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Restoring an image to a different computer (Read 77863 times)
Brian
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Restoring an image to a different computer
Apr 26th, 2006 at 4:55am
 
Restoring an image to a different computer is regarded by some as the Holy Grail of imaging. Reports of success are infrequent and really, how often would the average person need to attempt this procedure? Even so, we would like the option and it is available but not inexpensive.

Pleonasm brought our attention to Symantec Restore Anyware software.

Click here

It sounds exciting but I haven’t seen it discussed in any forum.

Acronis has released Acronis Universal Recovery (AUR) and this has been discussed in the True Image Forum. Most posts have been negative.

Click here

I don’t have either software but a friend has Acronis Universal Recovery and I was allowed to play. I tried to use dissimilar computers. In other words, what we had available. The host computer was a Dell Optiplex GX150 and the C: drive was imaged to an external HD using Acronis True Image, Ghost 9 and Drive Snapshot. The recipient computers were Dell Dimension L667r, Gateway computer (Pentium 4 1.3 MHz), and Dell Dimension XPS T450. We used a blank HD in each computer, partitioned with a primary and extended partition. The images were restored to the primary partition. A ReatogoXPE CD containing the relevant plugins was used for the imaging and restoring processes.

Using Acronis TI with AUR:  Success on all three computers. The computers booted to WinXP and then spent a few minutes with Found New Hardware messages popping out of the System Tray followed by Installing Drivers messages. No user intervention was needed until a reboot was requested. The result was perfect. All programs worked except those that had been installed in the D: drive of the Optiplex (naturally). Device Manager was free of errors except for one computer that had a Wireless NIC. Obviously needed a driver disc.

Using Ghost 9 and SnapShot on the Gateway: success as above.

Using Ghost 9, Acronis TI (without AUR) and Snapshot on the other two computers: Failure. After pressing the power button we saw the Dell logo followed by the familiar WinXP screen saying Windows Did Not Start Correctly….  Choosing Safe Mode, Last Configuration etc just took us back to the Dell logo.

I don’t know why the Gateway was so friendly to our images. I expected it to fail. The exciting finding was that Acronis TI with AUR worked on all computers, so the Holy Grail is in sight.
 
 
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John.
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #1 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 8:59am
 
Brian, nice study and information about Acronis Universal Recovery.

It would be nice to have a comparison of AUR to the Symantec LiveState Recovery 6.0 product which appears to have the same restore capabilities.  Neither of these products are cheap naturally which is why Ghost 9 or Ghost 10 don't have those capabilities built in.  Also Acronis and LiveState target audience for those products are enterprises.

Symantec claims:

Flexible restoration options
(Restore Anyware Option)

• Dissimilar hardware restoration (including different storage controllers and hardware abstraction layers) reduces recovery times and saves significant hardware investments.

• Combines hot imaging with the ability to restore to different hardware platforms on the fly.

• Allows users to migrate their system to a new computer without requiring a new installation. This is useful for upgrading hardware and for repurposing systems to serve a different role.

• Convert system recovery images into VMWare virtual machines and vice versa, giving you greater flexibility in managing recovery environments. This capability also allows you to test patches, application installations, and the like in the virtual environment before applying them to live systems.

Easy remote recovery
(LightsOut Restore Option)

• Eliminates the need for in-person visits to perform a full bare metal recovery by booting the system from its out-of-band controller.

• Symantec Recovery Disk is placed on the system hard drive, eliminating the need to access it from the CD.

• Allows manual addition of drivers directly to the Symantec Recovery Disk files located in the boot volume subdirectory.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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NightOwl-
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #2 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 9:36am
 
Brian

Very nice!

Quote:
I don’t know why the Gateway was so friendly to our images. I expected it to fail.

Have to assume that the hardware differences must not have created an incompatibility issue!

With the significant hardware changes--did any of this trigger a WPA (Windows Product Activation) event?  (
Windows Product Activation (WPA) on Windows XP
)
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #3 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 1:02pm
 
Brian, Symantec offers two techniques that might facilitate the transfer of a Ghost image from one PC to another.
    Prepare the Source PC
    …remove the hardware that you know may cause a problem from the Device Manager before creating the image.  As long as you remove the devices, shut down the computer, then create the image without restarting into Windows, the destination computers will automatically detect the appropriate hardware and install the appropriate drivers. … you will need the Windows installation CD so Windows can access its library of drivers.

    Uninstall Conflicting Devices on the Destination PC
    If the devices are not automatically detected by Windows and there appears to be a conflict, uninstall the conflicting devices and restart the computer.  Windows should now automatically detect the appropriate hardware.
Do these techniques increase the success rate of transferring a Ghost 9 image from one PC to another?

Source:  Ghost compatibility between computers that have different hardware
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #4 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 3:48pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 26th, 2006 at 9:36am:
With the significant hardware changes--did any of this trigger a WPA (Windows Product Activation) event?


No, but we weren't on the internet and the life span of each OS was only 5 to 10 minutes.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #5 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 3:49pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 26th, 2006 at 1:02pm:
Do these techniques increase the success rate of transferring a Ghost 9 image from one PC to another?


That will be a future project.
 
 
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John.
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #6 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 5:30pm
 
Brian, I think this has been discussed in previous threads, but instead of purchasing the enterprise versions of Acronis or Symantec, you can do a "poor man's" procedure when restoring an image to a different PC:

How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware

Plus you may need:
How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

Next time you have one of those failed restores, let us know if this procedure helps (and avoids spending those extra $$$).




 

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John.
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #7 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 6:19pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 26th, 2006 at 9:36am:
With the significant hardware changes--did any of this trigger a WPA (Windows Product Activation) event?  

I have a question.  Why are different people concerned about Windows Product Activation?  It seems to be discussed endlessly, and honestly I can't figure out why?  

I've had to replace hard drives and motherboards and whenever I was notified about product activation, I merely reactivated over the Internet, or called their toll free number.   About the only thing I had to say on the phone was "I replaced my hard drive"  or "My motherboard died".

The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

Am I missing something here?  What is the big deal?
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #8 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 6:47pm
 
Ghost4me

Quote:
Am I missing something here?  What is the big deal?

As you said--not so much a *big deal*!  But there is a lot of *mis-information* out there--so, my intention was more a *heads up* so folks know what to expect, and not be *surprised*.

This resource seems to cover the issue very well:  
Windows Product Activation (WPA) on Windows XP


It says that if your last activation occurred greater that 120 days ago, then the re-activation will occur automatically via the web and no phone call should be required.

And it's interesting to see how the WPA works and what changes will possibly trigger a re-activation event--for those who make frequent changes--this info could be helpful.

The only *big deal* is that you have to read a 50 digit number to the Microsoft rep if you have to call--and then copy down and enter a 42 digit number to get the re-activation--now that's at least a *small deal* headache  Wink !
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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John.
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #9 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 6:59pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 26th, 2006 at 6:47pm:
As you said--not so much a *big deal*!  But there is a lot of *mis-information* out there--so, my intention was more a *heads up* so folks know what to expect, and not be *surprised*.


NightOwl, I wasn't questioning your statement, but responding to exactly what you clarified, and I agree, -- that there is a lot of MIS-information out there.

I think when XP first came out everyone was afraid they would be stuck in the middle of the night with no way to re-activate.  That's a legitimate concern, but it hasn't turned out to be a problem.

I suppose the only others that are concerned would be someone who wants to install one license copy of XP (or one Ghost image) on 10 PC's.  Well, that is a problem, and anyone trying to
pirate
in this way should be concerned.


 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #10 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 7:52pm
 
Assuming the old and new PC are in good working order, I have often wondered this:

Take the NEW PC, and install the same OS as is on the OLD PC (using the XP or W2K or whatever CD), and get the NEW PC in perfect working order, with all the latest Drivers etc.

COPY the INF sub-directory from the NEW PC to the OLD pc's INF folder (making a backup before doing so, of course).

NOW GHOST the OLD PC, and do a ghost restore to the new pc.

I would think this would work, but have not yet tried it.

What do yall think?
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #11 - Apr 26th, 2006 at 8:19pm
 
John. wrote on Apr 26th, 2006 at 5:30pm:
Brian, I think this has been discussed in previous threads, but instead of purchasing the enterprise versions of Acronis or Symantec, you can do a "poor man's" procedure when restoring an image to a different PC:

How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware

Plus you may need:
How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

Next time you have one of those failed restores, let us know if this procedure helps (and avoids spending those extra $$$).



John,

The first technique may work but at present I'm confining my interest to imaging solutions.

I was interested in the Repair Install technique however. I've just restored the Optiplex Ghost 9 image to the Dell T450. As before, it didn't boot. I performed a Repair Install and it worked perfectly. Indistinguishable from the Acronis Universal Restore result. It's more labour intensive than AUR but it doesn't cost money.

So we can save our money by not buying AUR. Thanks for reminding me of this technique.

 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #12 - May 20th, 2006 at 3:43am
 
The price of Acronis Universal Restore has fallen to $30. Symantec take note.

http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/
 
 
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #13 - Jun 29th, 2006 at 2:49pm
 
Brian wrote on May 20th, 2006 at 3:43am:
The price of Acronis Universal Restore has fallen to $30. Symantec take note.

http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/


Acronis workstationa nd univ restore ROCKS!!!  best 109 bucks Ive spent in a long time -- No waiting, no activation woes, FAST!  solid, cheap LOL the list goes on and the uni restore WORKS!!!
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring an image to a different computer
Reply #14 - Jun 29th, 2006 at 5:23pm
 
mackey,

Under what situations did you use AUR? I note Acronis are backing away from their initial enthusiasm regarding this product. They now seem to define "different hardware" as the same computer with a different motherboard.
 
 
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