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Norton Ghost 2003 - the last original version of Ghost

News Main page for Ghost Recommended Links Recommended Papers Ghost 2003 menu options References FAQs Using in spyware Removal
Windows Filesystems Recovery Filesystems Internals Disk Partitioning Working with disk images Discounted Norton Ghost Using dual boot for recovery History Etc
For the discussion of the program and its capabilities see the article:  Nikolai Bezroukov A Slightly Skeptical View on Norton Ghost.

Norton Ghost 2003 is last representative of the original like of Ghost. althouth still a DOS program it has Windows shell that can launch it directly from Windows, reboot PC to DOS using a virutal partition with DOS execute backup and return to Windows.

Using DOS has its limitations but it also introduces important advantages. First of all the image both creation and restoration of the image is performed without interference of some possibly parasitic programs like spyware and viruses.  That makes Ghost 2003 especially attractive for fighting those beasts.

Norton 2003 speed in copying partitions disk to disk is very impressive, speed of copying igmage to DVD often sucks.

Since image-based backup only copies raw data, backups made using this method do not contain a direct catalog of files that can be used for the restoration of a single file. Amazing feature of Ghost 2003 is that it transcend this limitation: it permits to mount a partition image as a logical drive and can recover a single file from within the image-based backup.

You do not need to restore the image on the same drive: during restore Norton Ghost automatically adjust the restore process for disk parameters of the target disk, so within some reasonable range you can use a different disk for a target than you used for the backup. This feature is very convenient for disk upgrades. For example if you changed 20G drive to 40G drive on your laptop GHOST proportionally increases each partition so that they fill entire 40G. In this case you usually do not have any problems with installed applications. Differences covered by Ghost and similar programs include a difference in the size, number of heads, number of tracks per cylinder, or even the numbers or size of the sectors in a given track.

In case you need to create a backup on CD/DVD the right way is to use Norton Ghost not some semi-debugged programs like Nero backup: with the latter you risk not being able to restore the data (unless you perform testing beforehand).

Ghost is much better then many similar (often half-baked) commercial partition backup programs like partition backup option in Nero Backup. In the latter case you might be deeply disappointed if you have disks other then IDE when you need to restore the partition. I was ;-)

The speed of Norton Ghost 2003 in disk to disk operation is really amazing: approx 10 min to backup a partition with ~4G of data (many small html files) with the image size slightly over 2G and just 3-4 min to restore this partition. For typical windows XP C drive (say 10G of data) Ghost 2003 takes approximately 25 min and produces image approximately 7G in size. For comparison to create a RAR archive for the 4G partition takes over an hour on the same computer.  I still feel more comfortable with Ghost 2003 more then with Ghost 2004 (Ghost 9). IMHO Ghost 2003 has value of its own due to its DOS roots.  For example if your computer is infected with spyware it should be restored using DOS boot.

You can burn the image directly to DVD ( Norton 8(2003) supports many drives out of the box, but the speed is very slow. Generally it's not a recommended mode of using Ghost, at least for me. With Norton Ghost 2993 you can only use CD ROM and DVD drives recognized by Ghost. IMho it's much quester and safer to create frist an image on disk and then burn it ti CD or DVD.

You should have enough extra drive space to store the image on the hard drive (IMHO with current desktop hard drives it's typical to have half drive empty; with laptop USB drive can be used.)

If you need to burn the image of a large harddrive on multiple CDs, the best way to do it is to create it on hard drive (using the ‘-split=700’ command, a large drive can be saved into multiple 700 MB images) and then burning those to CD using XP native capabilities or any commercial burner like Nero. 

Norton Ghost 2003 (Ghost 8) and earlier is unable to create image in Windows mode and needs to reboots to DOS. That might create several problems for which Norton Ghost 9 and 10  can be a better solutions:

Recently Norton Ghost emerged as a powerful anti-spyware tool. See Fighting Spyware Paranoia. This is especially important for computers from vendors that does not supply "factory install image" on a special partition of the harddrive (HP and IBM PCs have such partitions and a special software to restore them).

Note: Older versions of Norton Ghost (2003 and earlier) cost almost nothing and are still quite capable for users with regular desktops (less so for laptops). With the current double layer  DVD technology there is a possibility to write an image of C drive on one double layer DVD.  

It makes a perfect backup solution: you can create a compressed image of the disk partition and then burn to DVD each week.  In most cases "clean" image of the boot drive (usually around 10-12G for a typical Windows XP installation) can be compressed by Ghost into the image that is 7-9G.  Absence of a set of  "recovery" Ghost images can be considered as one of the most dangerous mistakes any PC user can make and can cost many hours of troubleshooting even if you know windows reasonably well. 

If you have a really large set of installed programs and as a result your C drive compresses into more then one double layer DVD you can try to shrink the size of your OS partition before that. Sometimes 20-30% by removing trash, unnecessary programs, temporary Internet Explorer files and old cookies.  Actually non-essential programs can be installed on the second partition instead of typical C:\Program Files location that is used a s a default by most programs.

Norton Ghost can be used for resizing partitions as it always restores the image using the size of target partition. For example I used it once to extend the size of C : partition on my laptop. The laptop has a 30G drive that was split  into three partitions:

  1. C: 12G(NTFS)
  2. D: 7G (FAT32)
  3. E: 9G (FAT32).

I did not have a version of Partition Magic 8.0 that can do this trick and Partition Magic 6.0 did not have the capability to extent the NTFS partition. so I  proceed using Ghost in the following way (please note that partition moving operations are pretty dangerous staff ):

  1. Backup all the drive (partitions C, D, and E) on USB drive using Norton Ghost (this will be the rescue images in case I mess something)
  2. Delete content of partition E: by quick reformat
  3. Create image of partition C on partition E: using Norton Ghost.
  4. Delete partition D using Windows  XP disk manager
  5. Delete partition C and recreate it to the larger size 12+7=~19G  using Windows install disk
  6. Restore the image of C partition from E: drive to newly created partition using Norton Ghost 2003 booted from floppy. 

The whole operation took more then three hours and I probably would save some time by driving to the store and buying  Partition Magic 8.0 and using it, but still it shows that the same goal can be achieved with just Norton Ghost. 


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

NewsForge An open source ghost story

This story began as a review of g4l, a Norton Ghost-type utility for Linux. But that's not how it ended up. Instead it's a story of two open source ghosts: g4u and g4l. As ghost stories go, this one is more sad than scary: the tale of a bastard son refusing to recognize his lineage, and of the resulting bad feelings on both sides of the dispute. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

Hubert Feyrer wrote g4u about six years ago. It's a NetBSD-based boot diskette similar in functionality to the popular Norton Ghost. G4u's name is shorthand for "Ghost for Unix."

Although Feyrer no longer has time to maintain the project -- he is now working on his Ph.D. dissertation -- it is still available for download on his Web site. I downloaded the CD ISO version and gave it try. It works just fine. I cloned a local partition on the same drive, after spending just a little time matching up the partitions as I knew them in Linux (hda1, hda2, hda3) with the names they are known by in BSD.

You can also clone entire drives, or backup to and restore from an FTP server. All in all, g4u is a very useful tool. Better yet, while it boots NetBSD, it can be used on drives and partitions containing all sorts of operating systems, from Windows, to OS/2, to Linux, to what-have-you.

The user interface is legacy command-line -- no pretty GUI, not even DOS- style colored menus. It's lean and mean, and it works. Feyrer licensed his gift to the world of free software using the BSD license, which requires nothing more than attribution of his work.

Years pass, g4l arrives

Early last year, Ghost for Linux appeared on freshmeat. The earliest versions of g4l bore a striking resemblance to g4u, but there was no attribution given Hubert Feyrer or g4u in the GPL-licensed Linux version.

The resemblance between the two projects was so striking that g4u's creator Hubert Feyrer felt compelled to perform a detailed analysis to demonstrate that g4l was based on g4u.

That analysis was apparently more than g4l's creator -- known only as nme -- could bear. He walked away from the project in a huff, saying of Feyrer that "He now wants to force me by law, to add his license and credits to the code I wrote. This is not acceptable for me, so I quit work on g4l. Because of certain people, programming isn't much fun anymore."

And quit he did, but the project did not die. This is an open source project, after all. A new maintainer named Frank Stephen stepped forward and took over.

It would have been a perfect time to heal the rift between g4u and g4l, but that was not to be. The new maintainer insisted -- against all the evidence -- that in his opinion, the original project had not been based on g4u. Besides, Stephen points out that (in his opinion) the project is so much different now than it was in the beginning that the whole issue is "old news."

Well-known Linux/free software advocate Rick Moen stepped up and wondered if Frank Stephen might just be nme behind a different name. Whether that is true or not, the two do share a certain aversion to giving Feyrer and g4u their due. Moen commented on the freshmeat project page:

I have no horse in this race, other than caring about the reputation for integrity of the Linux community, and it's extremely obvious to me that, your assertion notwithstanding, v0.12 blatantly copied Hubert Feyrer's work, illegally and dishonestly stripping his author credit. (Contrary to the assertions of some, fixing that wouldn't quite suffice, since G4L's GPL terms clash with Hubert's old-BSD licensing's advertising clause. G4L would have to include a license exception, to fix that additional glitch. Additionally, G4L would have to clarify that Hubert's terms, not GPL, apply to Hubert's work incorporated in G4L.)

An effort to heal the rift

Just when it looked as if there might not be a reasonable man within earshot of the g4l project, one stepped up. Michael Setzer II had made some modifications to g4l that he and other users needed. Since the project had an open upload policy at the time, he was able to make his version available to others. Both of the original authors, nme and Frank Stephen, eventually contacted Setzer, and gave him alone the ability to upload new releases to the project.

Probably the most important change Setzer has made was to finally give Hubert Feyrer and g4u some long overdue props. The opening screen for the current version of g4l now states:

Disclaimer concerning Copyright: Prior version(s) of g4l appear to have been based on G4U (Ghost for Unix) a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM by Hubert Feyrer (hubert@feyrer.de) Copyright (C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,2004


G4U: http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/ http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/g4l.html

The disclaimer continues with a history of the project, including its maintainers and releases since the beginning. You have to give Setzer credit -- he even included a link to Feyrer's code analysis page.

But although it is a big step forward, it's not what Feyrer would like to see. What he wants to see is for both licenses to be lived up to.

In response to an email query about the disclaimer he added to g4l, Setzer told me:

I was trying to come up with a compromise. At the time, I had no contact with either of the g4l authors, and I did get a nice response from the G4U author, but his reply basically said that he wanted the original stuff put in, and still had never even looked at the later code. Not being able to get resolution to the situation, I added the disclaimer, and basically leave it up to the users to decide. If they think there is an issue, don't use g4l. But I don't know enough on the issue to make a complete judgment.

Tainted code

Given the resolute refusal of g4l's original authors to credit 4gu as their starting point, that's probably as good as it's going to get. Setzer cannot speak for either of them, so he can't do as Feyrer wants. Feyrer, on the other hand, doesn't have the time to go through the latest version of g4l code to see what's left that was copied from his work.

In the end I'm left with the feeling that something has been stolen -- something intangible. One of the greatest benefits that comes to the authors of free software is the feeling that they have done something worthwhile for the benefit of all, and the ego gratification of seeing others extend the work. To see your work taken by others and then claimed as their own steals both the joy and the gratification.

As Isaac Newton is reputed to have said some 430 years ago, and open source people are fond of repeating because it so aptly describes the process, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" -- a noble sentiment that, at least until Setzer appeared, was not a part of this tale. Its absence has left an indelible mark of shame on the project.

Links

  1. "g4u" - http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/
  2. "Norton Ghost" - http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/ghost_personal/
  3. "Ghost for Linux" - http://freshmeat.net/projects/g4l/
  4. "detailed analysis" - http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/g4l.html

Norton Ghost 9.0 review by PC Magazine

Norton Ghost 9.0 is based in large part on PowerQuest's Drive Image, which Symantec acquired in late 2003. Norton Ghost shines at full-system recovery, and with its new incremental image feature, it becomes viable for single-file and folder restores as well.

Ghost can create backup images of your entire hard drive to local storage, network drives, and optical discs (including DVDs), so you'll be certain that every bit of information is copied without fail. Norton handled media spanning flawlessly; Acronis does not support DVD writing.

The new incremental feature lets you create a baseline image, and then smaller incremental images moving forward, typically multiple times per day. Full images can take a long time to complete and can slow down your foreground operations (if you're invoking a backup before installing something new, for instance). We measured a 30 percent CPU drain during the full imaging, but incremental are fast. If you need to restore a file or folder from a full or incremental image, the Symantec Backup Image Browser lets you view and extract individual files and folders from your images.

We found it a bit inconvenient to have to choose the image to restore from first. We would prefer to choose the file first, and then be presented with a list of restore points. Also, the interface would be more helpful if it presented links to common file storage areas like the My Documents folder and the desktop.

Norton Ghost 9.0 is easy enough for anyone to use and provides an outstanding level of protection for your system. Those considering Norton Ghost might find Symantec's Norton SystemWorks 2005 Premier ($99.95 list), which includes Ghost, GoBack, and other useful utilities, a good value

[July 21, 2005] Discounted Norton Ghost half-year update :-)

[Dec 4, 2004] Amazon.com Software Norton SystemWorks 2005 [AntiVirus, Utilities, GoBack, Check IT] Free from Amazon $60-$60 rebate =$0. Limited time offer.

Includes: Norton AntiVirus, Norton Utilities, and Norton GoBack! Also provides CheckIt Diagnostics, System Optimizer, and additional problem-solving tools.

PCWorld.com - Acronis Revs True Image In my informal tests, Ghost 9 imaged a 3.2GB partition in 1 minute, 25 seconds, generating a 1.4GB image file. My shipping copy of True Image 8 completed an image of the same file in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, but it produced a smaller, 1.2GB file. (True Image 7 took 5 minutes, 34 seconds, making a 2.5GB file.)

The new Acronis True Image 8 feels more like a maintenance release than a major upgrade over version 7. It does, however, boost the backup application's performance to levels comparable to those of Symantec's recently launched (and quite speedy) Norton Ghost 9.

Both programs create sector-by-sector snapshots of your hard drive for easy recovery after a system crash; but in tests conducted for our recent review of Ghost 9, it performed dramatically faster than True Image 7 did, producing smaller images. Like Ghost 9, True Image 8 skips the re-creatable swap and hibernation files, yielding similar speeds and even smaller image sizes.

In my informal tests, Ghost 9 imaged a 3.2GB partition in 1 minute, 25 seconds, generating a 1.4GB image file. My shipping copy of True Image 8 completed an image of the same file in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, but it produced a smaller, 1.2GB file. (True Image 7 took 5 minutes, 34 seconds, making a 2.5GB file.)

Though Ghost 9 is speedier at creating images, True Image 8 is much faster at booting from the recovery disc. In my tests, Ghost 9 took a whopping 2 minutes, 25 seconds to launch, while True Image 8 took only around 15 seconds.

New tweaks in True Image 8 enable you to verify images before restoring them; and like version 7, version 8 can create incremental backups.

True Image 8 enjoys some clear advantages over Ghost 9. It works with any version of Windows (Ghost 9 works only with XP and 2000), it doesn't depend on Microsoft's .Net framework the way its competitor does, and its full version is $20 less expensive.

The worst drawback of True Image 8: Owners of previous versions have to pay $30 for this decidedly minor upgrade.

That said, if you're looking for a solid-performing, reasonably priced drive-imaging application, Acronis's latest True Image is a good choice.

[Dec 3, 2004] The FreeBSD Diary -- Disk cloning with Acronis True Image

I was chatting to people on IRC about my hardware failure. I mentioned I planned to ghost the disk ("ghost" being a synonym for clone, derived, I expect from Norton Ghost, a well respected disk cloning application).

Cloning an XP disk is not as simple as it sounds. During my googling, I found a few references to id generation. That is, XP keeps an ID somewhere on the drive and this ID has to be reset when cloning the disk. The references indicated that commercial products such as Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image can reset this ID appropriately. A straight dd won't do that.

My experience supports that idea, but I have no proof. I may be encountering some other problem. I found that Acronis True Image did what I wanted. Using dd failed. Mind you, I'm now unable to boot from the original system drive. I don't know why. Perhaps it has been corrupted during the process. I suspect that is why I didn't get dd to work. Read on!

Disk Cloning with Acronis True Image

I expected that installing RAID under XP would be the most challenging. It was actually straight forward. I installed a 3Ware card, hooked up the drives, and pressed ALT-3 when presented with that option during the booting process. I configured the disks for RAID-1 (mirror).

The difficult part was to clone the existing XP boot drive into the RAID array. A hardware RAID array looks exactly like a single drive to the operating system. That should simplify things.

The cloning software I chose was recommended by someone in the Bacula IRC channel. They mentioned Acronis True Image 8.0 by Acronis. This product has a free trial version which lasts for 15 days. I tried it. It worked. I cannot tell the difference between the original drive and the RAID array. Acronis True Image has a nice little Wizard which guides you through the cloning process. I will not go into detail.

... ... ...

I have great words to say about Acronis True Image 8.0. I looked at using Norton Ghost. Actually, I bought Norton Ghost, but will be returning it unopened. The advantage I see in using Acronis True Image is price and download. Acronis True Image costs less than Norton Ghost and you can download it.

[Dec 2, 2004] Ghost Image How to Create a Ghost Image

See How to Create a Ghost Boot Disk if needed.

Complete the following steps on the Ghost server (ghostsvr01.cns.ufl.edu). Login with your Gatorlink username and password.

  1. Run GhostSrv.exe C:\Program Files\Symantec\Ghost\GhostSrv.exe
  2. Enter a session name
  3. Select "Create Image"
  4. Enter a descriptive Image File name. The format is modelName-OS-validInfo

    Example: For a Dell GX260 running Windows 2000 with the Novell client installed an appropriate name would be GX260-win2k-client.gho

  5. Click on "Accept Clients"

Complete the remaining steps on the workstation from which you are creating the image.

  1. Use the Ghost Boot disk to boot up the computer.
  2. When the program starts, select GhostCast and then Unicast from the menu.
  3. Enter the session name you chose when starting GhostSrv.exe
  4. Specifiy the ip address as the ip address of the machine running GhostSrv.exe
  5. Hit OK.
  6. Select "High Compression" and "Proceed with Disk Image"
  7. When completed, remove the floppy and reset the computer.

[Dec 2, 2004] Corrupt Ghost Images Norton Symantec Data Recovery Drive Image SWStars

Southwest Stars {www.swstars.com} is the key to unlocking the door into the other side of your PC. You can only go so far. Let our data recovery experts help you reload Norton Ghost images.

Corrupt Norton Ghost images, found under many circumstances, are usually influenced by one of the following three factors:

Here at Southwest Stars, our specialty is data recovery from any type of operating system, platform, or media. Our data recovery experts handle virtually any request, including retrieving information from corrupt Norton Ghost files, hard drive crashes, corrupt drive images, corrupt ghost drive images, damaged media, virus attacks, recovery file, disk recovery, recover deleted file, hard drive data recovery, hard drive crash, exchange server recovery, and flash cards.

[Nov 15, 2004] Norton Ghost 9.0 Personal Symantec Recovery Disk lets you restore data from a backup image even when the computer can’t start up into Windows.

[Nov 15, 2004] Symantec - Norton Ghost 2003 tutorial

Norton Ghost 2003 Product Review

Earlier this year in their January issue, PC World published a short but decidedly negative review of Norton Ghost 2003. Sadly, after testing this newest version of Symantec's renowned backup / disk imaging program, I have to concur.

Norton Ghost 2003 promises a lot, but for me and many others, it failed to deliver anything but trouble. Those are difficult words for me to utter, as I am a long-time fan of Symantec products and a successful user of Norton Ghost 2002, which I recommend in my latest book, PC Fear Factor.

First, the positive news about NG 2003. This latest version of Ghost has many great new features, including a Windows based user interface for launching backups (to replace the DOS user interface), support for more internal CD writers, support for some USB and firewire CD writers, and support for some DVD writers. The user can now set a password on his hard disk backup without having to run Ghost using a command line switch, a task that would vex most mortal PC users. In addition, the product comes with some truly outstanding interactive tutorials that help compensate for the (still) Einsteinian product documentation.

Amazon.co.uk Customer Reviews Software Norton Ghost 2003

Reviewer: A software user from not Moscow, Russia

If like me you are somewhat perplexed by the erratic reviews that this and other ‘disk imaging’ utilities receive, both here and on amazon.com (always a useful source of opinion…), then hopefully this one may help.

I’d used Ghost 2002 extensively and agree that it was far from user friendly, especially for the novice. I was forced to upgrade because it supports XP’s NTFS.

Although I’m an experienced PC user, I probably only utilize ~10% of the product’s capabilities, i.e. I simply want a complete backup image of my main hard drive for fast recovery purposes. Whilst the product claims to backup directly to CD/DVD, my experience with this method has been problematic and is probably related to the painfully slow burning process rather than Ghost itself, but do first check your drive for compatibility against Norton’s database. Instead, I back up by first creating images on another hard drive (or partition, space permitting) and then burning those to CD using XP or Nero. [Tip: using the ‘-split=700’ command, a large drive can be saved into multiple 700 MB images for later burning if required].

The 2003 upgrade is a definite improvement on its predecessor with a much friendlier user interface and backup/restore capability from within Windows. Whilst my backup method may not be acceptable to everyone, it works reliably and that’ll do me.

Norton Ghost 2003 user reviews - Norton Ghost 2003 user opinions - Backup and recovery - CNET Reviews

It is better than those recovery cds that come with your computer"

Sam on 25-Sep-2004 08:50:44 PM

Pros: This is an excellent product. I obtained a Ghost software cd with an external USB hard drive that I had bought and I'm glad that it came with it. Using those recovery cds that came with my computer took about an hour to install, whereas; Ghost fully restores my system in as a little under than 10 minutes. That is using USB 2.0. Another good thing about Ghost is that it restores all your documents, settings, and tweaks. You'll have your computer back to what it was before some disaster.

Cons: Doesn't work with a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card.

RAID killer" Mark McGinty on 22-Sep-2004 08:20:47 AM

Pros: The damage is does is repairable, if you know what you're doing. (It really ought to display a big banner when you install that says "NO RAID". I usually don't read the help until I have a problem, but for this that's way too late.)

Cons: Irresponsibly alters the MBR and boot record, without making sure it can put them back. I didn't find out that RAID was unsupported until *after* it rendered my machine unbootable. Nice! But, as opposed to all of the other accounts I've read, I merely booted the recovery console (no ASR disk), ran FIXBOOT to make the ghost partition NT bootable, copied NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.INI, and then booted XP from ghost's twisted little partition. Then I used PartitionEdit to remove the BS partition and flag the original one active. Yes I was down for a few hours, yes it was frightening, but thanks to my investments into a laptop, USB floppy, and substantial skill set, it was not a catastrophe, I didn't lose a single file. Still it was an ugly incident, why couldn't it offer the option of a test, to make sure it can write to the drive under DOS, before it alters it in Windows? The boot loader will support booting DOS, why not use it, so worst case the user can still boot his/her O/S? It seems so simple!

T on 01-Sep-2004 11:41:03 AM

Pros: Does what it's suppose to. Image a drive. Great User Guide that covers everthing. Didn't run into any problems like those other people who complain about it. Just read the guide.

Cons: The DOS interface is a little hard to use but if you take the time to look at the user guide, you'll understand it. The GDisk feature is rather weak in my opinion and clunky to use with the DOS command.

 

Recommended Links

Softpanorama hot topic of the month

Softpanorama Recommended

See also Norton Ghost: Recommended Papers

Ghost (software) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Symantec Support - Norton Ghost 9.0

Symantec Ghost Tutorials

**** Radified Guide to Norton Ghost by Symantec A Tutorial on How to Create and Restore Ghost Images

New version: 02.august.2004 - Symantec announces the release of Ghost v9.0. Ghost 9 is controversial, because it's not really Ghost. It's actually Drive Image, a similar imaging/cloning product originally developed by PowerQuest, a company Symantec purchased on 05.dec.2003.

The reason Ghost 9 (Drive Image in disguise) is controversial is because it supports a feature Symantec calls 'Hot Imaging', which allows you to to create images of/from a 'LIVE' operating system, while files are able to change. Hot imaging might sound attractive to the casual user, but it comes with hidden risks that concern many veterans of the program.

NOTE: To keep this introduction uncluttered, the remainder of this discussion on Norton Ghost v9.0 continues on its own page:> Norton Ghost v9.0 + hot imaging. I recommend you take a look. At the bottom of that page is a link that will bring you back here.

If you have no idea what an imaging/cloning program does or how it works, you should first read the Program Introduction. Then come back here & read the ditty on Ghost 9 & Hot-imaging.

Soulmaniacs - Ghost Tutorial

Bitbender Forums - Making an image of your hard disk using Norton Ghost

[PDF] How to clone a Windows NT Gates PC using Norton Ghost 2002

Utopia Tech - A Guide To Ghosting

Symantec Ghost Parition-Image Backup Basics and Ghost Backup Introduction-Linwei Technology

Norton Ghost 2001

References

Symantec documentation

Discounted Norton Ghost
(July 2005 update)

 [July 21, 2005] Discounted Norton Ghost half-year update :-)

Ghost 2003 menu choices


Ghost Advanced

New features in Norton Ghost 2003:

 

Alternatives

Acronis True Image 9.0 Downloadable Software - Retail at Newegg.com $30 for download. Main advantage, you can use your PC during the image creation.

Backup only the necessary server disk sector contents
User-defined compression levels
Multivolume archives
Password protection
Reduce your disk backup time and storage by excluding paging and hibernate files from the disk backup image
Manage a PC performance by changing the disk imaging process priority
Supports hard disks of all sizes
Create full images (everything on your PC), incremental images (changes since last backup), and differential images (changes since last full backup)
Use your PC during image creation with our no reboot feature
Verify disk backup image before a restore
Change partition type, file system, size, and disk location during restore*
Check the file system after a restore
Acronis Secure Zone
Acronis Startup Recovery Manager

PCWorld.com - Acronis Revs True Image In my informal tests, Ghost 9 imaged a 3.2GB partition in 1 minute, 25 seconds, generating a 1.4GB image file. My shipping copy of True Image 8 completed an image of the same file in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, but it produced a smaller, 1.2GB file. (True Image 7 took 5 minutes, 34 seconds, making a 2.5GB file.)

The new Acronis True Image 8 feels more like a maintenance release than a major upgrade over version 7. It does, however, boost the backup application's performance to levels comparable to those of Symantec's recently launched (and quite speedy) Norton Ghost 9.

Both programs create sector-by-sector snapshots of your hard drive for easy recovery after a system crash; but in tests conducted for our recent review of Ghost 9, it performed dramatically faster than True Image 7 did, producing smaller images. Like Ghost 9, True Image 8 skips the re-creatable swap and hibernation files, yielding similar speeds and even smaller image sizes.

In my informal tests, Ghost 9 imaged a 3.2GB partition in 1 minute, 25 seconds, generating a 1.4GB image file. My shipping copy of True Image 8 completed an image of the same file in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, but it produced a smaller, 1.2GB file. (True Image 7 took 5 minutes, 34 seconds, making a 2.5GB file.)

Though Ghost 9 is speedier at creating images, True Image 8 is much faster at booting from the recovery disc. In my tests, Ghost 9 took a whopping 2 minutes, 25 seconds to launch, while True Image 8 took only around 15 seconds.

New tweaks in True Image 8 enable you to verify images before restoring them; and like version 7, version 8 can create incremental backups.

True Image 8 enjoys some clear advantages over Ghost 9. It works with any version of Windows (Ghost 9 works only with XP and 2000), it doesn't depend on Microsoft's .Net framework the way its competitor does, and its full version is $20 less expensive.

[Dec 3, 2004] The FreeBSD Diary -- Disk cloning with Acronis True Image

I was chatting to people on IRC about my hardware failure. I mentioned I planned to ghost the disk ("ghost" being a synonym for clone, derived, I expect from Norton Ghost, a well respected disk cloning application).

Cloning an XP disk is not as simple as it sounds. During my googling, I found a few references to id generation. That is, XP keeps an ID somewhere on the drive and this ID has to be reset when cloning the disk. The references indicated that commercial products such as Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image can reset this ID appropriately. A straight dd won't do that.

My experience supports that idea, but I have no proof. I may be encountering some other problem. I found that Acronis True Image did what I wanted. Using dd failed. Mind you, I'm now unable to boot from the original system drive. I don't know why. Perhaps it has been corrupted during the process. I suspect that is why I didn't get dd to work. Read on!

Disk Cloning with Acronis True Image

I expected that installing RAID under XP would be the most challenging. It was actually straight forward. I installed a 3Ware card, hooked up the drives, and pressed ALT-3 when presented with that option during the booting process. I configured the disks for RAID-1 (mirror).

The difficult part was to clone the existing XP boot drive into the RAID array. A hardware RAID array looks exactly like a single drive to the operating system. That should simplify things.

The cloning software I chose was recommended by someone in the Bacula IRC channel. They mentioned Acronis True Image 8.0 by Acronis. This product has a free trial version which lasts for 15 days. I tried it. It worked. I cannot tell the difference between the original drive and the RAID array. Acronis True Image has a nice little Wizard which guides you through the cloning process. I will not go into detail.

... ... ...

I have great words to say about Acronis True Image 8.0. I looked at using Norton Ghost. Actually, I bought Norton Ghost, but will be returning it unopened. The advantage I see in using Acronis True Image is price and download. Acronis True Image costs less than Norton Ghost and you can download it.

 

 


Etc

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