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Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & Ghost (Read 22922 times)
John.
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Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & Ghost
Apr 13th, 2006 at 11:24am
 
External USB2 hard drives are a popular and practical choice for use with Ghost backups.  This guide is to provide a
simple one-page cookbook approach
to show how to successfully use a USB2 drive with Ghost 10.

Most of the time USB2 and firewire drives work perfectly with Ghost 10.0, both in creating backups and in restoring files or partitions from the backup image stored on a USB2 drive.  Fortunately, as opposed to DOS/Ghost 2003, XP/Ghost 10.0 does not require any special drivers to be tried, tested, or installed to get USB2 drives to work.  Native support is built into both Windows XP and the Ghost 10 Recovery Environment (RE) CD.

The only problem that occasionally happens, occurs when the drive letter assigned by XP or the user, conflicts with the Ghost 10.0 RE.  For those cases, I shall address (1) how to avoid the problem in the first place, and (2) how to recover if you discover the problem.

Special thanks for Brian, Dan Goodell, El_Pescador, NightOwl, Pleonasm, Rad, and others for their input.

The cookbook approach:


(1) How to avoid USB2 drive letter conflicts:

A. Do not use the reserved drive letters x: or z:
for any devices, whether internal or external.  Usually, these are hard-assigned by the user from
My Computer/Manage/Disk Management/drive volume/Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Reassign any conflicts if you have them.


(2) How to recover from a conflict when booting from the Ghost 10.0 RE cd.

If you discover that the Ghost 10.0 RE boot CD will not find or recognize your USB2 drive that contains your backup images, use the solutions in the following order.

A. First, disconnect all other USB devices
, including other usb drives, thumbdrives, usb keys, digital cameras, card readers etc.  Reboot and try again with only your external hard drive attached.

Verify that your motherboard BIOS is the latest firmware level.  Check with the motherboard website to verify and get the latest BIOS.

If you have a USB mouse and/or USB keyboard, try using a PS2 mouse and keyboard.  Some motherboards have reported problems detecting other USB devices when booting from a USB mouse and keyboard.

B. If you are just testing or verifying your RE cd, and have an operational XP system
, then the first and easiest approach is to modify the XP system registry:
1. Boot back to XP
2. Run Regedit, and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices key.  Delete the \DosDevices\K: data-value where K: corresponds to the drive letter of your external USB2 drive.  Shutdown, and reboot back to the RE cd and try again.
3. For cases with multiple usb devices, you may have to delete all the \??\Volume... data-values as well as all the \DosDevices|... values.  If you do that, you will find however that you will have to reassign them once back in XP.

B. (alternate approach)  Try running Regedit from Windows XP Safe mode:
to modify the XP system registry:
1. Shut down
2. During startup, repeatedly hit F8 to enter the startup mode prompt.
3. Select Safe Mode
4. Continue to XP Safe Mode.
5. Run Regedit, and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices key.  Delete the \DosDevices\K: data-value where K: corresponds to the drive letter of your external USB2 drive.  Shutdown, and reboot back to the RE cd and try again.


C. If your XP system is severely corrupted
, then an alternate method is to zero-out the DiskID field of your external USB2 hard drive.  To do this:
1. Shut down Ghost 10.0 RE cd.
2. Disconnect your USB2 hard drive, and connect it to any functional Windows XP system.
3. Follow the procedures here to erase the DiskID fieldof your USB2 hard drive.
4. Reconnect your USB2 hard drive to your failed system, and retry from the Ghost 10.0 RE cd.

Note:  I have included D: and E: as the last alternatives only because the complexity required to build a BartPE or ReatogoXPE boot CD before proceeding.


D. If you are unable to start your XP system
, and are booting into the Ghost 10.0 RE cd, you can remotely clear the same keys of your XP system using BartPE or ReatogoXPE program RegistryEditorPE. Follow the directions to clear the REMOTE_SYSTEM MountedDevices XP data-values, which  is found at:
My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\_REMOTE_SYSTEM\System\MountedDevices key.

E. Copy your external USB2 Ghost image to another partition.

1. Use the BartPE or ReatogoXPE environment and copy (using the A43 File Management utility) the needed recovery point Ghost image to another destination that is visible from within the Ghost 10 recovery environment.


I hope this guide helps provide Ghost 10.0 users with an simple, almost foolproof approach to dealing with any problems related the external USB2 drives and Ghost 10.0.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Simple solutions: Using USB2 drives with Ghost
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2006 at 12:10pm
 
Ghost4me, a very nice summary, indeed!  (Worthy to be added to the FAQ list, of course.)

A few questions/observations:
  • Is this issue unique to USB external hard disk drives?  Although I do not believe it has been tested by the forum members, wouldn’t the same concerns arise with FireWire external hard disk drives as well?  If so, an edit of the thread title may be in order.
  • Under the heading “(1) How to avoid USB2 drive letter conflicts,” another (obvious) solution is to avoid the problem altogether by installing a second internal hard disk drive in the PC (if possible), and use that as a destination for the Ghost 10 recovery points.  Recently I did exactly that:  added an IDE ATA/100 UDMA5 internal hard disk drive for the purpose of storing Ghost 10 recovery points.  As compared to using an external FireWire hard disk drive, the time to create and verify an image backup was reduced by about one-third.
  • Under the heading “(2) How to recover from a conflict when booting from the Ghost 10.0 RE,” wouldn’t it be possible for the user to boot using a BartPE CD and simply copy (using the A43 File Management utility) the needed recovery point to another destination that is visible from within the Ghost 10 recovery environment?  I understand such an approach is not applicable in all circumstances, but it is a simple solution that ought to work well for many users.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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John.
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & Ghost
Reply #2 - Apr 13th, 2006 at 12:21pm
 
Quote:
Is this issue unique to USB external hard disk drives?  Although I do not believe it has been tested by the forum members, wouldn’t the same concerns arise with FireWire external hard disk drives as well?  

Thanks, I changed the title, because although most users have USB drives, I believe NightOwl said it applies to firewire as well.
Actually, I believe it applies to ANY drive, external or internal, whose drive letter can conflict the the RE cd.

I didn't include using another internal drive as a backup, because, most users purchase USB2 drives for backup.

The only problem with using A43 is that you have to find another target to copy the file to, and if your system is down, which partition or hard drive would you copy it to?

Thanks for your comments.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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El_Pescador
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & G
Reply #3 - Apr 13th, 2006 at 2:38pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 13th, 2006 at 12:10pm:
"... another (obvious) solution is to avoid the problem altogether by installing a second internal hard disk drive in the PC (if possible), and use that as a destination for the Ghost 10 recovery points.  Recently I did exactly that:  added an IDE ATA/100 UDMA5 internal hard disk drive for the purpose of storing Ghost 10 recovery points.  As compared to using an external FireWire hard disk drive, the time to create and verify an image backup was reduced by about one-third..."

While the advice above is quite sound (to wit, I have outfitted every desktop PC under my roof - plus all others that I support for family and friends - with internal IDE SLAVE HDDs), I must point out that I have encountered instances where - during Norton Ghost 2003 "disk-to-image" Backups - external USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 HDDs have outperformed their internal SLAVE counterpart when the destination drives are respectively formatted FAT32.  Admittedly, I performed no definitive benchmark tests along these lines strictly in the normal Windows XP environment, but it is tempting to perform comparison "disk-to-image" Backups with Norton Ghost 8.2 within a Preinstalled Environment.

EP
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Brian
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & G
Reply #4 - Apr 13th, 2006 at 10:24pm
 
John, nice summary.


 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & G
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2006 at 12:37pm
 
Ghost4me, under Step 2(D), couldn’t a user also boot into either Safe Mode or the Recovery Console (if available) in order to delete the MountedDevices registry key values?  (Just a potentially easier way to achieve the same objective.)
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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John.
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & G
Reply #6 - Apr 21st, 2006 at 1:22pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 21st, 2006 at 12:37pm:
Ghost4me, under Step 2(D), couldn’t a user also boot into either Safe Mode or the Recovery Console (if available) in order to delete the MountedDevices registry key values?  (Just a potentially easier way to achieve the same objective.)


What a great alternate idea.  Thanks.  I'll add using regedit in safe mode if possible.  However, regedit isn't one of the commands available in the Recovery Console (I just tried it again), unless someone else has an idea.  The Recovery Console is a minimal WinPE.

Thanks Pleonasm.


 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Simple solutions: USB2/Firewire drives & G
Reply #7 - Aug 16th, 2006 at 3:04pm
 
I added a link to this thread in the guide, here:

http://ghost.radified.com/external_drive.htm (near top of page, listed under heading: Norton Ghost USB / External Drives)

Lemme know if there are other threads I should include.
 
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