I am not very experienced using such software. Could you direct me to an article explaining how to use it to implement the backup methods?
Again, it will depend on which software program you pick.
Here are some instructions for TrueImage:https://kb.acronis.com/content/56634
Here is how with Macrum Reflect v5:http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50081.aspx
Here is for older versions of Macrum Reflect (I believe):http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Cloning+a+disk
Here are instructions for Aomei Backupper:http://www.backup-utility.com/features/system-clone.html
Is it possible to restore the backup onto a different computer, overwriting its current contents?
Yes and no.
Technically, it can be done, but you will have some hurdles to deal with, which you may or may not be able to jump.
The first is drivers. If the new computer has different hardware, then the drivers from the old computer will be potential problems. At best, they will just fail to load and you can then remove them. At worst, they might cause crashes and/or "Blue Screens of Death". Typically, if you are going to migrate a setup from one computer to another, you first want to nuke all drivers from the old computer BEFORE you start the migration process. If it is a new computer to which you are restoring stuff from a backup of an old computer, then there is not good way to nuke the drivers. In that case, you best option is to setup the new computer how you want it (including installing applications from scratch) and then restore just the data from the backup, but not the OS or programs.
The second is activation of the Windows OS. Technically and per license agreements, the two type of license that you can "migrate" from one computer to another is a retail license of Windows (common for home use or small business use) or an enterprise site license (common only in large companies). If the license is an OEM license (whether what I call a "true" OEM license that comes with Dells, HPs, and other "manufactured" computers or a "system builder" OEM license that comes with a custom built computer either by someone else or yourself), then that license is technically and effectively legally tied to the old computer. From a technical aspect, at best you will have issues activating Windows on the new computer. At worst, the computer will not boot (Windows on some manufactured computers is effectively "hardwired" to that computer and will not boot on another computer).
The last can potentially be programs/applications. They will have their own potential activation issues. And if you cannot restore/migrate Windows and then want to try to restore the programs to a new computer that already has Windows installed, then many times this will not work. You typically have to reinstall programs/applications on a new computer that already has Windows installed.
Generally, when you get a new Windows computer, the easiest way to set it up is just install the programs/applications from scratch and then move just your data over to the new computer (either from the old computer if it is still working or from the backup). There is the Windows Easy Transfer function/utility that will at a minimum move data files and some preferences and maybe some applications.
Edited by smax013, 10 May 2017 - 03:22 PM.