How to Create and Restore (Windows 10) System Image to Different Computer

Jean updated on Nov 11, 2020 to Backup Utility | How-to Articles

Are you looking for a complete guide to backup Windows 10 and restore system image to different computers? On this page, you'll learn how to create a system image in Windows 10/8/7 and restore it to a new computer without reinstallation.

So how to do so? Follow the complete guide here for help:

Can a Windows System Image Be Used on Another Computer

Is there any effective way to restore a system image to another computer just as easy as to restore a file image to a dissimilar computer? If a person is savvy about computers, he would definitely say "NO".

The reason is that the configuration settings on another computer may differ from your current PC. Also, the operating system requires the computer to include certain drivers, without which the computer won't boot successfully. 

So can you create and restore a system image to a dissimilar computer? Yes! With the help of reliable Windows backup software, transferring OS to a new computer is possible. 

Preparations: Get Ready for System Transfer to Different PC

You may want to know what exactly you'll need to get things ready for system migration to another different computer. Here below is a list for you to know and prepare for this task:

  1. #1. Confirm New PC Support The Same Boot Mode as Old PC
  2. #2. Download Windows Backup Software
  3. #3. Prepare an External Hard Drive

Note that the listed tips are three key points that decide whether you can successfully create and restore a system image to a new computer. Follow to make everything ready now:

#1. Confirm New PC Support The Same Boot Mode as Old PC

The motherboard of your new computer must support the same boot mode as your source computer. You can follow to check the boot modes on both of your PCs: 

Restart PC and hold F2/F8/Del to Enter BIOS > Go to the Boot Menu and Check the Boot Mode: Legacy or UEFI

Check BIOS boot mode on both computers

In a word, the BIOS boot mode in the new computer should be the same as your current PC:

  • BIOS Mode: Legacy - BIOS Mode: Legacy
  • BIOS Mode: UEFI - BIOS Mode: UEFI

IMPORTANT: If your computer is too old and it doesn't support the UEFI boot mode, you'll need to switch to a new computer. Most new computers support both Legacy and UEFI boot modes and you don't need to worry about it.

#2. Download Windows Backup Software

Professional system backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup can help. Its System Transfer feature can do the system backup and transfer task, making the Windows system bootable on the new computer by transferring necessary drivers together.

#3. Prepare an External Hard Drive

It's also important that you have a big enough external hard drive to save the Windows system image for transferring OS to a new computer. Here are the steps that you can follow to prepare the external hard drive:

Step 1. Prepare an empty external hard drive with enough space.

The capacity of the external hard drive must be bigger than the system C drive.

Step 2. Open Disk Management and create two partitions on your external hard drive.

The first partition is FAT32 and the second partition is NTFS (bigger than your system drive).

Make external hard drive ready for transferring system image to a new PC

After making all things ready, you are good to go and follow the tutorial below to start creating and restoring system image like Windows 10 to your new computer now.

Tutorial: How to Create and Restore System Image to a Different Computer

Applies to: Transfer Windows 10/8/7, even Windows XP/Vista, to a new computer without reinstallation.

This part answers the question of "How do I create system image in Windows 10" and "How to restore a Windows 10 backup to another computer". Follow the tutorial guide here to make your current Windows system bootable on a different computer:

  1. #1. Backup Data
  2. #2. Create and Restore (Windows 10) System Image to a New Computer
  3. #3. Make Transferred System Bootable on New Computer

In the following, we'll take Windows 10 as an example to show you the complete process of backing up and transferring the system to another computer.  Let's start!

#1. Backup or Copy Important Data from Target PC to External Hard Drive

As the system transferring process will rewrite everything on the system C drive, which will certainly cause data loss. 

Therefore, if you have important data saved on your target computer system drive, we suggest you copy and save them to an external storage device as a backup in advance. 

#2. Create and Restore (Windows 10) System Image to a New Computer

Now, you can apply EaseUS Todo Backup to create a bootable disk, create a system image, and restore the system image to another computer without limits.

Tutorial: Create and Restore Windows System Image to a Different Computer

Step 1. Create an Emergency Disk to USB

1. Connect an empty USB flash drive or external hard drive (with over than 100GB space) to your PC.

Note: Initialize the USB or external hard drive as MBR, and create two partitions: set the first partition as FAT32 and the second partition as NTFS.  

2. Run EaseUS Todo Backup and click "Tools" > "Create Emergency Disk".

Create emergency disk for transfer OS to new computer.

3. Choose USB as the disk location to create the emergency disk and click "Create".

The bootable disk will help you boot computer and transfer system image to the new PC.

Start creating emergency disk for system transfer.

Step 2. Create System Backup Image on Source Computer

1. Click "System Backup" on the left pane and Windows OS will be selected by default.

2. Click "Browse" and specify the second partition of the USB drive which contains the emergency disk to save system image.

You may also save system backup image to another empty external disk (which must be equal or bigger than the system C drive).

Create system image for transferring system to new computer.

3. Click "Proceed" to start creating a system backup image to the target device.

Step 3. Boot Target Computer from EaseUS Todo Backup Emergency Disk

1. Eject EaseUS emergency disk and system backup image USB and connect it to the new computer.

2. Restart PC and press "F2/F8" to boot into BIOS. 

3. Go to the boot menu and set the computer to boot from the EaseUS Todo Backup emergency disk.

If you want to restore the system image to a GPT disk, you need to change the boot mode to EUFI in BIOS. Then your computer will enter EaseUS Todo Backup main interface.

Step 4. Transfer System to the New Computer

Note: Restoring system image to the new computer will erase the data on the target disk. Remember to back up the files in advance or use an empty disk to restore the system image to avoid data loss.

1. On EaseUS Todo Backup main interface, click "System Transfer". 

Start transferring system to new computer.

2. Select the system image on your USB external drive and click "OK" to continue.

Choose system image to transfer.

3. Specify the disk to restore system image and tick "System Transfer" in Advanced options. Click "OK" to save changes.

Then click "Proceed" to start transferring the system to a new computer.

Start transferring system to the new computer.

Step 5. Restart PC with transferred system

1. Enter BIOS and set computer to boot up from the drive with the transferred system.

2. Save all changes and restart your computer.

3. Update all drive drivers and programs to ensure all things will work just fine on the new computer.

#3. Make Transferred System Bootable on New Computer

When EaseUS Todo Backup completes the system transferring process, you have one last step to go. It is to configure the BIOS boot mode on your computer as the same as your old PC:

Step 1. Restart PC and press F2/F8/Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot menu and find BIOS Mode.

Step 3. Switch the boot mode as the same as it was on your old PC - Legacy or UEFI.

Step 4. Save the changes and exit to boot your computer.

Wait patiently and you'll see that your computer will boot up smoothly with the same operating system on your old PC.

For Your Information
EaseUS Todo Backup only transfer your OS. To activate Windows, you'll need a new activation key.

Further Reading: Why Is Windows Backup and Restore Not Recommended

According to some Windows professionals, they prefer to create system image via Windows Backup and Restore feature. But why is Windows Backup and Restore not recommended here?

Windows Backup and Restore vs. EaseUS Todo Backup

Here is a comparison table that you may interest in and you will figure out why EaseUS Todo Backup exceeds Windows Backup and Restore:

Comparison EaseUS Todo Backup Windows Backup and Restore
File Backup
System Backup

System Transfer (To a New Computer)

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Due to the limit of Windows Backup and Restore, Windows 10/8/7 users can only use it to backup and restore the system or files on the current PC. It doesn't work to back up and transfer the system to a new computer. 

If you want to create a Windows image via Windows Backup and Restore, refer to Backup Windows 10 to USB for help. 

If you are a Windows beginner and prefer a feasible solution to backup Windows and transfer system, EaseUS Todo Backup can be your best shot.

The Bottom Line

This page answers the questions of all Windows users about "How to use Windows image on a different computer" or "How to create and restore system image to a new computer".

To do so, you'll need a reliable Windows backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup to create a Windows system image first. Then save the system image to an external hard drive.

Last, you'll need to restore the system image to your new computer and set the computer bootable by configuring the BIOS mode.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose EaseUS Todo Backup?

"The easiest way to protect your data and system files."techradar

"As a slogan, EaseUS develops software to "make your life easy." It's clear from this app's reliability and design that this is a priority. Todo Backup Home is one of the easiest PC backup programs to use in our review."business.com

"EaseUS ToDo Backup Home is a great backup program, well suited to the home and SMB space."PCWorld

What is the difference between Clone and Backup? In what cases should I use Clone?

Clone will copy one disk to another or one partition to another (unallocated space is also supported). Usually, this option is used to upgrade the current disk by creating an identical copy. Backup will generate a .PBD image file containing the selected files or system that can be restored from the .PBD image if needed.

What is the difference between System Backup and Disk Backup?

System Backup will auto-select the system boot related partition(s) as the backup source to make sure the system image can be restored properly. Disk/Partition Backup will allow you to manually select a whole disk or speficy a certain partition as the backup source. You will get the same backup result as System Backup if you manually select the system and boot partitions with the Disk/Partition Backup option.

As a computer newbie, what features should I use to protect my computer?

You can use System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions, use Disk/Partition backup to back up the data partition and add plans to run an automatic backup. If you use the computer frequently or have software that may cause boot failure of the computer, we would suggest you back up the computer every 1 to 2 days. For other situations, you can backup the computer once a week. In addition, you can schedule File Backup to back up the files which are changed frequently.

What kind of storage service should I use to save my backup images?

EaseUS Todo Backup can save backup images to internal disks, external disks, network drives, or free cloud(Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive) and CD/DVD. It is suggested to save the images to the internal/external/network drives to save time as those kinds of disks have a better read-write speed. It is suggested NOT to save the image on the source disk, because once the disk is damaged, all the files on the disk will become unavailable and you will be unable to restore the image.

As a company network administrator, what features should I use to protect our internal computers?

It is recommended that you use the SQL Backup feature to back up your company's SQL server and Exchange Backup feature to back up the Exchange server. In addition, you can execute System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions on every computer and set a plan to execute the backup once a day or twice a week to ensure that the computer can be restored timely when it has boot issues. File Backup feature can be used to back up important user data. If there are a large quantity of computers, you can purchase EaseUS Backup Center to manage the backups on the client computers centrally.

About EaseUS Todo Backup

Be it a file, system, partition, or disk, EaseUS Todo Backup will help you back up or clone the item and provide you with multiple backup plans.