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Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI file (Read 117159 times)
stoopid
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #90 - Dec 21st, 2006 at 8:46am
 
MCDP wrote on Dec 20th, 2006 at 9:02am:
My point was that ECC RAM may have trapped the bad calls the IDE controller was sending and either corrected the problem or halted the process? More generally, I much rather have an image write fail than succeed only to discover months later that the image is corrupted because a solar flare occurred during the write process.

A 100 GB image is a lot of 1's and 0's that have to be exactly right with no mistakes whereas I may never discover the one file that was corrupted in a back up process of 100 GB of data files.


I'm definitely in agreement that ECC would be the most ideal way to go.  The problem is that since there aren't many desktop motherboards or chipsets that play well with ECC ram, I guess it's a nice idea in theory only... this is obviously not as much of an issue for business class servers, unless of course you can't afford one like me.  If there was a requirement to have a business class server it would prohibit me from doing this type of backup, and I'd probably work harder to find another solution.

So in the final analysis: if integrity of the data is crucial (and it should be), use image verification.  It adds maybe 40% more time to the backup.  But that's what scheduling is for, it runs in the early AM and I give it enough room to finish and verify before I would ever wake to use anything on the server.  My currently 120GB backup takes about 3 hours to create and verify.   

If the image verification fails, it's likely a software conflict or over-tasked hardware.

Ironically, my last backup failed image verification (same PQI error as before) because of too much activity overnight when the backup ran.  I'm waiting to finish the work I was doing on my server and need to try it again.  Having had so much success lately I'm guessing it was just asking too much from my relatively low-end HTPC to multitask while performing a major backup process.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #91 - Dec 21st, 2006 at 9:37am
 
Stoopid,

Very valid points. Most high-end mobos handle ECC fine, at least I have never had a problem. But like you state, that requires added expense that many can't afford. Never having built a server or rackable system, I don't even want to think about the add'l $$$ ECC requires. Thus, verifying the image seems to be a nice workaround. With that said, I have NEVER imaged an OS without verifying (unless I was working a temp sol'n). In fact, I have only just begun to enable compression b/c I was scared of that failing as well. But I am also the kind of person who splurges for RAID 5, so add'l $$$ and time to a point feels like a wise investment for me.

Interestingly, GHOST seems to make for a nice stress test on your system! I am about to post another problem that I ran into that is rather annoying.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #92 - Dec 29th, 2006 at 11:03pm
 
Who can explain this test/trial & error?
i.e. I had the same error message on those HDs within the same IDE controller. However, the image created in firewire external harddrive was verified perfect. Also the image created in another add on IDE controller HD was perfect too.

Now, those perfect images copied into those "bad" HDs next to OS HD did not pass the verification process in Ghost image browser.

I just don't see how generic RAM is culprit! I don't believe either that my HDs within OS controller side sour!?
???
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #93 - Dec 30th, 2006 at 8:23am
 
Hi Simon,

Sadly, I couldn't get ghost to work (verify) anymore after it started giving me grief again.  And this was after it had started working again for over a month.

I did some more homework, testing, etc.  I determined my RAM was fine via memtest, that all the necessary processes required by ghost were set to automatically start, that the hard drives I was using were physically fine (able to pass diagnostic tests by their respective manufacturers (seagate and maxtor)), my SiS chipset drivers were manually updated from their website, and that my .Net framework installations were valid/working and properly patched.  Symantec had earned this one last try for coming back to life, and I used this as an excuse to perform my annual maintenance on this computer.

So bottom line - everything checked out.  This is not an issue with my computer, and I couldn't find any pattern in other complaints on this very forum or elsewhere on the internet.  Aparently Symantec has admitted some degree of defeat regarding this issue, linking it to something in windows XP Service Pack 2 that they cannot figure out.

So we're all out a bunch of research and troubleshooting time.  Symantec will refund your money, but only after you either work with them for 8 hours on the phone or write them a lengthy diatribe about your struggles.  Either way, it doesn't pay to use Ghost anymore.

Acronis Trueimage looks like the only viable option for home users.  I did give it a try, and didn't find the interface to be very intuitive, which is why I went back to Ghost for another try at fixing it.  When it worked Ghost worked very well, and having no prior experience with Acronis software I don't know if I could hold the same faith in their product.  It's important to note that it appears only a small percentage of Ghost users are experiencing issues, but if this were a car manufacture defect that caused some major safety component of the vehicle to stop working I guarantee there would have been a recall.  Software isn't managed the same way, so sadly we're all SOL.  You'll also see this a lot with various computer games (EA sports is notorious for releasing garbage/buggy games and making the buyer do their prerelease product development testing/troubleshooting AFTER the game's release   Roll Eyes ).  Maybe someday we can hold these drooling midrange managers accountable.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #94 - Dec 30th, 2006 at 11:00am
 
Stoopid,

I am impressed with the amount of testing you have done. I just can't believe that GHOST is somehow conflicting with WinXP because it should be agnostic when it comes to OS's. All it is doing is copying the drive sector by sector. I use it image to my Linux machines without a hitch.

I am beginning to believe that the problem may be rooted in NTFS. M$ has refused to open-source NTFS. While the hacking community has successfully figured out how to read from NTFS volumes, they still haven't completely reversed engineered how to write to NTFS volumes (q.v. Linux LiveCDs like Knoppix). In which case blame Gates not Symantec (which bought GHOST 9.0 from PowerQuest, so don't be surprised if they now own something they don't completely understand, and don't receive enough revenue from to fully support. I paid for my copy, and I am sure you did too, but it would be interesting to take a poll of the percentage of readers on this site who didn't). Open sourcing NTFS would solve a whole lot more than failed GHOST restores.

However, as this thread makes plainly clear, GHOST 9.0 is based on the Drive Image source code from PowerQuest (I used Drive Image for years until I finally upgraded to WinXP to learn that Drive Image 4.0 didn't recognize NTFS volumes and that it had been bought out by Symantec) while GHOST 2003 is based on the older DOS program from Symantec. Hopefully when you purchased your copy of GHOST 9.0 you got the GHOST 2003 CD inside as well (I had no idea what the difference was until I read this thread b/c Norton didn't provide any documentation with the GHOST 2003 CD). After reading this thread, I ditched my copy of GHOST 9.0 without even trying it and have been using GHOST 2003 without a problem. So I recommend popping that CD into your machine before spending any more $ on third party imagers like Acronis.

AFWIW, I long ago learned the virtue of minimizing my Windows OS partition (currently WinXP Home, it's the only copy that I have that is legal, is on a 4GB partition with Office 2003, also legal, and device drivers, nothing else, but that takes up half the drive). This is the only partition I image. All my data is on a D:\ partition, and I push every third party app installer to an E:\ partition. I have a 1GB F:\ partition that my pagefile.sys sits on (M$ actually took a page from the Unix community and recommends this). And my G:\ partition is FAT32 where all the GHOST images are saved along with DOS versions of various utilities that are useful when booting up in DOS. The nice thing about this setup is severalfold:

1. The images are small especially when compressed. Many of my early incremental images fit on a single CD.
2. This speeds up image restore because the process I follow whenever I restore an image is to reformat the C:\ using the WinXP Install CD. Reformatting 100GB+ hdd can take hours, 4GB only takes a few minutes. This add'l step I believe is better than any disk doctoring program and may also potentially solve image restore problems.
3. I don't image my D:\ volume but instead use incremental backups
4. I can run my system with no anti-virus, I deplore the overhead cost.
5. Since reformatting and reloading the latest C:\ is so quick I spend little if any time troubleshooting any problems (WinXP instability, buggy install routines, viruses, my own stupid mistakes, etc).
6. With what I have heard about Vista, people will be VERY wise to learn how to separate the OS from all their files.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #95 - Dec 31st, 2006 at 7:42am
 
MCDP, good points about possible root causes.

I ended up moving all my personal data to my secondary D: drive and will be doing manual copies of that data to an external drive (or using windows's backup tool).  My original issue could very well have been with my hardware configuration, but in light of the recent recurrence of the issue and other problems I've seen with symantec's products (backup exec, NIS), and the fact this problem is showing up on a lot of support forums like this one, I have to point the finger where it's due - at symantec.

I've had good/bad experiences with symantec's support.  If I end up in India it's horrible, but if I can get an executive level support from someone in an engrish speaking country the problem is usually fixed quickly.  This isn't good ole fashion racism, this is my experience over the course of several years using, supporting, and implementing symantec products.  Their market share and name recognition are the only reason I am forced to continue my relationship with this company, it certainly isn't because they make a superior product.  This is/was actually one of the final straws.

The reason I liked using Ghost 9 (and 10) was having the backups done without ever having to take windows offline/rebooting.  If I recall correctly the 2003 version requires running ghost from dos.  In an attempt to automate my home setup I was hoping to avoid this.

You are correct in that I don't want to also spend money on Acronis (think it's $50).  I've finally been forced into a work around (for $0).  Not as ideal as I would like but sufficient.  I have other things to spend my time on now.   8)
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #96 - Dec 31st, 2006 at 7:45am
 
MCDP wrote on Dec 30th, 2006 at 11:00am:
4. I can run my system with no anti-virus, I deplore the overhead cost.


Try avg free.  Low resource use and, well, it's free.   Grin  Better than nothing, and it has an email filter/scanner too.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #97 - Dec 31st, 2006 at 8:09pm
 
Thanks for the AV tip. I have tried various free AV programs (F-Prot one of the last ones), but if the out of pocket expense was the only problem, I would probably run one (I have a purchased copy of Norton AV sitting in my CD collection). However, it's the endless virus updates, the endless system scans, the endless teasers to upgrade to the pay-for version or subscription renewals, etc., that drive me bonkers (I just want to compute in peace!), and I still don't feel completely protected (the last virus I got, before I got around to repartitioning my Dell laptop, took more time to remove than simply wiping the drive and installing a new image, and how can you be sure you are fully disinfected?). Plus the ante has been upped because now you have spyware, adware, I just can't deal with it anymore.

Interestingly, M$ recently announced that they recommend complete system wipes in the event of an infection. Check out the following blog for some interesting discussion on this viewpoint:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=187

Of course, I can get away with my maverick attitude because it is just a personal system, not a server. Also, I run WinXP with most services shut down, including system restore (boy, does that conserve space!) and automatic updates (nothing worse than WinXP rebooting without asking, in my opinion, and who needs updates? Those are for the foolish who don't make images of their Windoze OS).
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #98 - Dec 31st, 2006 at 8:11pm
 
Oh, and there's few things I find more bothersome than e-mail scan. It slows e-mail down to a crawl and many times blocks your own!
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI
Reply #99 - Jan 1st, 2007 at 9:30am
 
AVG has not been a hassle in any way (concerning advertisements), and I have no reports of emails being undelivered.  It actually just puts them into an easily accessed quarantine folder in your folder list.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 gives an error for undocumented PQI file
Reply #100 - Nov 28th, 2007 at 8:24am
 
I am using PowerQuest Drive Image 7.  I, too, exprienced the error:  "The internal structure of the PQI file is invalid or not supported" when I tried to backup to a new external Western Digital My Book hard drive (on F:) and the solution eluded me for months.  I tried many of the suggestions here, but to no avail. But I found the solution and it was simple.

I noticed that my backup from my C: to D: using the same software worked fine, but backup from C: to the WD MyBook on F: failed.  I happened to notice that the WD MyBook came formatted as FAT32, but my C: and D: were both NTFS.  I had nothing to lose, so I reformatted F: to NTFS and that solved my problem!!!
 
 
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