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how does norton ghost work?

So last night i reformatted my pc and reinstalled windows.

Let's say i install my barebones software (.net, ie, norton virus, ms office). Can i then ghost my machine and then in a year when i have to much crap can I revert back to this ghost?

side note - i do NOT have another pc.

how does ghost work? any other suggestions?

Friday, August 13, 2004

>>> can I revert back to this ghost?

Yes, that's what ghost is for.  You boot from cd or diskette, make an image backup, then you can restore that image and go right back to that image.

Without another PC to write the image to, your best choice is to write it to a CD-RW drive, or buy a USB hard drive.  There are alternatives to ghost, including open source, but ghost enterprise edition is the only one I've used.  Recently, it was nice to be able to roll back a botched win2003 installation to nt4 and start over.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Make sure you make a partition on your hard drive to store the Ghost image file BEFORE you install your OS.  Otherwise you'll have to repartion (and reformat).

GHOST is an execllent utility.  I've heard that some of the free/open source ones aare pretty good, but I swear by GHOST.

Myron A. Semack
Friday, August 13, 2004

And don't forget to immediately run Windows update or install security patches after you restore a Ghost image since the OS that you are replacing is now a year behind in terms of security. 

I've been bitten by this more times than I care to count, e.g. Restore the ghost image and then get infected by some sort of virus immediately after. 

Tim Mast
Friday, August 13, 2004

Check out Acronis True Image. It will create drive or partition images while Windows is running and can make incremental images too. So no reboots necessary. It has some nice features like being able to mount the image read-only if you just need to restore a few files.  Images can be stored to any type of drive, hidden partition or network drive.
You can restore partitions (except the primary partition) from within Windows or through the boot CD, which uses a custom Linux distribution instead of DOS so it's more flexible than the Ghost restore. For example, the boot CD can restore from a network drive.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Another vote for Acronis True Image.

It's sparse on documentation, but it barely needs any. 

It's paid for itself already, just in being able to look at a file version from last week, etc.

BTW, I second the comments above about partitioing.

True Image will only back up your WHOLE Hard drive (or partition, anyway).  So if there's stuff you don't want to consume HD space backing up, you'll need to put it in a different partition.

And I'd have 3x the HD space on the backup drive as the backedup drive. IT does incremental backups. I like to do a new full backup 1 / month and LEAVE the old one in place for a week. So I need enough capacity to hve 2 full backups and 20 incremental bacups (usually about 5% of the total hd space each).

Mr.Analogy (ISV owner)
Friday, August 13, 2004

I reformat every few months.... and it's a pain installing windows, etc.

If I create an image after a fresh install..after I have office and a few other basic apps like winrar and such,  I can create an image of the harddrive then?

Then instead of reformatting and reinstalling windows and all the other apps... I can just bring back that image of the fresh install w/ basic apps?

Does this sound right?


Friday, August 13, 2004


Friday, August 13, 2004

I don't use ghost, but I use a similar tool : Drive Image (Power Quest). It (mostly) works the same.

Please note: Unless you backup your data files, or store them on another partition, when you restore the image, you'll lose all your data. You may not care about this, but I'd hate to see you go "Oops! Where's all my files go?!!"
Just an FYI.

Question to others: Does ghost support image deltas? Can I get a base image and 2 or 3 smaller deltas for slight variations in the setup?

Sgt. Sausage
Friday, August 13, 2004

> Question to others:...
Not sure if Ghost does it but True Image does.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I've been using Ghost for quite a while now and it's saved my butt on a number of occassions, both at home and at work.  I keep my Ghost image on an external USB hard drive and when I screw something up or some new software farks my computer, I can be back to normal in a few minutes.

Maytag Repairman
Friday, August 13, 2004

The guys at work use ghost as we ship a lot of pc's and laptops on hire - so when they come back they get re-ghosted and are ready to go out again.

Also - its really handy if you think your hard disk is on the way out. When mine started making odd noises i bought another and ghosted - i used the old as a spare drive until it died a few weeks later.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Norton Ghost - bah!

On Linux:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb bs=512

Copy from device hda to device hdb with block size of 512.  Other options are available.

As Microsoft would *like* to say... "It's built into the OS".

Friday, August 13, 2004

You can also use the split command to split the image into CD size chunks.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, August 15, 2004

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