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Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot freeze (Read 104203 times)
odeen
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Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot freeze
Apr 7th, 2005 at 11:45pm
 
Hi guys,

I'd like to ask you a question about a problem I've had more than once with Ghost 9.0.

Two completely separate machines were affected by this - One was a custom-built machine based on the ECS KT600-A motherboard (Don't laugh, it's reliable at stock speed, and it's my second rig).  The other is is a Gateway M505X (Pentium-M, Intel chipset, and Hitachi 7K60 hard drive).  The 7K60 was attached using a laptop-desktop IDE adapter.

I made a copy of an entire drive into an image file on a different hard drive.   The drive that I copied off of had a working Windows install.  MBR was to be included in the image, and I did not disable SmartSector copying.

I checked the image multiple times prior to deleting the drive, the image integrity was not compromised.  I was able to access files in the image.

However, problems arose when I restored:
Both machines boot, and the initial XP splash screen shows up.  The little blue blobs scroll across the screen, the resolution changes, and the big blue "loading your personal settings" screen comes up.

This is where the machine sits for 5+ minutes until I turn it off.  I also notice that the num lock light flashes on my keyboard.  It seems that XP goes through some sort of a cycle repeatedly, instead of breaking out of it.

I've had other successful Norton 9.0 image/restore cycles.  I have no idea what I'm changing to make the restore successful...

I've browsed through the board, and haven't been able to locate a solution, largely because I can't think of the proper keywords to search for.  I'll be very grateful for any assistance you may have.


Thanks,

Alex
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #1 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 2:36am
 
That suks. I feel yer pain.

I have no answer, but would be curious to see what happens if you used Ghost v2003 instead, particularly from a bootable floppy.

R.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #2 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 3:51am
 
Norton 2003, as far as I am concerned, is irrepairably broken.

Thanks to its handling of file names (i.e. it PRETENDS to take long file names, but truncates the subsequent volume files to 8.3, even when making an image on an NTFS volume) I LOST a hard drive.  Completely lost.

I had two backups that I was making onto the same hard disk, I called them Laptop Drive Old and Laptop Drive New (I needed the "factory" image that the laptop shipped with)

I made "laptop drive old."  Unbeknownst to me, I had "Laptop drive old.something" and a string of laptopdr.### files, because Ghost 2003, at best, needs to be coaxed into NOT making ten billion different files instead of one giant image file, and 9.0 defaults to making one file that can't interfere with anything else

I proceeded to make Laptop Drive New...  And guess what..  no warning, no error message, and the second volume of Laptop Drive New...  becomes laptopdr.001 or something, overwriting laptopdr.001 that belonged to the "Old" image.

Of course, since Ghost refuses to try to "repair" the image file, as it was made of an NTSF volume, I can't get to ANY data past the first two gigs of the drive. 

None of this would have happened if I was doing it in a pleasant graphical environment with overwite warnings, and ability to handle files over 2gb in size.  Despite its shortcomings, I prefer 9.0 - it's just SAFER, and, since it runs the drives in DMA mode, a lot faster too.

Don't get me started on bootable floppies.  Much like PS/2, parallel, and serial ports, this ancient 16-bit technology merely slows down progress.  Just think how much more productive we'd be if we could boot Ghost off a thumb drive, or install RAID drivers during an initial XP install off a second CD.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #3 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 1:36pm
 
You sound angry.

We have different opinions. Another opinion is posted here:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11127...

Ghost 2003 maintains long file names of files IN THE IMAGE. It's the name of the image itself, which is handled under DOS, that is subject to the limits of the DOS 8.3 naming limitations.

I discuss this in the guide on the page where the image is created:

http://ghost.radified.com/ghost_2.htm

"Try to limit the file name to no more than 8 characters.. to observe the 8.3 DOS file limit scheme. My naming system uses 6 characters. If you dual-boot, or multi-boot, pay extra attention during naming. It's not difficult to mis-label or mis-name images, such as C or D, etc. I have made this mistake myself. Bad, bad. You don't find out until it's too late. Pay extra attention if it's late at night and you're tired.

Certain types of naming schemes can cause problems. If the first 5 characters of your original file names are the same for different images, and you images span larger than 2-GB, and you store all your images in the same directory, Ghost will automatically generate identical *.ghs files for the parts of your image(s) that exceed 2-GB. Nealtoo says:

"I have found the enemy and he is me. The naming convention I was using was identical for the first 8 characters of the *.gho file name. e.g. "Drive C 09-23-03". When Ghost named the spanned *.ghs files in DOS format (8.3), they all became DriveOO1.ghs, Drive002.ghs, etc. Ghost apparently truncates the original file names (*.gho) at 5 characters, and adds 001.ghs, 002.ghs to the spanned file sections. So, when I would make a new image, with the first part of the filename being identical to the previous image, Ghost was overwriting previously written spanned files."

It's a common mistake. But to say the program is "irrepairably broken" doesn't wash with me.

I've used it to create hundreds of images and restore dozens. All worked fine.

Yet your glitch with v9.0 (Drive Image repackaged after Symantec bought Powerquest) remains.
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #4 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 1:43pm
 
odeen

I do not have or use Ghost 9.x, so take this advice for what it's worth:

A couple general trouble shooting questions and suggestions--

1.  What OS are you using--same or different on each of the two machines?

2.  Can you start in 'Safe-Mode'?

Quote:
I've had other successful Norton 9.0 image/restore cycles.  I have no idea what I'm changing to make the restore successful...


3.  It's unclear from your statement--you have used Ghost 9.x on these machines, and performed the exact same procedure in the past that you can not do now?

4.  What common thing have you done, changed, added, upgraded--since the last time you successfully did the Ghost 9.x procedure on these machines?

5.  Have you disabled the boot splash screen so you see any possible error messages or other screen displays that might show you what endless cycle is occurring?  See here for discussion:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11122...

6.  Other Ghost 9.x users posted problems related to 'Data Execution Prevention policy' issues--see here:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11078...

and here:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11053...

and here:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11048...



Now--I apologize up front--don't take this wrong--I'm not trying to be derogatory--I'm really a nice guy and I enjoy trying to help...  Wink :

Quote:
Norton 2003, as far as I am concerned, is irrepairably broken.


Is it the software...or the user that's broken?

When in DOS OS, do as DOS does!  The software is designed for DOS--long file names not equal to DOS. 

Read the user manual--it describes how file naming occurs in DOS.

I know it's too late now for this suggestion to help you--but I always create a new sub-directory for each new image, so I never have to worry about file name issues and overwriting an existing image.

Quote:
None of this would have happened if I was doing it in a pleasant graphical environment with overwite warnings, and ability to handle files over 2gb in size.  Despite its shortcomings, I prefer 9.0 - it's just SAFER, and, since it runs the drives in DMA mode, a lot faster too.


That's why Ghost 9.x is working so well for you right now?  Hmmmmm...

Quote:
Don't get me started on bootable floppies.  Much like PS/2, parallel, and serial ports, this ancient 16-bit technology merely slows down progress.  Just think how much more productive we'd be if we could boot Ghost off a thumb drive,


Aren't thumb drives a USB technology?  Booting from a USB device--isn't that a BIOS hardware issue?  Why blame Ghost 2003?  By the way, I have booted DOS with DOS USB support with a compact flash memory card in my multi-card USB reader with Ghost 2003 on the flash card, and performed Ghost procedures without any further problems.  But, no, I was not booting from the flash card.

USB is really a Windows interface protocol and was not really meant to be used under DOS.

Quote:
or install RAID drivers during an initial XP install off a second CD.


Isn't that a Windows install program 'limitation' (bug)--again, why blame Ghost 2003?

By the way, there is a way to copy the Windows install CD to your HDD, edit the install script to point to your third party drivers, add the third party RAID drivers to the install files, and then re-burn the modified install files back to a bootable CD, and now have your third party drivers already available on the install CD, and you no longer have to use F6, a floppy drive, or a second CD (which the Windows install software doesn't offer you the option of doing).

 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #5 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 3:18pm
 
Odeen, a few thoughts:

[1] Based on an exchange of emails with Symantec, I learned that Ghost 9.0 'might' have problems with a restore if the original disk was ‘highly’ fragmented.  For this reason, I typically run Norton Speed Disk prior to creating an image.  Could this possibly be the reason why prior restore operations worked and the current one does not?

[2] See the article at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1202778,00.asp for a description of how to create a Windows XP boot diskette.  I recommend that you try to start the PC with a Windows XP boot diskette, and see if you can avoid the existing issue.  If this works, run a "CHKDSK /R" on the drive.

[3] Although I have not used it myself, there exists a tool called ERD Commander (http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/erdcommander2002.asp?pid=er...) that appears to offer a high degree of functionality for solving non-booting PC issues.

Please post your results.

P.S.:  Although I too use only Ghost 9.0, I think that calling Ghost 2003 "irreparably broken" may be an exaggeration.  The tool still works, although it clearly is a legacy application that will (for better or worse) fade into the shadows.  It's interesting to me that for every one post on this forum with a Ghost 9.0 question, there are probably ten with a Ghost 2003 issue.  And, I suspect that the number of Ghost 9.0 users is currently larger than the user base for Ghost 2003.  What does that tell you?
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #6 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 4:32pm
 
Pleonasm

Quote:
It's interesting to me that for every one post on this forum with a Ghost 9.0 question, there are probably ten with a Ghost 2003 issue.  And, I suspect that the number of Ghost 9.0 users is currently larger than the user base for Ghost 2003.  
What does that tell you?


That Rad's Ghost Guide was based initially on Ghost 2002 and gradually updated to Ghost 2003--never has been a Guide to Ghost 9.x    Wink   .
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #7 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:15pm
 
Sorry if I seemed angry, but I'm not a big fan of Ghost 2003, and the "particularly from a bootable floppy" comment seemed especially condescending.  It was late, I was tired, an

I haven't seen anything that Ghost 2003 couldn't set up from Windows interface, or bootable CD that's accessible from a bootable floppy.  We've had bootable CD functionality for YEARS, so there's no reason to force the floppy issue, especially with so many OEM computers shipping without floppy drives.  Plus, given how unreliable floppies are, I would rather trust executable code from write-once optical media than magnetic media where the head makes contact with the disk. 

THAT aside, I found the solution

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 used MBRTool ( http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/mbrtool.htm ) on my Ultimate Boot CD (oooh..  high-capacity reliable optical media) [url]www.ultimatebootcd.com[/b] 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.

My beef with Norton Ghost 2003:
1) Supports LFN for disk images, but drops back to 8.3 for subsequent volume files (i.e. Computer1.gho will generate subsequent files named  computer.g01, computer.g02...computer.gXX).  If you're going to drop back to 8.3, don't offer the user long file names PERIOD
2) Splits image into multiple volumes by default when it's not needed (leading to problem #1)
3) Doesn't check whether it's overwriting the volume files (i.e. Computer1.gho and Computer2.gho will both generate computer.g01, computer.g02...computer.gXX, with the gXX files belonging to computer2.gho overwriting gXX files belonging to computer1.gho).  If you require a third-party guide that tells you to avoid certain functionality (such as images with long names), you fail it.
4) Runs in some unholy concoction of NTFS-writing DOS.  Personally, I like to be able to see where I'm going, and use standard Windows file dialog boxes, instead of "Source = Drive X, Destination = Drive Y."  Most can handle it, but it's FAR too error-prone than using standard means of selecting volumes in Windows.
5) Can't recover from a missing volume file (at least for images of NTFS partitions/disks)

Basically, there are conditions where Ghost 2003 will destroy data without prompting.  That alone means that Ghost 2003 fails it. 

There are a lot of things that are EASIER to do with Ghost 9.0, since it's possible to open up My Computer, or the Disk Management administrative tool and "check your work" before you commit.   Plus running DMA disk access under Windows is a lot faster than PIO access under DOS.  It took me several hours to image a drive under Ghost 2003, it takes me about 40 minutes to do the same task under 9.0.

Anyways...  my laptop boots, and I've found a way to fix the condition.  Go me Smiley
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #8 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:19pm
 
I am not confident that a discussion about whether Ghost 2003 is better/worse than Ghost 9.0 is in the best interests of the readership of the forum.  We all have our own individual preferences, in software as well as in all other purchase categories.  The world is big.  There is room for more than one PC image backup application.  Having said that, I too am guilty of reacting negatively to those who react negatively to Ghost 9.0.

I do understand that the Rad's Ghost Guide has never been updated to Ghost 9.0.  I suspect that it never will, principally because there is no need for a Rad Ghost 9.0 Guide.  Ghost 9.0 is much too straightforward to warrant the effort of a Rad Guide, and that’s one of the major attractions of the application, in my opinion.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #9 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:21pm
 
Quote:
Is it the software...or the user that's broken?


Software.  If you're going to offer the user LFN's, don't stop using LFN's.  It actually WRITES an LFN file to the target disk (i.e. computer1.gho).  However, it then proceeds to write more 8.3-named files.  So, it CAN write LFN's.  It chooses not to, and that's software's fault.

At least 9.0  gets me the image in one piece, and restorable.  Just a little MBR tweak, and I'm good to go.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #10 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:26pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:19pm:
I am not confident that a discussion about whether Ghost 2003 is better/worse than Ghost 9.0 is in the best interests of the readership of the forum.  We all have our own individual preferences, in software as well as in all other purchase categories.  The world is big.  There is room for more than one PC image backup application.  Having said that, I too am guilty of reacting negatively to those who react negatively to Ghost 9.0.

I do understand that the Rad's Ghost Guide has never been updated to Ghost 9.0.  I suspect that it never will, principally because there is no need for a Rad Ghost 9.0 Guide.  Ghost 9.0 is much too straightforward to warrant the effort of a Rad Guide, and that’s one of the major attractions of the application, in my opinion.


I think my discovery, and the tools needed to fix it (fixmbr in the Windows Recovery Environment didn't do the trick) may be a part of the (smaller) Ghost 9.0 guide.  For the "I restored an image and now my Windows is stuck" crowd. Smiley
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #11 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 6:32pm
 
Pleonasm

I did not say Ghost 2003 vs Ghost 9.x was better or worse than the other--nor anything negative regarding Ghost 9.x--others have been doing that.  I was just defending Ghost 2003 and the DOS environment.

This is not a new or unique debate--which might tell you something about how it seems to be continuing....

I was using tape drive technology for backup in the Win3.x era (dare I say back around 1994).  Win3.x was closely married to DOS, but all the tape backup programmers were trying to create 'Windows Interfaces' for doing the tape backups so they had a friendlier Windows look (sound familiar?).

But guess what--the Windows Interface programs could not backup certain 'locked' files that Win3.x was using--and you could not restore a tape back up of certain OS files from a tape backup after you had reloaded the OS, and then trying to restore the backup from within the Windows Interface.

Same old problems--you had to drop back to DOS to do a full backup or restore of the OS using a tape backup option.

Isn't that true of Ghost 9.x as well if you are restoring from a HDD failure and you do not have an operational OS to boot?
 

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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #12 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 7:15pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 8th, 2005 at 1:43pm:
Is it the software...or the user that's broken?

When in DOS OS, do as DOS does!  The software is designed for DOS--long file names not equal to DOS. 


odeen wrote on Apr 8th, 2005 at 5:21pm:
Software.

Well, yes and no.  As NightOwl said, v2003 is really a DOS program.  It, along with DriveImage, the granddaddy of the genre, became very solid DOS products.  I've been using these products since they first came out (before that, I wrote my own assembler code to make images), and they have proven very reliable over the past decade.

However, along the way both products faced negativity in the marketplace by the growing masses of Windows users who bought into the hype that "DOS is bad".  So they pasted a Windows shell around the DOS program and said, "See, it's now a Windows program."  Not.

Pleonasm points to the volume of posts with v2003 problems, but having followed these types of threads for years in various newgroups, I've observed that the overwhelming majority of problems with Ghost 2003 and DriveImage 2002 were reported by people using the Windows interfaces.  The underlying DOS programs were very reliable, but the drop-to-DOS, reboot-to-Windows scheme was fragile.  Also, a number of problems are because the program doesn't recognize a device the user wants it to recognize, not because the imaging technology doesn't work.

The reliability of the DOS versions stems from the fact they do their work from outside Windows.  This should be intuitively obvious.  When the operating system is completely shut off, it's easy to make an image.  It's a still-life painting.  You can take all day, if you want, and the subject doesn't move.  (BTW, this is not limited to just cloning/imaging programs, but also applies to partition managers like PartitionMagic.)

In contrast, making an image from within Windows, while Windows is running, is like taking a snapshot at a rock concert.  If you're not careful, the picture comes out blurry.  Time becomes more critical.  Remember that panoramic class picture they took in high school?  The three-foot long photo of the entire senior class grouped in the quad?  Did you ever notice the couple of clowns who showed up in two places in that picture?  Now imagine Ghost hot-imaging a partition--if it's not careful, things can change at the other end of the partition before the "camera" gets there.

The fact that v9 works at all is remarkable.  The fact that it works as well as it does is a testament to the competency of its programmers.  But don't make the mistake of thinking its imaging technology is better than the DOS version's.  The DOS version may eventually fade away because of lack of support for emerging technologies--larger hard disks, new types of storage devices and interfaces, etc.  It won't be because its imaging technology is inferior, it will be because it won't see the new devices.

 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #13 - Apr 8th, 2005 at 7:17pm
 
NightOwl, my apologies if I misinterpreted your comments.

Concerning Ghost 9.0, a restore of a non-operating system partition may occur 'live' from within Windows (i.e., a "hot restore").  To restore the operating system partition, you need to use the Symantec CD to first boot into the 'Recovery Environment,' a 'lite' version of Windows from which the Ghost 9.0 application is executed.  In both cases, it's Windows (not DOS) that is running.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 9.0 restoration problem-Windows boot fre
Reply #14 - 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).

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.  I understand the logic of your argument; however, logic and facts are not synonymous.  Obviously, Symantec and Acronis – two major, well-respected software manufacturers - do not accept the logic you articulate.

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.
 
 
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