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2012-01-11

A+: (re)Installation by Disk Image

Windows can be installed from a disk image of another installation created with a program such as Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost. This process is called disk cloning.
For disk cloning to work, the systems must be identical in every major feature, including
• Same motherboard
• Same ATA/IDE or SCSI host adapter
• Same BIOS configuration
At a Windows software level, the systems must use the same Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and the same Ntoskrnl.exe (NT kernel) file.

The hard disk of the target for a cloned installation must be at least as large as the original system, if not larger.

Do not use disk cloning to make illegal copies of Windows. You can use disk-cloning software legally to make a backup copy of your installation, but if you want to duplicate the installation on another PC, make sure you are cloning a system created with a multiple-computer license for Windows and make sure that you do not exceed the number of systems covered by that license, or make sure you have the correct license number (Product key) for each duplicate system. You can clone standalone computers or those connected to a workgroup (but not those that are members of a domain).

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