AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
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I just got my 2nd NUC delivered today. I wasn't expecting it until Friday so it was a pleasant surprise. I was trying to figure out the easiest way to install everything on the 2nd NUC as going through all of the Windows updates and software installation is a bit time consuming. The two NUCs are different models (the 1st is a DC3217IYE and the 2nd is a DC3217BY). The main difference is that the IYE has two HDMI ports and an ethernet jack whereas the BY has the Thunderbolt port, a single HDMI output, and no ethernet.
Looking at the drivers required for each model I discovered that they were both identical. With that in mind I started looking into various ways to clone the drive of the 1st NUC to the new drive for the 2nd unit. I didn't have any special adapters that could accommodate the mSATA drive so I had to get creative. The solution turned out to be quite simple. I looked at the Windows Backup and Restore feature in Windows 7 and discovered that I could create a complete image of the drive. I had never actually tried Windows Backup before so I wasn't aware it had that feature.
I had the power supply and SATA interface module from an external Seagate drive I bought a while back that I used in my unRAID server. It was just a matter of plugging the drive into one of the USB ports and pointing to it as the location for storing the backup image. I also had to create a repair disk using a portable DVD burner. All of these things required more USB ports than were available on the NUC so I used an external powered USB hub to connect the mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, and DVD burner, which required two ports by itself.
My original plan was to create the image and replace the mSATA drive in the IYE with the new drive and then restore the image. Since my 2nd NUC arrived I was able to restore the image to the 2nd NUC directly. I had no idea what the actual process was to restore the image so I did a basic install of Windows 7 onto the 2nd NUC, thinking it needed to see a Windows install before it could restore it. I also installed all of the drivers. When I ran the restore process, I found out that it wiped the drive and reformatted it from scratch prior to loading the image, so I could have used just the bare drive without going through the Windows install.
When the restore process completed after about 15 minutes, I installed the Thunderbolt ethernet drivers for the adapter I had purchased. I had already updated the BIOS right after installing Windows and prior to restoring the image. I had updated the BIOS on the IYE NUC during the original install process. As soon as my son finds the Lenovo 5902 keyboard/trackball remote he hid in his room I'll be able to complete the setup tomorrow evening.