Creating a Ghost Image for Windows XP or the like

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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello, I have recently heard that idea that you can create a ghost image which is like a snapshot of your computer and everything you have installed, so that when you ever need to reinstall your computer you can just re-install the ghost image so that you can get up and running fast.

Can anybody point me in the direction on how to do this? Also how is this different from just doing a system restore to a date which is about the time when you re-installed your computer? is it different?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • UNFLUX
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Norton/Symantec makes the software, known as Norton Ghost.

official product link:
http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/ghost_personal/

Basically, "ghosting," (otherwise known as "imaging") is a snapshot of
your system partition (usually c: ) into 1 single file. When you want to run
a restore, you run a backend boot menu and restore from that file.

It's really easy and you can restore your pc in about 15 min usually. The
only catch is, you can only ever use that image on the hardware it was
created from, or obviously it won't work properly because of drivers, etc.

The technique has been used for years, but usually on a corporate level.
This is how large companies push out so many new pc's in a short time,
by "ghosting" them. If they have 100 pc's with exactly same hardware,
they load 1 from scratch and then ghost it, creating all the others from
that same image file. Since all the hardware is the same, it will work
99% of the time (I've seen some not work and have to be redone).

This concept is the same for a personal pc as well.

An example of what you can do with it to save you some time when a
restore is needed:

1. install windows
2. load all your apps and fav programs that you always use
3. then do the ghost image
4. whenever windows acts up from heavey usage or just basic probs,
re-image to get it back to the way it was a lot faster than a full re-install.

It's very slick and saves you so much time. It takes me approx 6hrs to
finalize a fresh install - 15 min with Ghost. :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok i get what you said but whats the difference between Ghosting, and a full system back up. also if it isnt a full system back up where does the missing data come from? alittle bit confused on that area.. how you can go from a blank hard drive to fully loaded computer from just a ghost image.. please elaborate..

thanks
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Post 3+ Months Ago

it's a snapshot - basically just a copy and paste of your c:. You are
formatting and then copying that image file to a clean hard drive, and
because it is all the same hardware, it will work.

As far as system restore, it serves the purpose of NOT doing a total
re-install from scratch. The image already represents the hard drive's
status you want it to be right after installing everything. You just don't
have to actually do it.

You can ghost your entire hd if you want, and save the image on a
partition for restore. Very easy and makes it convenient.

Make sense?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yes thanks it does.. i was think in terms of having enough space for a full system backup.. but an image is more or less the bare essentials for restoring your HD.. thanks...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah it is, but usually a system restore is for the OS only. A ghost saves
and backsup everything on that drive into 1 file. that file is not
necessarily the same size as the drive though. There's some
compression ran on it to save you that space.

I installed over 100 XP Pro images with about 16 apps loaded at this
company, and the image was less than 1g. :)

If you do it right, you can get it down to less than 1 cd-r. Then you
aren't using any hd space. :wink:
  • UNFLUX
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I picked up a copy of Norton Ghost 2003 today, and I'm so glad. It's
even easier to use than before, and the utiilities for compression are
really improved.

I images my current configuration in 19min, dumping 8gigs into a 4.6gig
ghost file out on my network. that's pretty darn good.

I don't plan to reinstall windows ever again from scratch after this next
time. I'm stoked about this, since i can actually use it at home and not
only in the office. :D :D :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nice, I am giong to have to check it out one of these days :)

I hate reinstalling.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very well put UNFLUX.

we use Ghost at work just like you subscribed it.

only we use boot disk to map to the network and pull the file ...

very handy and rapidly sets up any pc in minutes.

we have several images as well in order to accomidate
the securities and applications. for instance depending
on job function for the new user machines, we deploy
images based on setting requirements.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

just got it downloaded i cant wait to try it out.. this may be the answer to my backup needs...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I use Norton Ghost myself. That's the only backup program that i have.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Gadget Guru wrote:
just got it downloaded i cant wait to try it out.. this may be the answer to my backup needs...

let us know how it goes. :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

what if you want to burn the image and its to big for one cd does norton ghost allow you to make multiple files out of one hd image
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Post 3+ Months Ago

great question -

you actually will send the image to the cd burner right within the
program's interface. When it gets to the end of disk 1, it will ask you to
put a new one in and continue. When restoring from the image, it will
also ask you for the next disk when it gets to the end of the first.

The image I use at work is actually 5 cd-r's because of all the software
the company uses. Works very well.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ghost is a good program to have, used it a few times. But I used a fresh Install of windows and add the cab files to a directory on C: (C:\win98 for windows 98) Then I ghosted an image and made it a bootable CD rom. Now I can build a complete system with OS and a few small programs, usually in under an hour. After the image is loaded on the hard drive once the computer starts up for the first time it finds all the hardware for the new system. This probably isn't the most correct thing to do, but hey it saves me any were from 2 to 6 hours on waiting for software to load. :D
  • slutsac
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Post 3+ Months Ago

quick question,

I want to make an image but I dont have the full enterprise version of ghost. I only have, I assume a desktop copy. I would like to make the image with out ghost being installed on the machine I am ghosting. How can I do this ?

so I want to make an image on a desktop with out installing ghost on the machine I want to image.

Thanks
  • slutsac
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if I want to ghost a machine but not have the ghost app on the image can I use a floppy? anyone know how I would do this. I heard it could be done but not sure?

Thanks

are they just the ghost boot disks?

Thanks :shock: :roll:
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Instal ghost on another machine, take the hard drive out of the box you wanna ghost, and put it in that other machine - I recently ran into a similar problem.

I had to backup 3 PCs in an office network. They didn't want to have to go out & buy 3 copies of Norton Ghost. I already had it on my PC, so I just put the three hard drives inside my own machine one at a time to ghost them to CDs.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Btw, if you go to LAN parties, Norton Ghost is an ESSENTIAL piece of kit.

Before you go, ghost your entire system (sure, it may take a few CDs, but a pack of 50 CDs costs less than the entry fee to most lan parties these days), then it doesn't matter what happens to your system (viruses/trojans/general system screw-ups/etc.)

Once you get home and burn the stuff you actually want to keep, just restore from your ghosts, and your PC acts like it was never there.

I keep three Ghost sets of my PC.

1, CD-R - The basic OS with all the drivers setup, hardware all running sweet, latest version of DirectX, video Codecs & software that I use (Photoshop, Office, etc.) - or at least, the latest version that is out at the time I setup the PC.

2, CD-R - Similar to Set #1, but without the apps, and just the games. When I go to a LAN party, or just hook up with a buddy for some network play, I restore from this set and all my games are installed.

3, CD-RW - This is my current system image. Every coupla weeks or so, I backup the entire system onto CD-RWs, to make sure I've got as fresh an image as realistically possible in case of crash. Pretty much anything else non-replacable that's created within a given 2-week period (graphics, E-Mail, websites, code, etc.) is saved or backed up on a remote box (either over LAN or Internet).
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Post 3+ Months Ago

when i brought my pc it come with windows 98 ghost it only takes 5 mins to reinstall everything
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Post 3+ Months Ago

how to make a ghost backup cd?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

on xp?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

1) Install Norton Ghost
2) Run Norton Ghost
3) Follow the simple on-screen instructions

:)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,
just saw this subject and thought I might just pop my question in here since somebody might know :)
I have a server running with a 200gb HDs and now one died and I got a new one from Maxtor... the problem is it is a 250gb one and I wanted to use ghost to transfer my data BUT it doesn't work..the license or activation prevents the transfered partition to start...is there anything I can do about that or does anyone of you know of a workaround ?
Thanks

Nana
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Anyone need any more help with Ghosting/Imaging using Symantec/Norton Ghost?


I have quite a background in it (hence the reason why I just joined the forum). Let me know if y'all have any questions.


I also noticed that most of the replies in this thread don't mention anything dealing with Sysprep (for 2k or XP). It's essential to use it when imaging your computer.... Well, imaging many computers. You can also use it to make an image capapble of being put on different machines w/ different hardware.

Just fyi. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Symantec Ghost is a excellent one and Powerquest makes one called Powerquest Drive Image basically does the same as ghost. Even being able to backup to a network drive. This is just another suggestion for a image resource.
  • rgerman
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I recently backed up a windows xp pro laptop fully loaded to 13 disks to Norton ghost 2003. Then the system crashed and I tried to use the restore cds from cd bootup and it got to disk6 and couldnt continue. i did not copy the error. i tried cleaning the disk and the same thing happened on a second try. I then reinstalled windows but i do not have a copy of Norton ghost 2003 to reinstall. Any suggestions on how to get my system back to original? i hope I have given enough information. I will monitor for any questions.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hey sunburnt yeti,
i've had probs with ghost. when i try to make a backup image of xp on another hard drive my system freezes after ghost reboots. any ideas?
this used to work on my old celeron with a partitioned 40gb hd.
i am currently running a p4, 1024ddr, 2x120gb hd + 1x40gb which contains xp. all three hds are partitioned.
thanks in anticipation.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

coppins wrote:
i've had probs with ghost. when i try to make a backup image of xp on another hard drive my system freezes after ghost reboots. any ideas?
this used to work on my old celeron with a partitioned 40gb hd.
i am currently running a p4, 1024ddr, 2x120gb hd + 1x40gb which contains xp. all three hds are partitioned.


Easiest way to make backups is backing out of XP and running Ghost through DOS. A lot of the newer versions of Ghost and other imaging utilities say they can run while in windows XP, but I don't put a lot of faith on them.

One of the big problems about running through DOS is that it can normally only see FAT32 partitions only (not NTFS). However, I do believe that a bootdisk from Windows ME will allow you to see a NTFS partiion.

If you're migrating your image from your old celeron to your new system (your P4) you might run into issues if you don't use sysprep to get your image ready for migration.


What exact problems are you having with Ghost?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SecureITGroup wrote:
Symantec Ghost is a excellent one and Powerquest makes one called Powerquest Drive Image basically does the same as ghost. Even being able to backup to a network drive. This is just another suggestion for a image resource.


Ghost also has the ability to backup an image to a network drive... all you have to do is run off a network boot disk. You can get a good one from Bart's BootDisks which will autodetect your NIC and can do some mapping automatically (though I had to go through and edit the autoexec.net [you'll understand if you use this option] to properly attach to my server here at work).
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