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Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE (Read 56551 times)
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #45 - Apr 9th, 2006 at 9:56pm
 
Part 6:  Conclusions and Recommendations


To All

So, how to avoid having a problem with your external HDD not showing up in the Ghost 10 Recovery Environment (RE)?

A.  Well, for the first issue of reserved drive letters by the WinPE/Ghost 10 RE--you just need to avoid using the letters X:\ or Z:\ for any of your drives.

Actually, if you usually use one optical drive for booting, you can assign that drive the X:\ in WinXP and it will not create a problem in Ghost 10 RE--it will have X:\ there too, and it saves you one drive letter for use in WinXP--if needed.

*************************************************

B.  As far as drive letter conflict between what has been assigned in WinXP and then conflicts with what gets assigned in the Ghost RE (probably this only happens if you have a USB Card Reader--and maybe not with all USB Card Readers):

1.  Buy and add any peripheral external devices to your system in the order that Ghost 10 RE expects to see them--  Cheesy  --of course that's not likely to happen--right?!

2.  If you boot to the Ghost RE and your external HDD's are missing, first thing to do, if you have a USB Card Reader, is to shut down, disconnect it, and re-boot to the Ghost RE to see if your external HDD's now show up--if yes, you have access to your images on the external HDD's and you're good to go.

3.  If you want to keep your devices hooked up, and the *sticky* drive letters in the order Ghost 10 RE *needs* to see them to avoid creating a drive letter conflict, then you could do the following:

a.  In Ghost 10 RE, run Ghost32 v8.2, and look at the *Disk #* associated with each of your devices--that tells you in what order the Ghost 10 RE *wants* to see those devices.

b.  Shut down.  Disconnect all the peripheral devices.  Boot to WinXP.  Run *Regedit* and delete all the values in the *MountedDevices* key.  Shut down and re-boot to WinXP.  Now add each of the devices in the order Ghost32 v8.2 suggested when you were in the Ghost 10 RE.

The new drive letter assignments will now be in the order that Ghost 10 RE wants, and will not create a drive letter conflict.

If you later change the devices, like creating additional partitions on your external HDD--in WinXP--that will put new drive letter(s) in the *MountedDevices* that are after the Card Reader's drive letters--it will cause a conflict--you have to redo steps a. and b. above to once again avoid the conflict.

Alternatively, rather than using the RegEdit program, you could go to *Disk Management* in WinXP and re-order the drive letters for your devices there--but that can become a little complicated if you are running out of *free* drive letters to temporarily assign while you move things around--but it can work--I've done it.
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #46 - Apr 9th, 2006 at 10:08pm
 
Brian wrote on Apr 9th, 2006 at 8:20pm:
I did everything correctly but, duh, I looked for the subkeys in System rather than _Remote_System. You are correct. Now I know how to do it, it is easy.


Brian, thanks for the feedback.  I corrected my previous post:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=11441...

As I said before, and you can see, it is easy, but it isn't as well, and one can be misled to thinking they have modified the registry, when in fact they haven't or they modified the wrong one.

 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #47 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 12:12am
 
NightOwl, congratulations. This is just an amazing piece of research and interpretation. I’ll need to read this thread several times before it all sinks in but I have learnt so much from the various contributors. So far you have been preaching to the converted but now the information needs to be accessible to the average Ghost 10 user.
 
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #48 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 12:58am
 
Brian

Thanks--appreciate the *pat on the back*--I've been very pleased with the ongoing responses--and it's forced me to learn a few more tricks along the way  Wink !

I still have not installed Ghost 9.x or 10 on my system--I wasn't willing to if I was not able to *see* my external HDD's where I store some of my Ghost images--now, maybe I'll proceed.

I hope others will be able to *wade* thru this maze and report their findings using their unique set of devices hooked up to their systems.
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #49 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 4:53am
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 8th, 2006 at 5:54pm:
I suspect that the behavior of the Ghost 10 recovery environment is intentional rather than a "design flaw" – despite the fact that it clearly has some issues that will (hopefully) be fixed in the next version.


I've given this a lot of thought.  Don't mean to overdo the analysis of what was in someone else's minds, but I believe I have a complete correct logical explanation now:

Conclusion:


The Windows Preinstallation Environment was never designed to be an "emergency stand-alone boot" loader environment.  It was never designed to repair dead systems.


It was designed as a minimal operating system; created, not with lots of bells and whistles, but with just a bare operating system, and enough capability to update or change an existing Windows XP system.  Much like the old vanilla DOS boot diskettes don't have any bells and whistles, but just bare bones files.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/winpreinst/WindowsPE_over.mspx

With that framework in mind, it follows that WinPE is an "operating system updater" boot cd.  Think of it as being used to update an XP system offline.  That is the key.  It's analogous to the concept of taking cold-backups (offline backups) with Ghost, not hot-backups.

Key Point:  That is why the WinPE environment is built to look like the parent OS! 


You would want your offline-updater to present and update an existing OS with close to the same look and feel as the user previously experienced.  That is why I believe that the drive letter environment we've been discussing, is maintained and honored as best as is possible.

It's not an emergency system repair CD.  (If you need that, look at the highly regarded
http://www.winternals.com/Products/AdministratorsPak/  for technician-based tools to repair dead systems.)

Simply put by Microsoft:

"Windows PE is a minimal Windows system that provides limited services based on the Windows XP Professional and the Windows Server 2003 kernels. It also provides the minimal set of features required to run Windows Setup, access and install operating systems from the network, script basic repetitive tasks, and validate hardware."

 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #50 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 5:55am
 
Quote:
BartPE vs. Windows PE?

    * BartPE is not supported by Microsoft. Windows PE is an official Microsoft product.
    * BartPE has a graphical user interface. Windows PE has a command line interface.
    * The tools needed to make a BartPE installation are free software. Windows PE is available only to Microsoft OEM users.
    * BartPE allows unlimited custom plugins. Windows PE has a limited range of plugins options.


John,

This is how Bart describes WinPE by Microsoft, as a Command Line Interface. I've never seen it used. BartPE and especially ReatogoPE are obviously much more like the Windows with which we are familiar. BartPE, Ghost 9/10 and ERD Commander are customised variations of the Microsoft product. I'd say Ghost 10 has been customised too much.
 
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #51 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 9:24am
 
Brian, I would agree with all those bullet points about BartPE.  I've never seen the WinPE interface language either.  But I would say that "BartPE, Ghost 9/10, and ERD Commander" are the *results* of building an os environment with WinPE.  WinPE is the underlying structure.

The main difference with BartPE is that it has documented ways for the user to add plug-ins.  That's one of the primary reasons for its popularity.  Would BartPE be so popular if it only provided a way for you to boot from a cd, but run no programs?  The Symantec and ERD Commander uses of WinPE structure it to allow you run ONLY the specific programs and utilities they include, nothing more.

I think we have been shooting the messenger (Ghost 10), and not the message (WinPE) with Ghost 10.
 It all makes sense when you consider this:

The Ghost 10 inability to see the usb drive is the same results I had with BartPE.  BartPE honored the MountedDevices registry entry.  
WinPE is the culprit, not the application.


Do you remember all the griping, hand ringing, complaining that occurred when Windows 95, 98, Me, and 2000 came out?  Much of the complaints was that the setup could not or would not recognize the specific pc environment.  The Microsoft setup.exe program on the cd was just another manifestation of WinPE.

What was happening in those cases (and still does) is that the setup Preinstallation Environment didn't recognize something about the pc--such as the motherboard, ide controller chipset, pci addon sound card, etc etc.  The result was that half way through the setup, your pc would freeze, black-screen, or other aborts.  There was message boards filled with "workarounds" on how to get the setup WinPE to recognize your configuration correctly.

Sound familiar?  Sound like Ghost 10 running under WinPE?  I think it is because it is functionally the same thing happening.  I can recall during several corporate conversations of PC's that I was part of, that *most* but not all PC's could finish the setup/WinPE recognition logic, but not all.

As we've seen here, there are sprinklings of configurations that the WinPE configuration won't recognize properly:  USB drives, special HD controllers, SATA drives, certain motherboards.  I read recently of one user who could not get the Ghost 10 RE cd to recognize his new AMD dual core motherboard, and Symantec said "known problem".

That is really saying "known configuration" that that version of WinPE doesn't yet have built into it's database.  That is also why Symantec has multiple versions of their Ghost 10 RE cd available for specific Ghost 10 customers with hardware specific issues.

Brian, you correctly said in the past the most of the problems with Ghost (and TI) are a result of specific hardware configurations.

It's the same as the setup problems Microsoft has had every time it releases a new "pre installation" cd for setup.  

But it's the environment fault, not the application.

I'll bet money that when the Windows Vista cd (PE) comes out, it will produce all kinds of groaning, hand ringing, and complaints that it doesn't recognize some components about someones configuration.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #52 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 9:52am
 
Ghost4me and Brian

When you install WinXP from the installation CD, you don't get a *pretty* Window's graphical based PE OS--it's as Bart has said--it's a *command line* interface--you're given text instructions and asked to *Press F6* to install needed drivers, *Press 'R' for 'Repair', etc.  Actually, Microsoft refers to the initial boot of the installation as the *text mode*, and the second re-boot as the *graphical mode* of the installation process using its WinPE

Based on the descriptions of BartPE and ReatogoPE, I'd have to say that the Ghost 10 RE is more like them, than like the WinPE for the WinXP install CD!

Quote:
You would want your offline-updater to present and update an existing OS with close to the same look and feel as the user previously experienced.  That is why I believe that the drive letter environment we've been discussing, is maintained and honored as best as is possible.

I just think Symantec was trying to be *cute*--*Look--our Recovery Environment is better than yours--We have the same drive letters in the RE as seen in the parent WinXP OS that the user has!*

But, they just did a *poor*, incomplete job of it!!!

I don't think this issue is a Microsoft WinPE issue--this is something Symantec has *dreamed* up and inflicted on us in their attempt at *cuteness*!

Does BartPE or ReatogoPE show the same drive letter assignment in their interface as would be seen in the WinXP OS?  I'm betting *not*!

WinPE is not *equal to* Ghost 10 RE--two separate *beasts*!

This refers to *Window 2000*, but a Google search implies that this applies to WinXP as well:

How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters


It mentions how the installation process tries to bring forward previous drive letter assignments if there is already a previous Windows installation:

Quote:
the drive letter assignments are exported to the $Win_nt$.~bt\Migrate.inf file so the text-mode setup program can reference and import them into the MountMgr database as part of the upgrade process
 

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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #53 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 9:55am
 
NightOwl, in my opinion, Symantec now owes you its gratitude in thoroughly diagnosing and documenting this issue.  You have a made a significant contribution toward addressing the “Ghost 10 recovery environment drive letter” problem.

I am confident that I will miss something in the following list, but it may be valuable to summarize and characterize the conditions under which this problem may appear:
  • The user is running Ghost 10 (rather than Ghost 9), and . . .
  • The user needs to restore the active partition containing the operating system (otherwise, the Ghost 10 recovery environment need not be invoked since the restore operation can be done from within Windows XP), and . . .
    • The drive containing the recovery point is external, or . . .
    • The drive containing the recovery point is recognized in Windows XP as “X:\” or “Z:\” or. . .
    • The user has attached external devices to the PC after creating a recovery point but before invoking the Ghost 10 recovery environment.
At the risk of being redundant, I recommend that you edit Reply #45 to add the (obvious) solution to this problem:  boot into BartPE and use the A43 File Management utility to simply copy the recovery point to a destination that is already visible to the Ghost 10 recovery environment.  This approach, in my opinion, is the one that is most easily explained to a user and has the lowest downside risk of inadvertently damaging the PC through deleting partitions, editing a disk sector, or editing the registry.  Of course, in some circumstances, a user may not have another destination onto which the recovery point may be copied – but, in the worse case, the user could invest a small sum to purchase such a device.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #54 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 10:01am
 
Ghost4me

Quote:
The Ghost 10 inability to see the usb drive is the same results I had with BartPE.  BartPE honored the MountedDevices registry entry.  WinPE is the culprit, not the application.

Is this true!  I must have missed it!  

So, if you change a partition drive letter in WinXP from say E:\ to Q:\, and then boot to the BartPE--it will be Q:\ in the BartPE?

If this is true, then your external HDD's should go *missing* in BartPE as well, if you have a Card Reader whose drive letters are assigned at a lower letter than your external HDD's in WinXP!

**********************************************

Brian

If you re-assign your external USB HDD to K:\ and L:\ beyond your Card Reader--if you boot to BartPE now--can you see your external USB HDD?
 

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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #55 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 2:25pm
 
Ghost4me
Quote:The Ghost 10 inability to see the usb drive is the same results I had with BartPE.  BartPE honored the MountedDevices registry entry.  WinPE is the culprit, not the application. 

NightOwl wrote on Apr 10th, 2006 at 10:01am:
Is this true!  I must have missed it!  
So, if you change a partition drive letter in WinXP from say E:\ to Q:\, and then boot to the BartPE--it will be Q:\ in the BartPE?

Short answer:  that depends.  Don't forget, BartPE is built from your running XP system and your XP setup disc.

I just built a new BartPE boot cd.  Rebooted, and my previously-sticky-usb drive of letter K: was assigned to e: by BartPE.  To see what was going on, I started up the BartPE Registry Editor and compared the MountedDevices from BartPE registry with the MountedDevices from the xp C: drive.  In BartPE, the MountedDevices contained the following letters: a,c,d,e,f,g,h,x.

So in that case since my USB drive (whose DiskID signature didn't match anything in the BartPE MountedDevices entry), BarPE honored the MountedDevices entry and assigned the next available non-used, which was e:.  If there were an entry in the MountedDevices BartPE entry that matched my USB drive, then I assume it would get K: again.

NightOwl:
Quote:
I just think Symantec was trying to be *cute*--*Look--our Recovery Environment is better than yours--We have the same drive letters in the RE as seen in the parent WinXP OS that the user has!*
But, they just did a *poor*, incomplete job of it!!!

I disagree.


NightOwl:
Quote:
WinPE is not *equal to* Ghost 10 RE--two separate *beasts*!

I disagree again.  

WinPE is the Microsoft operating system environment.  Ghost 10 RE uses the operating system environment of WinPE.  Both are WinPE. The application that runs within that environment is Ghost 10.

Hopefully this forum allows more than one opinion.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #56 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 2:42pm
 
Ghost4me, I am confident that the forum welcomes multiple opinions – so, please do offer your insights on any and all topics!  In my own case, I have found your posts quite valuable.

Concerning Windows PE and the Ghost 10 recovery environment, remember this:  Ghost 10 might not have visibility to an external USB hard disk drive, whereas Ghost 8.2 – running in the same Windows PE environment – does detect the drive.  Therefore, it is not the case that the “problem” resides in the combination of Ghost 10 coupled with Windows PE?
 

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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #57 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 3:25pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 10th, 2006 at 10:01am:
If you re-assign your external USB HDD to K:\ and L:\ beyond your Card Reader--if you boot to BartPE now--can you see your external USB HDD?

NightOwl,

My main computer is away being fixed so I can't do the test. I wouldn't expect a problem because it's only Ghost 10 that assigns the same drive letters as seen in WinXP. Ghost 9 and both varieties of BartPE assign drive letters sequentially.
 
 
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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #58 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 4:43pm
 
Ghost4me

You made your BartPE from a WinXP that had your USB drive letter assigned as K:\, but when you booted to the BartPE--your BartPE assigned it the *next available* drive letter E:\--I assume this means that the drive letters in BartPE are not *inherited* from the WinXP system's Registry that you used to create the BartPE, nor does BartPE *read* that registry key for *MountedDevices* in the active WinXP OS Registry during boot--but simply mounts and assigns drive letters as they are *seen* during the booting of BartPE.

Is the WinPE that is being used to create the BartPE from a WinXP installation disk?  I believe that Ghost 10 RE is built on a newer version of WinPE--perhaps v2.x--which is being developed for the upcoming Windows Vista release--and the older installation CD for WinXP was based on the v1.x--and Ghost 9 RE used that older version too--so we may be comparing *apples to oranges*!

Quote:
Hopefully this forum allows more than one opinion.

Didn't mean my comments to be taken so personally to mean you are not allowed your own opinion--sorry!

What I was trying to say is that WinPE is a starting point--a foundation for other companies (developers) who want to license WinPE from Microsoft to then customize to their liking--once a company *customizes* it to their specifications--I no longer think the finger points at WinPE, per say, but at the company that has modified it.

So, you don't think Symantec has customized Ghost 10 RE to work to their specifications--and specifically to read the *MountedDevices* registry of the active OS, if present?  You could certainly be right--if Symantec is using the newer version of WinPE--maybe that is the standard way it operates--I presume we will find out when the new version of Windows ships, and if the future BartPE is built from that newer version of WinPE--we'll see that new behavior.
 

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Re: Missing External HDD's in Ghost 10's RE
Reply #59 - Apr 10th, 2006 at 4:57pm
 
Ghost4me

I'm still confused about these previous comments:

Quote:
Quote:The Ghost 10 inability to see the usb drive is the same results I had with BartPE.  BartPE honored the MountedDevices registry entry.  WinPE is the culprit, not the application.

When did you experience not seeing your USB HDD in BartPE--what was the setup?

In response to my question:

Quote:
Is this true!  I must have missed it!   
So, if you change a partition drive letter in WinXP from say E:\ to Q:\, and then boot to the BartPE--it will be Q:\ in the BartPE?


You answered:

Quote:
Short answer:  that depends.

Under what circumstances does BartPE inherit the drive letter that's assigned in the WinXP OS--your response indicated that it was not?!

Brian's response was that BartPE and ReatogoPE assign drive letters sequentially similar to Ghost 9 RE--and the WinXP drive letter assignments are not an issue in those settings.

 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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