Problem booting to Ghost 2003 cd
February 18, 2009 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Today I bought a Dell laptop with Vista Home Premium. I want to make a full disk image before I start changing partitions and other things. Booting to my Ghost 2003 cd seems to go well at first. The computer asks me to press any key to boot from the cd. I do. It brings up the menu for driver support. I select 4 for USB 2.0 support. It proceeds and comes to an a: prompt. Here I usually type "c:" (for some reason my other laptop sees the cd as c:), but when I do here it says "invalid drive specification". I tried all drive letters. A: and B: have boot files but no directories so I know they're not the cd. I need to get into cd's \Support directory so I can launch ghost.exe Thanks for your help.
posted by atm to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I know I cant do images of vista with Ghost 8 because it doesnt recognize the new version of NTFS. That might be the case with Ghost 2003, which came out 5 years before vista. If youre looking for a free image solution you can make the UBCD4Win and use DriveImageXML.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:17 PM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: I may not understand, but the OS shouldn't affect seeing folders on the cd when it's booted to the cd should it?
posted by atm at 9:32 PM on February 18, 2009

It's not the OS, it's the file system.
posted by stopgap at 9:33 PM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: But isn't the only file system involved at this point the one on the cd?
posted by atm at 9:43 PM on February 18, 2009

atm, you're right, and I think they're misunderstanding. Your problem has nothing to do with what's on the hard drive, because you can't even get Ghost to load. The same thing would likely happen if you removed the hard drive from the laptop.

My best guess is that your laptop has a SATA optical drive, and Ghost 2003 doesn't have a driver for SATA. It boots, because the BIOS handled loading the image of the boot floppy off of the CD, but it can't then mount the CD, because Ghost cannot access the optical drive itself.

Again, this is just a guess, but one way to check would be to try booting it from a USB optical drive, if you can get one. From a quick Google search, it looks like Ghost 2003 might have trouble with SATA in general, though, and thus it might not like your hard drive (likely SATA as well) if you do get it to boot and run.
posted by whatnotever at 9:57 PM on February 18, 2009

I had similar problems with my WinXP recovery disk not seeing my (SATA) hard drive, because the driver for my motherboard wasn't on the CD.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:24 AM on February 19, 2009

Sorry I misunderstood. Yes, if you cant even see the drive listed then you probably need the SATA driver. Cant you do a backup while Vista is running? I thought the later versions of Ghost used the VSS service to get backups of live machines. No need to reboot and boot from disc. If it doesnt, then DriveImageXML will, and its free.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:44 AM on February 19, 2009

Oh, the only downside with DXML is that it wont do the boot table, so if you restore to a new disk you'll need to boot up with your windows disk in recovery console and do a fixboot and fixmbr after restore.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:52 AM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Is there a way to make a boot cd to boot to that has drivers for everything, including my external USB 2.0 hd, and will get me to a dos prompt so I can then run ghost.exe?
posted by atm at 9:53 AM on February 19, 2009

Yes, it sounds like your boot CD's driver can't see your cdrom. It seems impossible, since you just booted from it, but remember that you are in DOS world.

The way those kinds of bootable cds work is that there is an image of a floppy disk on the CDROM and the bios of the computer knows to use that image as an emulated floppy drive. So the bios creates an emulated floppy device, loads the image from the CD into memory and boots from that image.

Once it boots, it behaves just like you were booting DOS from a floppy. DOS needs a driver to be able to see CDROMs. Since SATA CDROMs probably didn't exist when that Ghost CD was made, the driver can't see the cdrom.

Further, your PC was probably configured with the SATA controllers in AHCI mode. That means that even if you got Ghost running, it wouldn't be able to see the drive.

Possible solution: go into the BIOS and change the SATA controller from AHCI to emulated or compatible or IDE mode. This may well change the CD mode as well, and would further allow Ghost to see the hard drive. If it works, be sure to change it back before you boot the PC to Windows.

This should NOT affect the quality of the disk image, as the disk image doesn't contain anything about AHCI on it. The AHCI setting doesn't change what's on the disk, only how it is accessed.

The other complication is that I think I also remember that Ghost 2003 has some kind of issue with Vista or NTFS or something like that. However, I believe the Ghost 8 version doesn't have this issue. I believe I've used it to image a Vista machine. Not sure about the licensing issues, but I'm pretty sure it's available on some of the various BartsPE disks that are out there. Or maybe it's the ghost32.exe which is version 8.2 and will only run in a windows GUI. Which you'd have on a PE boot cd. Which is better anyway, since it would support USB 2.0, making the image process much faster.
posted by gjc at 10:12 AM on February 19, 2009

Acronis True Image Home will backup the ENTIRE contents of the disc (boot partition, recovery partition, c-drive partition) into one archive file that you can then copy off onto another drive. You can install and run this when you're already in windows and there is no need to boot from a CD.

DriveImageXML would be okay if you had a single partition on the drive, but since you have multiple partitions you want to backup, and need to be able to restore it back to factory settings, I'd recommend Acronis.
posted by ijoyner at 10:15 AM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everybody. Since I couldn't get Ghost 2003 to work, I went with Macrium Reflect Free for this (Mom's) laptop. I've used it on another laptop where the user didn't have the money to buy a disk imaging software. It's free, easy to use, and supports multiple partitions.
posted by atm at 1:56 PM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

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