folder (in the image being deployed);
    • Mass storage device driver specified by the user;
    • Driver repository - a folder or folders on a network share or removable media (the program will look in subfolders, if necessary);

    The program will find the most suitable drivers of all available drivers and install them into the deployed system. However, the driver defined by the user, will have the priority. It will be installed, with appropriate warnings, even if the program finds a better driver.

  18. If target hardware has a specific mass storage controller (such as a SCSI, RAID, or Fibre Channel adapter) for the hard disk, explicitly specify the appropriate driver for this controller. The driver will be installed in any case, bypassing the automatic driver search-and-install procedure:

  19. On the next step you can specify the driver storage for HAL and storage devices drivers to search during the automatic search-and-install procedure:

  20. Set specific deployment options, if necessary, or select Use default options;
  21. You can provide a template name and a comment for easy identification of template:

  22. Check the settings in Summary window and click Save:

You can use the created deployment template for manual deployment, event-driven deployment or for a scheduled deployment task. For detailed information on deployment tasks please see Acronis Snap Deploy User Guide.

More information

See also: