Disk Preparation
Using Norton Ghost
The best way to abck up a hard disk for sure..
Disk Preparation

I recommend you read through this article and thoroughly digest how Ghost works before attempting to use it.

If ever there was a program which can save so much time and effort, then Norton Symantec's excellent Ghost imaging software must rank at close to the top of the list. Working in a similar way to WinZip, Ghost takes all the files and directories from a hard disk and puts them into one single, humongous file. Great for backups, even better for reinstalling a complete operating system in minutes!

The newest current version, Ghost 2003, has support for additional operating systems (Linux, XP) and will even let you image to NTFS partitions (see Norton Ghost 2003). Radical stuff indeed. However don't expect a lot of namby pamby hand-holding; as the manual indicates, Ghost is "designed for technically proficient computer users." That means you, TAFE dude(ette).

Ghost can run on any Windows system, although the real work of creating a disk image or a clone is done in DOS, regardless of the ultimate OS or file system. There are a number of command line switches, ideal for the corpulent, big-bearded knowall, halitotic non-gui hardliners amongst us, or for use with batch files. Sorry, just getting something off my chest there.

Ghost supports cloning and imaging between drives, including CD-R and CD-RW drives, but it's truly the dog's bollocks* when it comes to cloning disks on desktop computers or downloading an image off the network to install onto a new hard drive. Ghost Explorer is the tool for viewing and maintaining drive image files and allows for file injection/extraction via it's drag and drop interface.

Speaking of interface, let's take a look at Symantec Ghost's Menu system. To use Ghost, copy the file GHOST.EXE to a bootable floppy, reboot to the boot floppy, and at the A:\> prompt simply type GHOST. Say OK to any registration screens and you should be faced with a menu similar to the one below..

Menu Decision 1 - Local DISK or Local PARTITION?

Firstly, are you working with the whole of your local hard disk or just one partition of the disk. This is important. For instance, if you copy a ghost image onto your whole disk when you really planned to just image a partition, you will lose all your original partitions and their data.


I'm working with the Local Disk..

OK, Menu Decision 2a - TO image or FROM image?

Local Disk to Image makes a copy of your whole hard disk and puts it into a ghost image file. This will include all the partitions on the disk. Whereas Local Disk from Image will replace all files and partitions on your hard disk with the ones in the image file you are copying from.

Disk: TO or FROM Image

OR:I'm working with a Local Partition..

Menu Decision 2b - TO image or FROM image?

Local Partition to Image makes a copy of a selected partition and puts it into a ghost image file. This will include only the partition you specified and no other partitions of the disk.

Local Partition from Image will replace the specified partition on your hard disk with the one in the image you are copying from. It will not affect any of the other partitions on the disk.

Partition: TO or FROM Image

In Summary

You will either be creating a new ghost image of a drive or partition or you will overwrite a drive or partition from an existing ghost image.

To create an image for backup, your two menu options will be:
Local Disk To Image or Local Partition To Image

To replace your data with an existing ghost image, your options will be:
Local Disk From Image or Local Partition From Image

* outstanding!

Links & References
Ghost restore versions
Symantec Ghost
- A.

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