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Rad Community Technical Discussion Boards (Computer Hardware + PC Software) >> Cloning Programs (Except Norton Ghost) >> Bootable USB stick with G4L

Message started by Alex v Kaam on Oct 23rd, 2008 at 10:54am

Title: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by Alex v Kaam on Oct 23rd, 2008 at 10:54am
I figured this might be usefull for some, this can be done in windows or linux

- I asume we have an empty usb stick, if not, we need about 55mb
- I asume under windows the usb stick is drive F:
- I asume under linux the usb stick is sdd1
- If your usb stick is another drive or device then adjust the guide below

- download G4L ISO from http://sourceforge.net/projects/g4l
- download latest syslinux-X.XX.zip from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/

- insert your usb stick
- make a directory "boot" on the usb stick

- extract all the files from downloaded G4L ISO and place them into the "boot" directory on the usb stick:
--- windows user can d/l and use http://www.magiciso.com/ to do this
--- linux users simply mount the iso using mount -o loop g4l-v0.27.iso iso and cp the files over
- in the "boot" directory delete syslinux.cfg
- in the "boot" directory rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
- from the "boot" directory copy syslinux.cfg to the root of the usb stick (F: or /)
- edit syslinux.cfg in the root directory, you now need to add "boot/" before each line that points to a file:
--- DEFAULT vesamenu.c32 to DEFAULT boot/vesamenu.c32
--- MENU BACKGROUND test.png to MENU BACKGROUND boot/test.png
--- KERNEL bzImage6 to KERNEL boot/bzImage6
--- APPEND initrd=ramdisk.gz.... to APPEND initrd=boot/ramdisk.gz....
------- do this for all KERNEL lines and all APPEND lines just add boot/ dont change what is there already, till you reach the last line
--- ONTIMEOUT bz26.5 and change that to ONTIMEOUT boot/bz26.5

- extract the syslinux-X.XX.zip you downloaded
- windows users go into  the win32 directory of the extracted file
--- do syslinux.exe -m -a -d /boot F:
- linux users go into the linux directory of the extraced file
--- do ./syslinux /dev/sdd1

and that is it, you now have a bootable USB stick with G4L on it, and with todays huge sticks and usb drives you got it all in one, bootup with it and backup to it or restore from it.

note: If you rather not edit the syslinux.cfg then instead of making a "boot" directory, simply put everything in the root, but this way its a bit cleaner.



Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by TheShadow on Dec 4th, 2008 at 7:10am
After reading all that, I still don't know any more than I did before I started.  I'm a PC tech of way too many years but I must admit that I got totally lost in the details.  That happens a lot these days. ;) ;D ;D

I suspect that at least Some others have had the same experience, thusly the lack of responses to the post.

After all that, what is your end result and how are you using it?

I have Ghost XXXX on a bootable flash drive, along with NTFS4DOS, and all my other disk utilities.  Once you have a bootable flash drive, you can find all sorts of DOS utilities to add to it, like Memtest86.

HP puts out a neat little program for making a flash drive bootable, using a boot floppy for the DOS boot files.  Or you can easily download, the three DOS boot files from the same site where you get the HP program to make a flash drive bootable.

Then once the flash drive is bootable, just copy anything else you may desire to the drive.  Using Nero you can make a bootable CD using the flash drive as a model for the boot info.
Everything you've put on the Bootable Flash drive will wind up in the boot sector of the CD, but that's no big problem.  If you want to add anything or change anything, just do the changes to the flash drive and burn a new CD.  

I've used that technique to make Flash Drives and even SD Flash Memory Cards bootable with Ghost on them.

"The world hates a vacuum" and I hate posts with NO responses, so I just had to jump in here and do my duty to kill the vacuum.

I wish you a very "Happy Holidays" :)

The Shadow  8-)

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by Steve Newson on Mar 19th, 2009 at 7:30pm
I think the key steps (for Windows) are:

1. Download the G4L ISO from http://sourceforge.net/projects/g4l
2. Download syslinux from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/  (I used syslinux-3.73.zip)
3. Extract the G4L ISO to the root of your memory stick. You can use 7-zip (free - http://7-zip.org/) or MagicISO (probably not free - http://www.magiciso.com/)
4. Delete syslinux.cfg from the root of the USB stick
5. Rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
6. Extract syslinux-X.XX.zip to somewhere on your harddrive (make it somewhere you can get a DOS prompt to easily) e.g. c:\syslinux
7. Start a command prompt and change to the directory you unzipped syslinux to (e.g. cd c:\syslinux)
8. Change to the win32 directory (e.g. cd win32)
9. Type: syslinux.exe -m -a -d /boot F:
   (you'll need to change "F:" to be the drive letter your USB stick is mounted on)

That's it!

The steps in the original post cover both Windows and Linux. They also enable you to put the whole boot image into a subdirectory (called "boot" in this case). You don't need to do that though unless you want to keep the root directory of the USB stick clean.

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by TheShadow on Mar 22nd, 2009 at 7:03am
Duh!  Boy am I dense.....because after reading all that I'm still sitting here, sipping my first cup of Jo and asking myself, "WHY?".

What are we trying to accomplish here?
Will this effect the national debt or make this a better world?

I guess I and probably many others have no idea what G4L is or why we want it on a bootable flash drive.

I have Ghost 2003 and even Ghost 11.5 on bootable flash drives, even Partition Magic 8 and Spinrite.  It's a great place to put those little DOS utilities that we like to use, when they won't fit on a floppy disk. ::)

Y'all have a great day now, Y'hear?

Shadow  8-)

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by TheShadow on Mar 22nd, 2009 at 7:36am
Of course, you realize that I couldn't just leave this lie there, don't you?
I Googled G4L (Ghost for Linux) to familiarize myself with it.

I hit on this site:

and read the article beginning with:

Michael D. Setzer II, the leader of the project once known as Ghost for Linux (G4L), recently received a cease and desist email message from a lawyer representing Symantec. The company is demanding that the project change its name because the use of "Ghost" violates a trademark held by Symantec for its Norton Ghost disk imaging software.

Chelseaa Bush, from the law firm of Heller Ehrman, emailed Setzer in late September, saying:

   We ask that you not use GHOST, SYMANTEC, NORTON or any other Symantec trademark as the name of your program or in any other trademark sense. In addition, changing to G4L is not sufficient. The G in the acronym stands for GHOST so that you are still making reference to and drawing off of Symantec's proprietary name and products. Please adopt a new name for the program that does not draw upon or make any reference to GHOST. Ghost for Linux and G4L should be replaced with this new name everywhere--on all web sites, in the program itself, etc.

It appears that the writers of G4L are treading on some pretty thin ice.
Actually the real Ghost, for DOS and Windows will back up a Linux HD just fine.  My software guru does it all the time, to back up his Servers that use Linux.

So, now I and the rest of the uninformed, know what G4L is.  Sort of.

Cheers Mates!
Shadow  8-)

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by Steve Newson on Apr 24th, 2009 at 10:29am
The only issue that the lawyers have is with the name "Ghost 4 Linux" - hence the rebranding to just G4L.

G4L is a free, regularly updated application which will backup a complete hard-drive image to a local or network (via FTP) location. It is generally distributed as an ISO file which can be burnt onto a bootable CD.

You're absolutely right, Ghost does everything this thing does and more. However, it isn't free. Actually, where I work we don't have any need for anything more than that which G4L provides. We just need to backup a hard-drive image to a file on an FTP server and restore it after the fact. We use this for creating new laptops from a pre-created image. Since we're spread all over the globe, licensing of Ghost would be difficult - something we don't have to worry about with G4L.

The G4L web site is here: http://g4l.sourceforge.net/

The reason for this original posting is that sometimes CDs just aren't convenient - they get scratched and broken. USB drives tend to be a bit more resilient. Plus, you can store other things on the drive in addition to the G4L bootable image.

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by piotr on Aug 8th, 2009 at 2:03pm
Howto setup g4l and GParted Live:


together on the same USB stick?

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by piotr on Aug 17th, 2010 at 6:03pm

I've done step by step, but G4L 0.34 won't boot from USB stick.
I've tried many USB sticks, but still the same problem.

BTW G4L 0.33 works from USB perfectly. What's wrong?

Title: Re: Bootable USB stick with G4L
Post by MrMagoo on Aug 20th, 2010 at 7:30pm
You will probably have the best luck checking out the G4L support options:


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