How to clone Win10 (UEFI) installation to non-UEFI laptop?

  1.    #1

    How to clone Win10 (UEFI) installation to non-UEFI laptop?


    Hello.

    I have my work laptop (main) with Windows 10 installation (UEFI, GPT) where all apps already installed and configured. Recently I was given an old notebook (secondary) with Windows 8.1 installation (legacy BIOS, non-UEFI, MBR).

    Is there more or less simple way to clone Windows 10 OS from my work laptop to this legacy notebook? I'd like to have BIOS notebook on standby in another location having the same OS and apps installed, and be able to restore to secondary notebook from system backups that I do for my main laptop.

    My original intention was to use Acronis Universal Restore (because I'm using ATI for backups and restores) or AOMEI's software, but then I realized that I'm backing up UEFI installation with GPT, while secondary notebook is BIOS with MBR. So my guess is that this scenario complicates things to some degree. But is it still doable?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    You can copy only the OS partition over. Then you will need to create a system partition for it to boot from. You also need to be concerned about SATA controller mode. The SATA controllers in both computers should be set for AHCI.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    I could not even get a hard drive to boot when I swapped it from a laptop of the same make model. A hard drive with win 10 installed on it and put it into a different laptop of the same make mod and it would not boot. You will have a un compromised install if you do it fresh. A GPT that ihas a OS needs to be on a UEFI machine. But a GPT data drive can be read on a non uefi bios.
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  4. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,099
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #4

    Hi there
    1) Copy the OS partition to target drive on target PC
    2) boot up on target device Free Macrium from a USB slot (or a DVD if using optical media)
    3) when it's booted choose Fix windows boot problems
    4) re-boot.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,821
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.706)
       #5

    Assuming the two computers have similar hardware, so that Windows 10 can load without a BSOD due to a missing driver, you could boot with a WinPE DVD or USB (such as: Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk) and then do the following:

    1) Clone the UEFI-GPT installation on the other laptop's hard disk or a spare disk (if anything goes wrong). I mean to do a full disk clone, not only partitions and of course make sure that it is bootable (you could replace it on the original computer to see).

    2) Once you have a clone of the disk, load MiniTool Partition Wizard (or similar tool) and convert the GPT disk to MBR without touching any partition yet.

    3) After the disk has been converted to MBR, you could delete any unused partitions, including the recovery partition and expand the Windows partition to take all the free space. If you are unsure and do not know what you are doing, just leave the disk as it is. This step can be combined with the previous step before applying any changes to the disk.

    4) Connect the hard disk to the old laptop and make sure the SATA controller is set to IDE mode (avoid AHCI) to maximize compatibility.

    5) Boot from Windows 10 DVD or USB Flash drive and do a Startup Repair. This will write the necessary boot files so Windows 10 can boot from the disk.

    6) Reboot the computer. If lucky Windows 10 should load and probably display a message about installing devices. After that it will restart once more before displaying the login screen.

    7) Install drivers for any missing devices, that's it!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    I would not recommend @spapakons method. I'm on my phone at the moment so don't really want to type out the step by step reasons why until I can get on my real computer later tonight.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    First step is to install Macrium Refelct Free and create a rescue USB flash drive. Make sure both the work computer and the backup computer will boot from it.

    spapakons said: View Post
    4) Connect the hard disk to the old laptop and make sure the SATA controller is set to IDE mode (avoid AHCI) to maximize compatibility.
    You don't want to do this because if the work computer was set to AHCI and the old computer is set to IDE, then Windows will not load. In order to avoid SATA mode incompatibility, before you image the work computer you will want to go into Device Manager and uninstall any controllers listed under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Then hold down the shift key and select shutdown from the power menu. Do not restart Windows because that will just reload the drivers you just uninstalled. If you don't have a RAID array for storage, then you want to set SATA controllers to AHCI, not IDE. AHCI offers better performance for both HDDs and SSDs.

    spapakons said: View Post
    Assuming the two computers have similar hardware, so that Windows 10 can load without a BSOD due to a missing driver, you could boot with a WinPE DVD or USB (such as: Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk) and then do the following:

    1) Clone the UEFI-GPT installation on the other laptop's hard disk or a spare disk (if anything goes wrong). I mean to do a full disk clone, not only partitions and of course make sure that it is bootable (you could replace it on the original computer to see).
    I agree with booting from a WinPE USB flash drive or DVD - and that is exactly what a Macrium Rescue drive is. Whichever WinPE drive you choose, I recommend Macrium Reflect Free for this process. Instead of cloning, what would be best is to create an image of the work computer saved to an external USB hard drive. Boot from the Macrium Reflect Free rescue drive - or other WinPE drive that contains Macrium Reflect, and create an image of the work computer's drive saved to an external USB hard drive. If you don't have enough free USB ports, once the computer is booted into the rescue drive, you can unplug it and use the same USB port for the external hard drive.

    spapakons said: View Post
    2) Once you have a clone of the disk, load MiniTool Partition Wizard (or similar tool) and convert the GPT disk to MBR without touching any partition yet.
    If you use the Macrium Reflect Free image backup method, there is no need to convert the partitioning of any drive.

    spapakons said: View Post
    3) After the disk has been converted to MBR, you could delete any unused partitions, including the recovery partition and expand the Windows partition to take all the free space. If you are unsure and do not know what you are doing, just leave the disk as it is. This step can be combined with the previous step before applying any changes to the disk.
    If you use the Macrium Reflect Free image method, you will only restore the C: drive partition, not any of the other partitions. Yes, you can resize the partition to the size you want when you restore it. Assuming the backup computer has a working install of Windows already installed on it, just replace only the C: drive partition from the backup image. The backup computer should already have a system partition on it that boots in Legacy BIOS mode. The only time it won't is if the boot files were located on the old C: drive partition itself. If that is the case, it's pretty easy to fix.

    spapakons said: View Post
    5) Boot from Windows 10 DVD or USB Flash drive and do a Startup Repair. This will write the necessary boot files so Windows 10 can boot from the disk.
    The built-in Windows 10 startup repair is notoriously unreliable. Macrium Reflect loaded from a rescue drive has a fix Windows boot utility under the restore menu that is much more reliable than the Windows installation repair utility. Run the utility in Macrium Reflect Free.

    If the boot files were on the C: drive partition on the backup computer, you can now fix your new C: drive by opening a command prompt from the rescue drive and running:

    diskpart
    select vol C:
    active
    exit
    bcdboot C:\Windows /s C: /f all
    exit

    spapakons said: View Post
    6) Reboot the computer. If lucky Windows 10 should load and probably display a message about installing devices. After that it will restart once more before displaying the login screen.

    7) Install drivers for any missing devices, that's it!
    Yep.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    As far as I know, the AOMEI Backupper software will convert partition style (GPT or MBR) during cloning process. Check out if that is what you want.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Many thanks to posters for their suggestions. I was able to use the directions provided to finally clone my main UEFI system to an old BIOS notebook.

    I went with Macrium Reflect route and made an image of my source OS partition via Macrium Rescue USB drive. Took me some time to figure out old notebook's BIOS specifics and how to boot it up via rescue drives. Also used a spare HDD fully cloned from old notebook's primary drive for my experiments.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to simply restore the image on BIOS laptop and then fix the installation via Macrium Reflect. The reason is that although Repair Wizard detected the OS from my UEFI notebook, it didn't find the the disk drive with the OS in one of the dialog boxes (only secondary HDD).

    I assumed this issue had something to do with missing or incompatible system partitions, so decided to perform clean W10 installation on to BIOS notebook, and then try again with the restore.

    Wiped MBR primary drive, installed W10 (it was kinda slow process, given no SSD and notebook's age) and restored OS partition from Macrium Reflect image once again. This time Repair Wizard detected the primary OS drive (probably because new system reserved partition appeared), and successfully found necessary drivers. After repair process was done, I've restarted laptop and finally booted up into OS from my image. The only notebook-specific drivers missing were RICOH flash card device and PCI memory device (I suspect it's Intel Turbo Memory, given that this notebook is around 2008 make and it has 512 MB drive not detectable by BIOS). Everything else was found and installed in the background after the first boot.

    So now my goal is archieved: I have a secondary old BIOS notebook (MBR) running OS and applications cloned from my main UEFI laptop (GPT). I will now consider Macrium Reflect as my new main backup solution instead of ATI (which has too many background processes to my taste). Looking at its features and rescue drive, it might be more useful to me.

    P.S. During this endeavor I tried to fix OS installation restored from image using Windows installation drive, but no avail.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,099
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #10

    overwell said: View Post
    Many thanks to posters for their suggestions. I was able to use the directions provided to finally clone my main UEFI system to an old BIOS notebook.

    I went with Macrium Reflect route and made an image of my source OS partition via Macrium Rescue USB drive. Took me some time to figure out old notebook's BIOS specifics and how to boot it up via rescue drives. Also used a spare HDD fully cloned from old notebook's primary drive for my experiments.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to simply restore the image on BIOS laptop and then fix the installation via Macrium Reflect. The reason is that although Repair Wizard detected the OS from my UEFI notebook, it didn't find the the disk drive with the OS in one of the dialog boxes (only secondary HDD).

    I assumed this issue had something to do with missing or incompatible system partitions, so decided to perform clean W10 installation on to BIOS notebook, and then try again with the restore.

    Wiped MBR primary drive, installed W10 (it was kinda slow process, given no SSD and notebook's age) and restored OS partition from Macrium Reflect image once again. This time Repair Wizard detected the primary OS drive (probably because new system reserved partition appeared), and successfully found necessary drivers. After repair process was done, I've restarted laptop and finally booted up into OS from my image. The only notebook-specific drivers missing were RICOH flash card device and PCI memory device (I suspect it's Intel Turbo Memory, given that this notebook is around 2008 make and it has 512 MB drive not detectable by BIOS). Everything else was found and installed in the background after the first boot.

    So now my goal is archieved: I have a secondary old BIOS notebook (MBR) running OS and applications cloned from my main UEFI laptop (GPT). I will now consider Macrium Reflect as my new main backup solution instead of ATI (which has too many background processes to my taste). Looking at its features and rescue drive, it might be more useful to me.

    P.S. During this endeavor I tried to fix OS installation restored from image using Windows installation drive, but no avail.
    Hi there
    Using Macrium's Fix windows boot problems has worked for me in around 99% of cases --- imaging even from totally different hardware and from VM images. After the restore (only restore OS partition if restoring to MBR drive though) then simply boot the stand alone rescue media and then choose fix windows boot problems.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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