4000: Restoring to Dissimilar Hardware with Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore

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Last update: 04-09-2015

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 10 Advanced Server
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Server for Windows (Standalone)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server - Small Business Server Edition
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Workstation
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Workstation (Standalone)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server - Virtual Edition


With Acronis Universal Restore you can recover system backup system 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.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:


Before restoring the backup to a new computer with dissimilar hardware please ensure the following:

  • You have Acronis Bootable Media with Acronis Universal Restore. See Installing Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore;
  • The backup contains a supported Windows operating system. See Acronis Universal Restore;
  • You have 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.

    (!) The product does not support or install plug and play drivers.

Restoring system backup using Acronis Universal Restore:

    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 10:

    3. Click Run management console (manage this machine):

    4. Click Recover:

    5. Click Change next to Archive:

    6. On the Backup Archive Selection screen choose the backup archive with system partition that you intend to recover:

    7. Enable Advanced view. Make sure that Data type is set to Volumes or Disks. Click Change:

    8. On the Backup and Items to Recover Selection screen choose the partitions or disk you want to recover:

    9. Click Change next to System C partition to specify the location where you want to recover the partition to. On the Volume Destination screen select the target partition or unallocated space to which the backup will be restored. In this case we are restoring to unallocated space:

    10. On the Volume Parameters window set the type Primary-Active for your system partition. If you do not set the type Active for your system partition, the machine will not boot. Also you can specify the target partition size here:

    11. Universal Restore should be set to Use. Click Change next to Search folder and specify the folder with the drivers for the hard-drive controller of the new computer. This folder may contain both Raid and Chipset drivers, for example. Universal Restore will search this folder (with subfolders) for the appropriate driver automatically:

    12. Click Change in the Mass storage drivers to install anyway section to specify drivers manually:

The recommendation is to specify the drivers manually. Hardware Vendors usually provide separate drivers for SCSI or RAID controllers. IDE or SATA drivers are usually included into the chipset drivers for the motherboard.

The HDD controller drivers are critical for operating system booting. Specifying drivers for other devices (video/sound card) is not recommended. Once you restore and boot the system, you can update all other drivers manually through Windows Device Manager (Start -> Run -> devmgmt.msc).

    1. In Recovery options you can also check Change SID after recovery. If this option is enabled, the computer security identifier (SID) will be automatically changed after the restore:

      (!) If you want to run the system immediately after recovery without rejoining the domain or remapping network user profiles, do not change the SID.

      (!) Never change the SID if you are restoring a Domain Controller machine. If you change SID, this may result in Windows boot failure after recovery due to problems with Active Directory (usually it is lsass.exe system error with 0xc0000084 error code).

    2. After viewing the summary screen click OK:

    3. The restore process will start:

(!) If Acronis Universal Restore detects unsupported devices (i.e. devices critical for booting - mass storage devices, the drivers for which are missing), it will ask for the necessary drivers. To identify the device by its PCI ID, refer to http://pciids.sourceforge.net/pci.ids

If the driver is still not accepted, it should be checked if it is the correct one by using a Windows installation CD and hitting F6. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 314859.

If, after the restore, the machine does not boot correctly, please boot in Safe Mode (hit F8) and check the drivers in Windows Device Manager.

More information

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