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Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot freeze (Read 104253 times)
Dan Goodell
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #15 - Apr 9th, 2005 at 7:59am
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 8th, 2005 at 7:42pm:
Dan, I generally agree with the facts stated in your post, but I do disagree with the conclusion you draw from those facts.

Think about it.  If using Ghost 9.0 (or Drive Image 7.0 or True Image 8.0) were “like taking a snapshot at a rock concert,” then the inherent instability would result in very poor product reliability that would result in the marketplace demise of the products themselves.  Since these products are growing in popularity, it strongly suggests that the analogy is incorrect (i.e., the technology is mature and reliable).


My point was that it is not as easy to work from inside a running operating system, but I don't believe I said Ghost 9 was inherently unstable or unreliable and didn't mean to leave that impression.  It can be done (clearly, since it has been done), but it is not as simple a task (from a programming standpoint).

Stereos are easier to work on when they're not turned on.  Cars are easier to work on when they're not driving down the road.  Planes are easier to refuel on the ground.  It's easier to repair a road when it's closed to traffic.  It's easier to put your socks on when you're not standing up.  I'm not drawing conclusions, those should be intuitively obvious.  Taking a picture of anything, including an operating system, is easier when it's not a moving target.  Any shmuck can take a snapshot of a flower vase, but it takes skill to get a good shot at a rock concert.

But there are good photographers.  And Air Force jets refuel in-flight, NASCAR crews make an art form of the pit stop, and Ghost 9 hot-images.  Such tasks can be done successfully, but they're not easy and require more (programming) skill.  It takes Ghost 9 some 60-90 megabytes of programming to do what Ghost 2003 can do with a single floppy disk.  That alone should tell you that it's a more difficult way of doing things.  The fact it works and *seems* easy to the user is a credit to the skill of the programmers.

There may be reasons for not doing things the easy way.  In-flight refueling may be critical in time of war.  Pit crews trade the easy way for time savings.  In the case of Ghost 9, I believe it's primarily because of marketing considerations.  The masses are not willing to buy a DOS program, and are preconditioned to think a DOS program is inherently inferior.  Hence the kludge to turn v2003 into a Windows program--that wasn't out of necessity, it was because that's what the market demanded.  And if product reliability determined market success, Microsoft would be in trouble.  It's all about the marketing.

And the product is growing in popularity because it is *needed*, not because it's better than previous versions.  If Windows were half as reliable as Microsoft would like us to believe, there probably wouldn't be a Ghost 9.  Techies would be the only ones imaging, and they're comfortable working in DOS or linux.  There wouldn't be a demand for Ghost 9.

Again, to clarify: I'm not saying Ghost 9 is inferior, but it's also not inherently superior to v2003.  My argument is with the assertion that v2003 is inferior.  The Windows interface may be suspect, but the underlying DOS program is not.  Simplicity is its strength.

 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #16 - Apr 9th, 2005 at 11:56am
 
Dan Goodell wrote on Apr 9th, 2005 at 7:59am:
And the product is growing in popularity because it is *needed*, not because it's better than previous versions.  If Windows were half as reliable as Microsoft would like us to believe, there probably wouldn't be a Ghost 9.  Techies would be the only ones imaging, and they're comfortable working in DOS or linux.  There wouldn't be a demand for Ghost 9.

There will always be a need for Imaging software as hard drives always die.  Cry
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #17 - Apr 9th, 2005 at 1:04pm
 
Seems kinda silly to debate imaging software, as for a long time, no one used any at all. People should just use what they like. But since someone might stumble upon this thread, and because I enjoy a good discussion with intelligent folk such as yourselves, I will weigh in.

Quote:
then the inherent instability would result in very poor product reliability


We're not talking about "very poor" reliability. We're simply saying that it's NOT AS RELIABLE as imaging from DOS .. for logical reasons already mentioned. And since the inability to restore an image can be so devastating, any decrease in reliability should be avoided.

Re: Quote:
Since these products are growing in popularity, it strongly suggests that the analogy is incorrect


Major logical fallacy here. Popularity does not infer quality. It's known as the "bandwagon fallacy". See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwagon_fallacy

McDonalds sells more hamburgers than anyone else. Does that mean they make a quality product? If you think so, you need to see that movie "Super Size Me"

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/super_size_me/

And where are you getting yours "facts" from that says Ghost 9 is "growing in popularity"?

Re: Quote:
I am not aware of any fact-based evidence that creating a disk image from within DOS is more or less superior to doing the same from within Windows.


Just because you're not aware of any such facts doesn't make it false. That's known as "Argument from Ignorance". See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

For a long time, there was no fact-based evidence that smoking cigarettes was harmful. That didn't make them harmless to smoke.

Re: Quote:
I understand the logic of your argument; however, logic and facts are not synonymous.


Logic can be proven true or false. 2 + 2 = 4 can be proven to be 4, whereas 2 + 3 = 6 can be proven false. So called "facts" can be misleading or downright wrong. At one time it was a "fact" that the earth was flat and the center of the universe. Now we know better. This is what fallcies are all about: things we assume to be "facts" are sometimes false. "Facts" are suspect until proven logically correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy

Re: Quote:
Obviously, Symantec and Acronis – two major, well-respected software manufacturers - do not accept the logic you articulate.


Personally, I believe they are motivated by the balance $heet:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=SYMC&t=2y

.. more than technical relaibility. (The bean-counters rule over the geeks.) The DOS interface is intimidating to many. They can sell more units if they can increase the ease-of-use factor, which they have continued to do. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I'm merely saying that imaging from DOS is more reliable than from Windows. But saying that selling more units makes it better is simply wrong.

Re: Quote:
With respect to the DOS versus Windows issue, here’s an alternative twist:  One could argue that because Windows ‘naturally’ reads/writes NTFS volumes but in DOS that’s a slick “programming trick,” a Windows-based image should be more (not less) stable.


Ah, you're really reaching now.

We've seen no problems with imagining to NTFS partitions, except sometimes to external USB drives. But it's just as easy to format a partition dedicated for receiving/storing Ghost images as FAT32 as it is NTFS.

I was thinking of linking this thread to the word "controversial" in the guide where I discuss Ghost 9.  Smiley
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #18 - Apr 9th, 2005 at 3:07pm
 
Quote:
"... There will always be a need for Imaging software as hard drives always die..."

gww

A neighbor had a 60GB Seagate IDE HDD (an OEM model factory-installed in her Dell Dimension 8250) fail last month.  In an abortive attempt at resuscitation, I removed it from her PC and set it up as the Master HDD in one of my three Dell Dimensions.  I ruefully declared it kaput after seven difficult hours using the XP Recovery Console, Partition Magic 8.0 DOS-based diskettes, FDisk and Norton Ghost 2003 DOS-based GDisk failed to overcome a partition table fault.

This is the only HDD I have personally seen expire since a
10MB HDD
died in a Mitsubishi PC (with an 8088 for a CPU and wearing a Sperry badge on the outer case) on my desk at work in autumn of 1984 Shocked

El Pescador

 

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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #19 - Apr 9th, 2005 at 4:17pm
 
odeen

Quote:
I used MBRTool ( http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/mbrtool.htm ) on my Ultimate Boot CD (oooh..  high-capacity reliable optical media) www.ultimatebootcd.com to zap the Volume Bytes on the drive, and all was well.  I still don't know why I was able to do this before WITHOUT needing to zap the Volume Bytes, but at least I have a documented solution.


Thanks for the solution you found, but I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are changing and where in the MBR.

Could you be more specific for the benefit of the members of the forum.
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #20 - Apr 10th, 2005 at 5:01pm
 
An interesting set of observations contributed by all . . . .

Nonetheless, I have not read anything in this thread that inherently makes the case that imaging from DOS is superior to imaging from Windows, however slight.  If we think about it, one of the following two statements must be true:

Statement #1:  Symantec and Acronis, for whatever reason, are oblivious to the advantages of imaging from DOS, since they continue to develop and promote Windows-based imaging products.

Statement #2:  Symantec and Acronis are fully aware of the advantages of imaging from DOS, and yet choose to manufacture and sell a product based on an inferior technological approach.  The degree of that inferiority may be open to debate, but any small degree of inferiority (however minor) multiplied by a huge user base would yield an enormous quantity of failed restores.  As a consequence, they are knowingly and willfully choosing to jeopardize their brand equity.

Which alternative do you prefer?  [1] Symantec and Acronis are 'dumb,' or that [2] they are 'negligent'?  Since both are clearly foolish, there must be another alternative.  And I believe that alternative is quite simple:  imaging from Windows is no less reliable than imaging from DOS.  Remember:  the fact that you (and I) don't necessarily understand how Windows-based imaging works does not imply that it less reliable.  In other words, our ignorance cannot be the basis for a claim of superiority.

Some specific comments on the insightful observations of the Radministrator:
[1] "popularity does not infer quality":  Very true, but it is rare indeed that popularity exists in the absence of quality – at least for any duration.  Marketplace forces eventually win.
[2] Evidence that Windows-based imaging is "growing in popularity":  Well, consider the obvious fact that Symantec and Acronis have discontinued DOS-based imaging so that it no longer being promoted, and consider that Drive Image reported over a million users (on the product box) before it was acquired by Symantec. 
[3] "Just because you're not aware of any such facts doesn't make it false":  Very true, but I challenge others reading this forum to provide those facts.  What is the relative incidence of failure of DOS-based imaging versus Windows-based imaging?  If other forum members are making the claim that DOS-based imaging is superior, to whatever degree, they ought to provide those facts.
[4] "I believe they [Symantec/Acronis] are motivated by the balance $heet:"  Very true, but the argument that these companies would place a temporary lift in product sales above long-term corporate reputation is foolhardy.  Although such self-destructive behaviors have obviously been done by some firms, the incidence is low.
[5] "you're really reaching now" with respect to "One could argue that because Windows ‘naturally’ reads/writes NTFS volumes but in DOS that’s a slick 'programming trick,' a Windows-based image should be more (not less) stable":  Guilty as charged.

I do agree that the "drop-to-DOS, reboot-to-Windows scheme was fragile" for the faux-Windows imaging products (e.g., Ghost 2003 via Windows); fortunately, that was a brief transition period from the true DOS approach to the true Windows solution for imaging.

To clarify, my argument is not that Ghost 9.0 is superior to Ghost 2003 – only that DOS based imaging is not necessarily superior to Windows-based imaging.  I could, of course, be wrong.  But I do not accept a simplistic argument for that conclusion based upon weak analogies to photography, stereos, and racing pit crews.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #21 - Apr 10th, 2005 at 6:09pm
 
Thx for reponding. Your comments are valued.

I think the reason Symantec et al went the Windows route is because it's more USER-FRIENDLY. Would anyone disagree that imaging from Windows is not more user-friendly than imaging from DOS? The average Joe-user does not possess the technical sophistication to image from DOS. Windows-based imaging will make it possible for them to sell more units.

I'm not against their strategy. They need to make a profit. And it's better that people use a Windows-based imager than nothing at all. I'm merely noting that imaging from Windows is inherently less-reliable than imaging from DOS .. for reasons already stated.

I want those who come here, who tend to be more technically sophisticated, to know this. If they still chose to use a Windows-based imager, great! But at least they know.

Being involved in this imaging game since the RAD guide was first published some 5 years ago, I read many threads on the subject, and it's a common theme that Powerquest's Drive Image was less reliable than Ghost. I'd say people chose Ghost 10-to-1 when discussing reliability. I received many emails on the subject, from people looking for help. But I couldn't help them, cuz I've never used Drive Image.

Re: "but it is rare indeed that popularity exists in the absence of quality "

Oh, come now. You're much too intelligent to believe that. I could make a list a mile long of popular junk .. beginning with McDonalds.

Re: "but I challenge others reading this forum to provide those facts"

Well, there is no such datbase. But, like I said, from being in this imaging game for the last 5 years, I have read many threads on the subject, and Ghost has always been the most reliable. But ease-of-use was it's biggest negative.

I mean, have a look at the Acronis forums:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=65

.. and see for yourself what a mess of a time those people are having with that piece of software.

Heck, why do you think Symantec did away with their forums before releasing Ghost v9.0?

Re: "the argument that these companies would place a temporary lift in product sales above long-term corporate reputation is foolhardy."

Oh, come now. We know you're too intelligent to take that position. The list is endless, beginning with Enron. Companies *live* for profits. That's what they do. That's their goal in life. It's their reason for existence.

Re: "To clarify, my argument is not that Ghost 9.0 is superior to Ghost 2003 – only that DOS based imaging is not necessarily superior to Windows-based imaging."

I think you need to define what you mean by the (rather subjective) term "superior". If you mean more USER_FRIENDLY, then Ghost 9 is indeed superior. But if you mean RELIABLE (which is what I mean), then DOS-based imaging is superior (for reasons already stated).

R.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #22 - Apr 10th, 2005 at 8:56pm
 
Radministrator, I appreciate your continued involvement in this dialog.

Re "imaging from Windows is inherently less-reliable than imaging from DOS .. for reasons already stated":  Except for the discussion which (correctly) states that the operating system files are  not in use when the image is created via DOS, I don't believe that any 'reasons' have been provided:  analogies, yes; reasons, no.  If there are additional technical reasons, please enumerate.

Re "popularity" and "quality":  Allow me to try to communicate this again.  McDonalds is indeed "popular junk", as compared to a more up-scale restaurant.  But that's not the issue.  The point is that if McDonalds were to uniformly produce burnt burgers (i.e., deliver poor quality), then its market share would obviously decline.  Correspondingly, if Symantec/Acronis were to produce mission-critical backup products that didn't work with a very high degree of reliability, they too would suffer a market share decline.  I am not saying that all things which are "popular" are also "high quality", but rather within a marketplace competitive set, "popularity" will not long exist in the absence of "quality".  For a short duration, perhaps yes; over a longer time period, no.  There may exist unique counter-examples (e.g., in conditions where competition is artificially constrained), but the idea I am highlighting is basic to economics, marketing, and business.

Re Acronis forum:  There's an obvious self-selection bias occurring.  The purpose of the forum is to allow users experiencing a difficulty to post a question.  For example, if you view any of the Microsoft Product Communities (http://support.microsoft.com/newsgroups/), you would naturally think that all Microsoft products are all in a "mess."  The same would, I believe, hold true for any product support forum.  Stated differently, I'm not aware of any product forum in which all (or most) of the posts consist simply of glowing reviews.

Re "Companies *live* for profits":  Of course, a company that does not make a profit will not long exist.  Nonetheless, the growing body of research in marketing today strongly supports the thesis that the achievement of short-term profits at the expense of destroying long-term customer equity is a prescription for disaster.  You may to explore the current marketing literature to verify this.  This is not naiveté.  Enron, WorldCom, etc. are not counter-examples:  these involved illegal conduct, and we're not talking about that:  rather, we're talking about building a sustainable business.  To do so, the current best-practice perspective is that customer equity (i.e., satisfaction, retention, lifetime value) is central.

Re "Superior = User Friendly" versus "Superior = Reliable":  My intention was to indicate "reliability" through the use of the term "superior."

Kind regards,
Pleonasm (defined as "the use of more words than are required to express an idea" at www.dictionary.com)
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #23 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 12:15am
 
Pleonasm

Ooooohhh--interesting discussion---

Quote:
Nonetheless, I have not read anything in this thread that inherently makes the case that imaging from DOS is superior to imaging from Windows, however slight.


Am I missing something here--or is everyone failing to comprehend the original topic of this thread, i.e. 'Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot freeze'.

This is the Ghost 9.x that is:

Quote:
just SAFER, and, since it runs the drives in DMA mode, a lot faster too.


(Safer!!?, and just how fast is a non-booting OS?)


Quote:
There are a lot of things that are EASIER to do with Ghost 9.0,


(Like posting questions about a non-booting OS after using it?)


Quote:
Ghost 9.0 is much too straightforward to warrant the effort of a Rad Guide,


(Again, we're talking about Ghost 9.x that leaves one with a non-booting OS--right?)


Quote:
Except for the discussion which (correctly) states that the operating system files are  not in use when the image is created via DOS, I don't believe that any 'reasons' have been provided:  analogies, yes; reasons, no.  If there are additional technical reasons, please enumerate.


(I have never had a boot failure after cloning or restoring an OS partition using the DOS version of Ghost 2003--is that a database?--an analogy--no, a reason--yes!)


Quote:
if Symantec/Acronis were to produce mission-critical backup products that didn't work with a very high degree of reliability,


(Again, this is a non-booting OS after a restore by Ghost 9.x?)


Quote:
Re "Superior = User Friendly" versus "Superior = Reliable":  My intention was to indicate "reliability" through the use of the term "superior."


(We're still talking about Ghost 9.x that has left odeen with a non-booting OS?)


Now I was glad to hear from odeen that he had found a 'solution' to his problem.

But isn't anyone a little disturbed by how he solved the problem?  He resorted to a third party, DOS based tool that edits the masterboot record.

This is odeen who said the DOS Ghost 2003 software was 'irrepairably broken'.  And he said that because:

Quote:
If you require a third-party guide that tells you to avoid certain functionality (such as images with long names), you fail it.


But, it's okay to use a third party DOS program to edit the masterboot record to correct the failure of the faster, safer, more reliable Windows based Ghost 9.x.

Now, my point is not to criticize Ghost 9.x here--it's actually to point out that the problem that he experienced with Ghost 9.x is still not really resolved.

Now, odeen made this comment:

Quote:
It seems that, even if I force Windows / Ghost 9.0 to NOT assign a drive letter to the drive / partition, some bits end up written to the "Volume Bytes" portion of the MBR.  These bytes are responsible for "sticky" drive letters, i.e. a K: drive that takes the K: drive letter in any machine you stick it in.


I've been wondering since I saw that if odeen was performing a non-standard image procedure that was effecting the ability to restore properly.  Wouldn't you want Ghost to keep your drive letter assignments on a restore of your OS?

And his solution of editing the masterboot record which must force Windows to see that the drive no longer matches the hardware ID it used originally to assign drive letters, it then re-assigns the drive letters--sounds very similar to Dan Goodell's information on how to try to revive a non-booting situation using the 'Kawecki's Trick' using 'fdisk /mbr' under DOS.

See here:

http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm#method3
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #24 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 1:14pm
 
To assist the reader of this thread in making their own informed decision of whether to use a DOS-based or Windows-based imaging solution, I have attempted to list below the arguments that have been discussed.

The Case Study Argument:  This argument says that since this post is attached to a thread documenting a Ghost 9.0 issue, then a Windows-based imaging solution can’t be as reliable as a DOS-based imaging approach.

The Personal Use Argument:  This argument says that since one specific user has never had a problem using a DOS-based imaging approach, then the latter must be more reliable than a Windows-based imaging solution.

The Ignorance Argument:  This argument says that since we ‘understand’ how a DOS-based image is created, and we don’t really understand to the same degree how a Windows-based image is created, then the former must be more reliable than the latter.

The Complexity Argument #1:  This argument says that since the process of creating a DOS-based image involves less programmatic complexity than that of a Windows-based image, then the former must be more reliable than the latter.

The Complexity Argument #2:  This argument says that since a Windows-based imaging solution is easier to use (i.e., less complex) than a DOS-based approach, then the former must be more reliable than the latter because there is less chance of ‘user error’ in running the application.

The Experiential Argument:  This argument says that since the number of DOS-based imaging issues posted on support forums exceeds those of Windows-based imaging issues, then the latter must be more reliable than the former – even though the absolute quantity of Windows-based imaging users almost certainly exceeds DOS-based imaging users.

The Self-Interest Argument:  This argument says that the brand reputation of Symantec and Acronis is a highly valuable asset, and a choice by those companies to release a ‘new and improved’ imaging solution that was less reliable than the old solution would not be in their own best business interests.

The Market-Share Argument:  This argument says that if a Windows-based imaging solution was less reliable than a DOS-based imaging solution, then the marketplace would come to recognize that fact and consumer purchases would migrate to the more reliable solution.

From my own perspective:
The Case Study Argument:  Extrapolating from a sample size of N=1 is worthless.  I suspect that there does not exist a product – any product – for which 100.0% customer satisfaction exists.
The Personal Use Argument:  This is obviously fallacious, since it does not involve a direct comparison of DOS-based to Windows-based imaging.
The Ignorance Argument:  This can be dismissed as a matter of course.  It holds no merit.
The Complexity Argument #1:  This is perhaps the strongest argument for a DOS-based imaging approach.
The Complexity Argument #2:  This a mild rationale for preferring a Windows-based imaging approach.
The Experiential Argument:  This is a moderate argument for preferring a Windows-based imaging approach.  If the Windows-based imaging technology was less reliable than the DOS-based technology, then that small difference – multiplied by the large installed user base – would result in a plethora of complaints on support forums.  This, of course, is not occurring.
The Self-Interest Argument:  This is a moderate-to-strong argument for preferring a Windows-based imaging approach.
The Market-Share Argument:  Again, this is a moderate-to-strong argument for preferring a Windows-based imaging approach.

On balance, I am not convinced of the truth of the hypothesis that a DOS-based imaging approach is more reliable than a Windows-based solution.  It may be true.  But I, for one, have not honestly heard any facts or arguments that are compelling enough to warrant that conclusion.  “Analogies,” “urban legend,” and “myth” are not, at least for me, very meritorious.

From the perspective of practicality, my own conclusion is that Windows-based imaging is extremely reliable.  Whether it is ever so marginally more-or-less reliable than a DOS-based approach is probably a “distinction without a difference.”  Clearly, neither approach is 100.0% reliable.  If one is 99.90% reliable and the other is 99.91% reliable, then both may be classified in a practical sense as extremely reliable.

From the perspective of reality, the simple fact is that (for better or worse) the DOS-based imaging solutions are rapidly disappearing.  For example, Symantec is no longer directly promoting and selling Ghost 2003 nor is that application officially supported for Windows 2000/XP – but only for the older versions of Windows (see the Symantec Knowledge Base article “Why does Norton Ghost 9.0 come with Norton Ghost 2003?”).

Peace to all who image,
Pleonasm
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #25 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 2:17pm
 
Pleonasm

I, for one, have still not said Ghost 2003 vs Ghost 9.x, one is better than the other.  I have never used Ghost 9.x--so I can't say anything good or bad about it.  Yes I defended DOS Ghost 2003, but that's because I though it was unfairly put down by odeen.

My point has been that Ghost 9.x, for odeen, has failed to function as advertised--that, for odeen, should represent a significant software failure--but based on his posts, it does not seem to be a 'problem'.  Interesting.  DOS Ghost 2003 did not 'fail' odeen--he just unwittingly used it incorrectly--user error.

The only information I can refer to regarding Ghost 9.x are the posts that have been made here.  This is an unscientific observation, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems most issues with Ghost 9.x have been programming problems--incompatibilities--most of DOS Ghost 2003 issues have to do with user error because they do not understand how to use the DOS OS environment rather than program failure.

Most program failure for DOS Ghost 2003 centers around trying to make this DOS program work with technology that DOS was never designed to work with, and was not designed to work with DOS, especially USB and optical burners.

I think it's informative that these issues can be overcome, if a company puts the necessary research and developement into it--for example the Panasonic DOS USB driver seems to have almost universal compatibility with USB technology while Symantec/Iomega's USB DOS driver is marginal at best.

But why so sensitive?  The fact is that Ghost 9.x is failing in this particular instance--and I've yet to see a satisfactory explanation or solution (that is Ghost 9.x based).
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #26 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 2:45pm
 
I feel that I have to chime back in and offer my take on the situation.

First of all, I fixed the problem of Windows boot being "stuck" by clearing the volume bytes on the drive using an MBR editor.  So, I have a fully functional hard drive, and I have documented a possibly necessary extra step needed to restore a drive.

I think this only occurs if the following conditions are met:
1) Drive to be restored contains a bootable Windows NT/2K/XP install
2) Drive is not being copied disk-to-disk, but restored from an image
3) Drive is being restored on a third-party computer which already has a C drive.

I think this is more a reflection of the archaic way that a PC handles drive volumes and partitions, and Windows' particular take on the situation.  It'd be nice if Ghost 9.0 had a "This is going to be a C: drive elsewhere" option, but it's a little iffy to assign a C drive letter to a drive if a computer already has a C drive.

Even if I was NEVER able to restore the MBR, I still had ALL my files on the disk, and a repair install, or a fresh XP install + file copy would have gotten me up and running with ALL my files

Why Ghost 2003 failed (in my case):
Pretended to support something it didn't (LFN's)
Did not prompt the user before destroying data
Unable to gracefully recover from partial data destruction

If 2003 told me "Hey, I'm about to generate computer.g01, and you already have a computer.g01, is it okay to overwrite?" and paused for my input, I wouldn't be upset about it.  If 2003 didn't let the user create archives with long file names, only to forcefully truncate subsequent file names (never mind the necessity to split an image up into sections).  But it does, and then, without asking the user, truncates the file names and overwrites, that's not an error on the user's part.  This behavior isn't even mentioned in the manual - and the user can't be expected to account for what they don't know.

The nice thing about Ghost 9.0 is that you are dealing with easily understandable files and drive letters instead of the more cryptic controller/disk designations.  New motherboards support 12+ drives without the need of extra drive controllers - if you have a bunch of identical disks hanging off the controllers, it's a little sadistic of the software to say "So, copy the 250gb drive on SATA3 to the 250gb drive on SATA4?" when the user isn't dealing with the physical drive attachment points on a daily basis.  SATA3 may be my G: drive for games, and SATA4 is M: drive for music - why ask the user to give up their associations and their mnemonics?

Computers are dumb, but they have good memory.  It's a little silly to expect the user to maintain the same kind of registry of what is where when a computer running a proper OS can display that information.  No need to be more cryptic than necessary to the user.

Anyways, what it boils down to is this: Volume bytes in the MBR aren't cleared or set properly by Ghost.  Blasting off the volume bytes using an MBR editor post-Ghost restoration forces Windows to re-create them, and lets a Windows install on what SHOULD be the C drive boot properly.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #27 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 3:14pm
 
NightOwl, some further comments:

“Ghost 2003 vs Ghost 9.x, one is better than the other”:  I agree with you, and likewise have not made this claim.  My only point is that no compelling facts or arguments have been posted supporting the conclusion that DOS-based imaging is more reliable than Windows-based imaging.

Ghost 2003 was “unfairly put down by odeen”:  I agree, and previously said so.

“DOS Ghost 2003 did not 'fail' odeen--he just unwittingly used it incorrectly--user error”:  It appears to be so.

“most issues with Ghost 9.x have been programming problems--incompatibilities--most of DOS Ghost 2003 issues have to do with user error because they do not understand how to use the DOS OS environment rather than program failure”:  It’s difficult to make this assessment, but it could be true.  See “The Complexity Argument #1” and “The Complexity Argument #2” in my prior post.

“Most program failure for DOS Ghost 2003 centers around trying to make this DOS program work with technology that DOS was never designed to work with”:  This may be true, but as technologies advance, it would appear that the functionality of Ghost 2003 will become increasingly constrained, despite the fact that it could be otherwise - if the manufacturers of the drivers behaved differently.

“The fact is that Ghost 9.x is failing in this particular instance”:  I agree, but see my prior point labeled “The Case Study Argument”.  A single case (pro- or con-Ghost 9.0) is not a basis for supporting one point of view or the other.

“why so sensitive”:  Gee, I don’t consider myself ‘sensitive’ on this point.  I am, however, quite surprised the ‘vigor’ of the comments of those who believe that DOS-based imaging is more reliable.  I personally don’t see the disadvantage in acknowledging that both DOS- and Windows-based imaging solutions are extremely reliable.  However, there seems to be a contingent of individuals who are, for whatever reason, hesitant to do so.

P.S.:  Thanks for an intellectually engaging discussion!
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #28 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 3:15pm
 
(Safer!!?, and just how fast is a non-booting OS?)


Yes.  No files were overwritten, and the OS is able to be restored using the MBR fix, repair install, or plain ol' XP reinstall + file copy. 

(Like posting questions about a non-booting OS after using it?)


Which didn't help.  Just sparked a discussion Smiley

(Again, we're talking about Ghost 9.x that leaves one with a non-booting OS--right?)


But at least it leaves one WITH an OS, as opposed to overwriting it without user intervention.

Ghost 9.0 failure is stupid, but recoverable.  Ghost 2003 failure is CATASTROPHIC and undocumented in materials that ship with the software.

(We're still talking about Ghost 9.x that has left odeen with a non-booting OS?)


We're still talking about a stupid assumption that Windows XP and/or Ghost makes that "R: drive now is R: drive forever and always"  This doesn't apply if you're restoring a system drive in a third-party computer.

Quote:
Now I was glad to hear from odeen that he had found a 'solution' to his problem.

But isn't anyone a little disturbed by how he solved the problem?  He resorted to a third party, DOS based tool that edits the masterboot record.

This is odeen who said the DOS Ghost 2003 software was 'irrepairably broken'.  And he said that because:

But, it's okay to use a third party DOS program to edit the masterboot record to correct the failure of the faster, safer, more reliable Windows based Ghost 9.x.


Ghost 2003 is broken because it did something it didn't tell me it was going to do.  And it did it without giving me a chance to stop it.  The MBR editor gives me a chance to back out before data is overwritten . Ghost 2003 didn't give me that chance.

Quote:
Now, my point is not to criticize Ghost 9.x here--it's actually to point out that the problem that he experienced with Ghost 9.x is still not really resolved.


I think the failure, upon further review, lies with the way Windows handles drive letters.  You can't tell a drive "Go be the C drive somewhere else" without telling to to be the C drive HERE.  And if there's already a C drive, what can the new drive be?

This is a drawback to the Windows way of doing things, though

Quote:
I've been wondering since I saw that if odeen was performing a non-standard image procedure that was effecting the ability to restore properly.  Wouldn't you want Ghost to keep your drive letter assignments on a restore of your OS?


I think what I was doing was reasonable.  I only have one laptop hard drive, and one laptop IDE to regular IDE adapter.  If I can make an image of a CD, then burn it to another CD, I should be able to do the same with a hard drive.

[quote]And his solution of editing the masterboot record which must force Windows to see that the drive no longer matches the hardware ID it used originally to assign drive letters, it then re-assigns the drive letters--sounds very similar to Dan Goodell's information on how to try to revive a non-booting situation using the 'Kawecki's Trick' using 'fdisk /mbr' under DOS.[/q]

fixboot and fixmbr didn't do a thing in the recovery console.  Deeper de-gunking of the MBR was needed.  And, since new-ishey laptops no longer come with any provisions for a floppy drive, I couldn't exactly bust out the recovery floppy, or a DOS 6.22 boot disk Smiley

Stupid, recoverable failure is less severe than non-recoverable failure caused by lack of insufficient controls built into the software.  I don't mind the DOS way of doing things (although the Windows way is easier to manage) but I do mind the data being forcibly overwritten as a result of seemingly PARTIAL LFN support.  Either disable LFN's, or maintain the LFNs through the imaging process.  And give me a chance to say "no" before you overwrite something.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #29 - Apr 11th, 2005 at 3:29pm
 
This is a good thread. Nice to see it's not deteriorating into nastiness. I've been involved in such threads (not here, tho) and can get nasty myself.

I went ahead and linked it to the word "controversial" on the 1st page of the guide where I discuss my feelings about Ghost v9.0 and hot imaging.

I like the way NightOwl made his responses yellow. Easier to read/follow that way. I'm a big "readability" freak, always looking for ways to improve there.

Far as "reasons" go, for the DOS based-version of Ghost being more reliable, I too have restored ~2-dozen images over the years (maybe more), and never had a problem (that was Ghost's fault, anyway). I have mislabeled some images when I was tired, but that was my own dang fault.

The key point we're making is that, it's more reliable to image an operating system while it's dormant (shut down). While imaging a "live" operating system (*from* a live operating system) may be (is) more user-friendly, we feel users are best served by using the DOS-based method, even tho it is admittedly more complicated. I mean, it should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

FWIW - I would never use a Windows-based solution to image any "mission-critical" applications. Do you think Amazon.com or E-bay would use a "live" imaging solution. Seems like a sure-fire way to lose you job. For home-use, it might be okay, because the downside is less steep, and the average home-user uses *no* imaging solution, anyway ..

.. which is why Windows-based imaging solutions are great! (for the average home-user) .. just not as good (reliable) as DOS-based ones.  Smiley

I think we will continue to see problems such as the one which started this thread proliferate with Windows-based imaging. That's just my feeling. Hope I'm wrong.

I admit I'm a "reliability" freak. But that's cuz I have already lost everything. It's a painful lesson. I want the most reliable chipset, the most reliable hard drive, I cool my case cuz that improves reliability. I cool my hard drives. I could go on. But that place where I want the *most* reliability is with my back-up images ..

.. and that's why I feel most comfortable with a DOS-based solution. I have years of trust built up using that method. I have Ghost 9, but don't feel comfortable depending on it, because of the increased chance of being caught with my pants down by some quirky compatibilty glitch.

R.
 
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