Ghost compatibility between computers that have different hardware
Last Updated September 09, 2013
You created an image of a computer that had an installation of Windows 95/98/Me or Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista. You want to know whether you can write that image to a computer that has different hardware.
In most cases, hardware compatibility between the source and destination computers is not a problem with a Ghost image. Normally, devices that cause these problems will be those that need drivers installed. These include video cards, sound cards, modems, network interfaces, or other similar devices. If they are different on the destination computer than they are on the source computer, most versions of Windows automatically detect this difference and make the appropriate changes.
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.
The ability to restore an image from one computer to a another computer that has different hardware is highly dependent on the operating system being cloned and the particular hardware involved. Symantec cannot determine in advance whether the particular hardware combination on your computer will be successful in restoring an image. If the imaging process is not successful, consult Ghost documentation for system requirements or consult the Ghost Knowledge Base for a description of the problem.
Exception for switching between SATA, IDE and SCSI drives When you clone an image of a Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista computer that has one type of drive to a computer that has a different type drive, the computer may have problems accessing the drive after cloning. That is, Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista are dependent upon drivers for the appropriate drive type, and switching drive types may cause you to lose access to the drive on the destination computer.
Restoring to many computers If you are planning to create an image and restore it on multiple computers with different hardware, it is best to do a little preparation before cloning. At the source computer, copy the installation files from the Windows 95, 98, or NT installation CD to the hard drive. Then, install the operating system from those files. After the system has been set up, 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.
If you installed Windows from the installation CD, rather than by copying the files to the drive before installation, you will need the Windows installation CD so Windows can access its library of drivers.
Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 GSS 2.5 includes Deploy Anywhere which will alleviate most issues with hardware differences. Please see the Ghost Implementation Guide for further information.
References For more information on writing images of Windows NT/2000/XP computers, see the following documents: