How to restore a Windows installation or move it to different hardware

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Article ID: 249694 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

One of the following problems may occur with your computer:

  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Computer theft
  • Natural disaster
  • User error
To recover from one of these problems, you can restore the Microsoft Windows operating system from a system state backup. You can restore a system state backup to the same physical computer from which the system state backup was created, or to a different physical computer that has the same make, model, and configuration (identical hardware).

However, we do not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration. We only provide commercially reasonable efforts to support this process. Even if the source and destination computers seem to be identical makes and models, the source computers may have different drivers, hardware, or firmware than the destination computers.

This article describes how to create a system state backup on one computer and how to restore it to the same computer or to a different physical computer of the same make and model.

The preferred method to restore Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

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The preferred method to restore Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

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Possible recovery scenarios for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

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Guidelines for restoring the Windows operating system

Follow the guidelines in the following sections to help make sure that the restore operation succeeds. Click here to show/hide solution

Move a Windows client or member server installation

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Move a Windows domain controller installation

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Possible issues and the steps to troubleshoot

After you restart the destination computer, you may experience the following symptoms:
  • You receive one of the following Stop error messages:
    • Stop 0x0000007B Inaccessible_Boot_Device
    • STOP: 0x00000079 Hal_Mismatch
  • The computer stops responding at startup.
  • The computer that is running Windows Server 2008 crashes on startup. This occurs when the source HAL and the target HAL do not match.
  • The computer spontaneously restarts when you receive the following message on a black screen early in the restart process:
    Starting Windows 2000
  • You cannot configure your display settings.
  • The network adapter does not function correctly.
To resolve issues with the display settings or with a network adapter, remove the graphics adapter or the network adapter from Device Manager, and then restart the computer. Windows will redetect the device and possibly prompt you for drivers.

To resolve the problem with the source HAL and the target HAL under Windows Server 2008, follow these steps: Click here to show/hide solution

Properties

Article ID: 249694 - Last Review: July 12, 2013 - Revision: 20.1
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
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