Windows 7 supplied Backup and Restore to different hardware?

257Roberts
257Roberts used Ask the Experts™
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I have several client running Win7 supplied Backup and Restore for not only their daily backups, but also capturing a complete system image.  I have had to use the image to restore a entire machine that a hard drive went bad on and it worked very well.  What I am wondering if anyone has had any experience using the Backup and Restore system image to another computer with different hardware.  I am not talking about RAID, or some exotic technology, just replacing a desktop with another desktop similar, but not exactly alike, then getting the image to restore.  If I had to let Windows update find drivers on the new machine, that would be acceptable to me.  Thanks for your input.
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I have done this successfully with W2K8R2 which should be pretty much the same as Windows 7.

Previous machine: Dell E6500
New machine: Dell 520S
President
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
The biggest gotchas I've seen are

 - Make SURE you use a retail Win7, and not an OEM release such as a Dell version for a certain family of systems, then try to restore it on some other gear.  No way can you legally get this to work.
 - The replacement system needs to have compatible HAL, so don't be changing anything major
 - Document BIOS settings, like is AHCI enabled and what physical disk is on SATA port #X and such
-  Don't ever marry anything to hardware address, such as a MAC address in a NIC.
I've done some restores to dissimilar hardware using 2-step procedure:
- first, installed Windows 7 using the same version/DVD as it was used for backed-up computer.
- then, patched it up to the same Service Pack as backed-up one
- only then I restored from backup

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Commented:
Thanks for all comments, all had something to add.

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