Is there really no way to restore an x86 image over an x64 install?

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  1. Posts : 60
    Win10 Pro x64
       #1

    Is there really no way to restore an x86 image over an x64 install?


    I've been pretty satisfied with Window's built-in disk-image creation and restoration tool (the one still called "Windows 7 Backup and Restore") ... but recently tried to restore a image of an x86 Windows 10 installation onto a drive that had x64 Windows 10 installed, and Windows refused to do so. Saying, basically, you can only restore x86 over x86, and x64 over x64. Is there really no way around this? I don't get why Windows cares what is on the target disk, since it is going to be totally written over.

    What I did is: Had Win10 x64 installed on internal SSD. Booted from an x86 Recovery USB. Got a message that x86 Recovery wouldn't work with x64 installation. Booted from x64 Recovery USB. Then plugged-in my external USB drive, which has the x86 image on it. Then Windows refused to restore it to the computer's internal SSD. So I had to do a full-disk clean install of x86 on the SSD, and only then was I able to restore the x86 image onto the SSD.
    Last edited by mc510; 10 May 2017 at 21:05.
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  2. Posts : 2,619
    trying to install win10
       #2

    News to me. Can you be more precise about the message you got?
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  3. Posts : 25,686
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.160
       #3

    Get Macrium Reflect it is way better than MS's build in one, even the free v6 is better.
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  4. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #4

    Macrium Reflect +1
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  5. Posts : 60
    Win10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    SIW2 said:
    News to me. Can you be more precise about the message you got?
    Unfortunately I didn't write down exactly what it said, and it was a week ago. The gist of it was that it would only restore an x64 image.

    Josey Wales said:
    Get Macrium Reflect it is way better than MS's build in one, even the free v6 is better.
    Yeah, I know, but right now I'm just interested to know if this is a genuine limitation of Windows recovery, or if I'm just not doing it the right way.
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  6. Posts : 2,619
    trying to install win10
       #6

    The gist of it was that it would only restore an x64 image
    .

    Are you sure you were using 32 bit winre/recovery media ?
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  7. Posts : 1,340
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #7

    "I'm just interested to know if this is a genuine limitation of Windows recovery, or if I'm just not doing it the right way."
    I know what you mean.
    I can only speculate right now but when you did the clean install the drive was fully cleaned in the process.
    On your original attempt, were the x86 & x64 the same version as each other?
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  8. Posts : 60
    Win10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #8

    SIW2 said:
    Are you sure you were using 32 bit winre/recovery media ?
    I tried it both ways. First I tried x86 Recovery USB, and that one gave me an error message because it didn't match the x64 that was installed on the computer. Then I tried x64 Recovery USB, and got the message that my x86 image file was not compatible.
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  9. Posts : 13,685
    Windows10
       #9

    I strongly suspect your issue is because drive is UEFI gpt formatted as it is 64 bit, and you cannot restore a 32bit image to a UEFI drive without converting it to mbr legacy bios drive.

    You would have to wipe drive first and convert drive to mbr first.
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  10. Posts : 12,478
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #10

    All the above leads to the issue of having to do clean installs if changing from 32-bit to 64-bit versions of Operating Systems or from 64-bit to 32-bit versions of an OS.
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