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Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image) (Read 9768 times)
zmdmw52
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Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Jul 17th, 2008 at 11:56pm
 
This is for a Partition --> Image backup, using NG 2003-

Using Norton Ghost 2003 (from a DOS prompt, with an MS-DOS Ghost 2003 Boot CD), what would be the best option to include the MBR/boot sectors in the partition image (this is for imaging the System Partition; ie the C:/ partition, with the 'Windows' folder); so that the MBR / Boot Sectors get restored when I restore from the image of the C:/ partition.

I tried the '-ib'  switch, but NG 2003 returned an Error: '
-ib option is only valid for disk to image
' (or something similar). Later tried the '
-ia
' ('image all') switch-this created an image successfully. But I am not sure whether the '-ia' image will include the MBR/BootSectors from the C:/ partition & if restoring from the '-
ia
' image will restore the C:/ partition to it's original state, including the MBR/Boot Records.

Thanks,
PS:
I want to do a Partition --> Image backup; whereas the '-
ib
' flag is (per Error Message displayed by NG 2003), valid only for Disk --> Image backups.

 

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Brian
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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #1 - Jul 18th, 2008 at 12:24am
 
zmdmw52,

Please see this thread.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1155827177/0

It illustrates that you can create a partition image and restore it to a new HD without restoring the original MBR. As long as the new HD has a partition, it also has a standard MBR. The restored OS will boot.

If you have a special MBR on your old HD, it's a simple matter to copy that MBR to the new HD, either before or after the image has been restored.

I realize I haven't answered your question, "include the MBR/boot sectors in the partition image".

 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #2 - Jul 21st, 2008 at 1:54am
 
Thanks, Brian. I found this reply (Reply No. 18 by ckcc in above-mentioned thread) to be esp useful.


Brian wrote on Jul 18th, 2008 at 12:24am:
I realize I haven't answered your question, "include the MBR/boot sectors in the partition image".

Basically, wanted to know whether the '
-ia
' switch will include boot sectors/MBR.
As a useful divert (FMI), can you point me to a link (or article) that explains in some detail what the Boot Sector(s) and MBR is, where it is located, etc; for Windows.


Brian wrote on Jul 18th, 2008 at 12:24am:
If you have a special MBR on your old HD, it's a simple matter to copy that MBR to the new HD, either before or after the image has been restored.

By 'special MBR', I assume you mean a third-party boot loader (such as XOSL or Boot-US): I do not use a third-party loader because I am not expert enough & would not know what to do if things went wrong.


Edit:
Link above corrected.

 

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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #3 - Jul 21st, 2008 at 2:54am
 
Quote:
can you point me to a link (or article) that explains in some detail what the Boot Sector(s) and MBR is, where it is located, etc; for Windows.


Try this page.

http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/bootbkgd.htm

If you don't have a special MBR you can pretty much ignore the MBR when imaging. It "takes care of itself."

PS... Your "this" link needs editing.
 
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #4 - Jul 21st, 2008 at 3:38am
 
zmdmw52 wrote on Jul 21st, 2008 at 1:54am:
Basically, wanted to know whether the '-ia' switch will include boot sectors/MBR.

Indeed it does. The -ia switch implies -ib (image boot).

However, using -ia precludes resizing partitions on restore, and I can't recall exactly what other restrictions using it might impose. As I said in the other thread about this, the limitations on the MBR and the rest of the boot track related to -ib exist because of deep design issues that have been baked into the core of Ghost for a very, very long time and are not easy to unwind without completely redesigning quite a lot of machinery (including the UI and command line).

The MBR restore can be done with an image-to-disk restore only; it won't be done on a partition restore, and that's pretty much how things are. What we need in order to convince management that it's worth making the effort to change this in Ghost as it exists right now in GSS2.5 with the existing image format, existing UI and existing command line is this: a scenario where it's really necessary.

The cloning lead and I have discussed this problem several times over the last year; we both have wanted to change this, but we're also both in agreement that the best way to do this is as part of a much more extensive rethink about how Ghost does some other things (we both want imaging of any combination of partitions over multiple disks, for instance).

However, aside from some Lenovo machines (which are using multisector MBRs) and the Dell Mediadirect issue (which is a consumer problem and doesn't affect the market to which genuine Ghost is sold) there hasn't thus far been a good enough reason to try and build the necessary special-case machinery in Ghost as it is right now.

Now, we can't make changes to Ghost 2003; that's just not going to be possible. The ersatz "Norton Ghost" has taken over the brand name our team built, and we just don't have the political capital or the staff to waste on re-litigating that issue.

However, we are interested in doing what we can to help with any real customer need; if you can write up a process where you can demonstrate some clear utility in changing either the capture side of the equation or the restore side, or both, then I'm happy to present it to the cloning lead and the QA and Dev managers. Right now, I don't really understand what your specific underlying need is for -ib in conjunction with partition operations in order to be able to a) convincingly argue for its inclusion, and b) propose a specific implementation.

In general, the right place for this kind of suggestion is the official forums, but I do get sent requests from time to time directly and I do circulate them to management (since I have no decision-making authority over anything but the code I'm solely responsible for, and Ghost's UI or command line isn't amongst those things) and if you e-mail me at my gmail account I'll be happy to do that in this case too.

 
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #5 - Jul 21st, 2008 at 10:11pm
 
Ya know?....Before I found this forum I'd never heard of the problem of a Image to partition restore not booting.....mine always did. Wink

But, I would NEVER restore my OS to an untested Hard Drive.
As a tech, I find that foolish at best.

I always partition and format my new drives to insure that they are working at 100%, before I'd ever restore my OS to the drive.
Over the years, I've seen way too many drives, with bad sectors or other problems, right out of the box.

Once I partition a new drive, the "Image To Partition" Restore works perfectly and the drive boots like it's supposed to.
It's OK Jose! Wink

In all the years I've been using Ghost, I've never had to use any command line switches.  
I guess it helps to understand the design limitations of the program and always run it accordingly.....then it runs just fine.

Every time I've ever had an apparent problem with Ghost, it was just me, exceeding some design parameter or another of the program.  
Once I fixed Me, Ghost worked just fine. Roll Eyes Wink

Cool
 
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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #6 - Jul 22nd, 2008 at 9:18am
 
Thanks for your detailed response, Nigel- they usually are Smiley and often very informative too; such as this one on Page File/RAM allocation.


Quote:
However, using -ia precludes resizing partitions on restore, and I can't recall exactly what other restrictions using it might impose.  

BTW, on trying to get Ghost Explorer to open the (partition) image created with the
'-ia'
flag, it returned an Error stating that Ghost Explorer
(ver 2003.793 ; i.e. the one that comes with Norton Ghost 2003-updated to ver. 793)
cannot open image files created with the
-ia, -id
or
-ir
switches/flags (see attached screenshot).

Am not sure how other versions of Ghost Explorer would behave with images created by corresp versions of Ghost, as I haven't tried. Also, not sure what the
'-ir'
flag is?

Is there a place (similar to how DOS pours out a dictionary of it's commands when one types 'help' at the command prompt) where one can get an overview of flags/switches available for NG 2003 & what they mean?
 

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Re: Norton Ghost 2003 -ia option (Need to include MBR/Boot sectors in image)
Reply #7 - Jul 22nd, 2008 at 3:44pm
 
 
 
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