23335: Acronis Backup & Recovery 11: Restoring to Dissimilar Hardware with Universal Restore

Last update: 08-04-2016

You need to use Acronis Universal Restore to recover the system backup of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware

This article applies to:

  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Advanced Server
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Server for Windows (Standalone)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Advanced Server SBS Edition
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Virtual Edition
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Advanced Workstation
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Workstation (Standalone)

For Acronis Backup 11.5 (Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5) see Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5: Restoring to Dissimilar Hardware with Universal Restore.


With Acronis Universal Restore you can recover system backup of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware.

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.

Note for Windows XP users: as Microsoft has stopped Windows XP support on April 8, 2014, more and more hardware manufacturers discontinue testing their harware for compatibility with Windows XP, thus you may experience issues when/after restoring a Windows XP system to new hardware. Please consult your hardware manufacturer to make sure the new hardware is compatible with Windows XP.

For more information see: 


  1. Boot the target machine from Acronis Bootable CD. (Make sure that the primary boot device is set to CD-ROM in BIOS);
  2. Once loaded, select Acronis Backup & Recovery 11:

  3. Click Manage this machine locally:

  4. Click Recover:

  5. Click Select data in What to recover:

  6. Press Browse to browse for backup location:

  7. After selecting backup location, go to Archive view tab, and select the backup archive that you want to restore:

  8. In Backup contents section select the partitions or disks that you want to recover:

  9. Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 attempts to map the selected disks to target disks automatically. To change the target disk, press Recover...to button and select the necessary target disk:

  10. Universal Restore for Windows should be set to Use. Specify a location where Acronis Universal Restore should search for drivers for the new system (Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), HDD controller driver and network adapter drivers):
    • If the drivers are on a CD/DVD or another removable media, set Search removable media to On:

    • If the drivers are on a network location or on external drive, press Add folder and specify the folder with drivers:

    • Press Mass storage drivers to install anyway to specify drivers manually. These drivers will be installed even if Acronis Universal Restore finds a more suitable driver during automatic search. Use this setting only in the following cases:
      • If automatic driver search does not help to boot the system;
      • Target hardware has a specific mass storage controller, such as RAID or a fibre channel adapter;
      • You recover a system to a virtual machine that uses a SCSI hard drive controller and is booted into bootable media.

      Specify the appropriate drivers by clicking Add driver:

  11. Review the details and click OK to start the operation:

More information

See also: