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Windows 8.1 Imaging

Posted on 2015-01-29
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Last Modified: 2015-02-04
I have created a Windows 8.1 system image using the native imaging software. When I try to apply the image to another machine, I receive an error that the image was created using uEFI, but the machine is using BIOS.

Is there a way to remedy this? Either to boot the base image machine using BIOS and a create a new image or to use my existing image and apply it to the other machine using EFI?

Thanks
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Question by:FMCA-IT
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by:John Hurst
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Is the target machine the same make/model as the source machine?  If so, you should be able to turn UEFI ON for the target machine.

If the target machine is different, you probably need to use Sysprep when creating the image to allow for different target environments.

Was the source machine OEM Windows 8?  Then you cannot move the image anyway.
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by:FMCA-IT
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The target machine is the same make/model as the source. I went into the BIOS to disable the UEFI, but the option isn't there.

The source machine, like the rest of the machines we ordered, came with Windows 7 Pro and an upgrade disc to Windows 8.

On the source machine, I ran the Windows 8 upgrade disc and then installed 8.1 along with all of the base software we use. I first attempted to use Clonezilla, as I have in the past, but it didn't work. So I am now trying to use the native imaging software.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If you're cloning this you MUST use Sysprep to have a supported system - Sysprep is run BEFORE you use your imaging software.  It's whole purpose in life is to properly prepare your image for deployment to other machines.
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by:FMCA-IT
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Ok. I'll give it a shot. I had been using Clonezilla to create and deploy Windows 8.1 images previously without issue, which is why I'm confused now why it won't work.
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by:John Hurst
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Windows 7  does not use / need UEFI. I wonder if that is the issue.

Can you try deleting all the partitions of one target machine and then try applying the image again.

I am not sure about applying OEM images to other machines with Windows 8. It works with Windows 7 using Ghost but I have not yet tried that with Windows 8 .

I first attempted to use Clonezilla, as I have in the past,  <-- You might consider a trial copy of the newest version of Ghost to see if it works.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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It's also worth noting that you are only permitted to create images using Volume License Editions of Windows.  You only need ONE copy from Volume Licensing (VL), but your image must be built using that.  It can be deployed to any system that shipped with an equivalent or greater license.  Consider it like paying a one time, small ($180) licensing fee for the right to image and deploy Windows - and you get a free upgrade for 1 system too (metaphorically speaking - since it includes one upgrade copy of Windows).
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by:FMCA-IT
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Ok. I found the EFI option in the BIOS, however if I change the BIOS to only use Legacy, the source system won't boot. I'm assuming that deleting the EFI partition from the system is going to cause similar results.

So, I'm guessing that if I turn off EFI and then create my image I'll be able to deploy the image to other machines. Can someone validate that?

Lee, don't think I'm ignoring you, I'm not. I just put two days into building this image and I'd like to work on that before I go spending money on anything. The machines are licensed for Windows 7/8/8.1 so I'm not necessarily trying to put one over on M$, I'm just trying to walk that line...
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by:John Hurst
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I'll be able to deploy the image to other machines. Can someone validate that?

So long as the same make / model AND the target machines come with Windows 8 licensing, it should work.

Strictly speaking, you are not supposed to move OEM images but as long as EVERYTHING is licensed, it normally works.  Make certain of licensing.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Buy the license to get the rights.  That said, if you have the license and don't use it to build the image, then you DO NOT have a supported installation of Windows.  To me, it's both unwise and unprofessional to knowingly use an unsupported configuration in business when a reasonable supported option exists.  My OPINION.
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by:FMCA-IT
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OK. So, although my machines are licensed for Win 7/8/8.1; I'm unable to create an image with Windows 8.1 and then apply that image to any machine at all. For kicks, I attempted to apply the image I created back to the source machine and I get the same error as if I were deploying the image to a LIKE machine.

"The system image restore failed.
Windows cannot restore a system image to a computer that has different firmware. The system image was created on a computer using BIOS and the computer is using EFI."

Something is missing. Anyone have any ideas?
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Ok. So, I believe I have figured out what the issue was. It seems that the image I created from my Windows 8.1 machine was created using uEFI along with the recovery USB drive I was using. Once I booted my recovery media using uEFI instead of legacy, the error went away and the machines are now imaging as they should be. And all the machines are licensed correctly.

For future reference here is the scenario:

1. Create Windows 8.1 image using Windows imaging software.
2. Create recovery media using Windows imaging software.
3. Boot to recovery media using uEFI. (This is where I was having the issue. It was booting to legacy by auto settings.)
4. Apply created image to new machine.
5. Strut across floor.
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by:John Hurst
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@FMCA-IT  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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by:FMCA-IT
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Collective ideas to resolve issue.
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