How to Fix: BIOS to EFI Recovery Error

While it’s an older type of error (appearing around 2010), it’s still a fairly high chance that System Admins will encounter a BIOS to EFI recovery error (and vice versa).

Most common when performing a bare metal backup to dissimilar hardware if using the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows PE).
You may see an error related to BIOS and EFI similar to the following:

“Windows cannot restore a system image to a computer that has different firmware. The system image was created on a computer using EFI/BIOS and this computer is using BIOS/EFI.” 

A well known issue is the BIOS to EFI recovery error

Troubleshooting steps for BIOS to EFI Recovery error

Check the disk type of the source and destination drives

One of the most common fixes to this error is by checking the format the drives are in. BIOS requires the disks to use a master boot record (MBR), while EFI required a Global Partition Table (GPT).

To fix this; check that the source drive and the destination disks you’re recovering to both use either MBR or GPT.  You can convert the destination disks using DiskPart to the correct format.

Check the firmware configuration on the recovery target machine

BIOS and EFI are forms of boot firmware that share no compatibility. In most machines produced by major manufacturers (such as HP and Dell) since 2010, it’s possible for you to switch between the two and resolve the BIOS to EFI recovery errors.

If the backup is BIOS related, then you’ll need to enable legacy boot mode. If the backup is of an EFI machine then enable EFI boot mode to resolve the error.

You can change this through the boot menu. To access this press either Delete or F12 at the beginning of the boot cycle (depending on your machine).
If you’re unsure of how to enable the legacy boot or EFI boot options; it’s best to contact the manufacturer for guidance as each one has their own methods.

Why are the fixes made to the machine/disk being recovered to?

You’ll notice a theme that all the fixes proposed are to the machine/disks you’re recovering to. We’re assuming the backup is already finished by the time you’ve seen the BIOS to EFI recovery error. Changing the source machine/drives doesn’t change the backup and the error will continue to appear.

How do I know if my backup is BIOS or EFI?

Have TestMyBackups take a look over your backup report for free to verify any potential issues around BIOS to EFI recovery.
We can also test the recover-ability of your backups as well; removing any uncertainty.

By |2018-05-11T16:54:42+00:00January 11th, 2018|

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