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Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD (Read 3445 times)
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Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Jul 18th, 2009 at 1:02pm
 
Hi all,

I would be very grateful if anyone could help me resolve the following problem.

I have just finished building and setting up a new system. It’s taken me a great deal of time to get everything exactly how I want and I’d like to create a backup for my piece of mind.

I’m trying to use Ghost 2002 from a bootable floppy disk or Ghost 2003 from a bootable CD to perform a Disk to Image backup. I am not using any command line switches or changing any options, I am using the software defaults.

The system runs Windows XP but I’m cold imaging from within the Ghost DOS environment.

The system was built by me from selected components, i.e. it is not a Dell / Acer and therefore does not have any hidden recovery partitions etc. that might confuse things.

The source is an internal 500 GB Segate Baracude 7200.12 configured as a single NTFS partition, the interface is SATA 3.0Gb/s, and the drive is configured in AHCI mode in the BIOS.

The destination is an external 500 GB LaCie USB 2.0 HDD, the drive is FAT 32 and has plenty of free space. It is connected directly to the system, i.e. not via a USB hub.

The optical drive is a Pioneer DVD drive, also on a SATA interface in AHCI mode.

I am satisfied that to the best of my knowledge all hardware is configured and functioning correctly, including the external drive which I have already used to successfully receive an image of my other computer, a laptop (which also has a SATA HDD).

Before beginning I created a new empty folder called “GHOST_DT” (DT for desktop) in the root of the destination external HDD to receive the image. I reiterate, I created this folder in Windows and verified it empty before dropping down to the Ghost DOS environment.

I have so far tried using both Ghost 2002 from floppy and 2003 from CD, neither of which were successful.

Attempt #1: In ghost 2002 both the internal and external hard drives are correctly detected, I know this because they both appear as options in the select source dialogue, with the correct sizes listed.

The first strange thing happens when I go to select the destination location to save the image file to. The previously empty folder that I created to receive the image now contains multiple other folders!!! Stranger still these folder’s names are made up of strange symbols that look like wingding characters and their creation dates are either years in the past or the future?

Not knowing what these folders were I decided to ignore them, saved my *.GHO file into the GHOST_DT folder, selected Fast compression and began the image dump.

At about 15% complete the process failed with an error # 29089, a quick Google came up with the following short entry in the Symantec knowledge base…

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/sunset-c2002kb.nsf/4bfcbd4eda243a6c85256ee6...

… stating that Ghost 2002 is not compatible with external USB devices and that you need 2003 or newer.

OK lesson #1 learned.

Attempt #2: Having read the above I decided to try again with a copy of Ghost 2003 that I have on bootable CD. I read on these forums…

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1206707882

…that you need Ghost 2003 build version .793 if you want to work with SATA drives. Inspecting the properties of my Ghost executable shows fortunately that it is the correct version.

I again created a fresh empty folder on the destination to receive the image and tried again.

On entering Ghost is selected to load the USB 1.1 driver. I know from experience with my laptop that this particular external USB HDD doesn’t like the USB 2.0 driver but that the 1.1 driver works just fine.

On the second attempt everything went exactly the same as the first, the previously empty folder again contained mystery wingding folders that shouldn’t have been there, and again I ignored them and began the image dump anyway.

This time the image dump appeared to progress normally right up until about 10 seconds before it was due to finish. I then got a “re-insert volume” prompt with the message “Re-insert 1st portion of spanned image”. The only options were OK, Cancel and Browse.

I have never seen this before, the only information I could find on it was on page 45 of the Ghost manual found here…

http://www.laplink.com/download/lltech/documentation/ghost.pdf

All I can assume is that Ghost is somehow confused and incorrectly thinks that there are multiple partitions on the source. Regardless of the reason I was not able to progress beyond this point. When selecting OK, Ghost responded by saying that the 1st portion could not be found, selecting Browse and manually selecting the *.GHO file, Ghost said the file could not be opened. Without any other options I selected Cancel, aborted the imaging process and quit out.

I don’t know what to try next?

I have read that Ghost can be unreliable when using drives configured in AHCI mode. I guess this is because they simply didn’t exist back when the software was written. I am not prepared to start messing around in the BIOS now that everything is setup and working. I have read reports that switching from AHCI to compatibility modes can allow you to make images. However, I have also read that making that switch has been known to render systems unbootable! I don’t know if this is true but I am not prepared to take the risk! I want to use AHCI mode and the whole point of this exercise is to give security, not bugger around with the BIOS setup and take any risks.

I’m prepared to buy different destination hardware to send the image to if there is a chance that that will help, or to upgrade to a newer version of Ghost if necessary?

I am slightly reluctant to upgrade because I know and trust Ghost 2003. I like the fact that it is cold imaging from a DOS environment. I don’t know if I trust hot imaging from within Windows. I have also been unable to confirm if the newest version (Ghost 14 I think it is?) even supports AHCI configurations?

Regards, Rob.
 
 
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Viper
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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #1 - Jul 19th, 2009 at 1:58am
 
I’ve just re-read the above, its bit of a monster post with perhaps too many details!

I guess a lot of people will be put off reading it by its length, so to summarise…

I don’t seem to be able to use Ghost 2002 or Ghost 2003 to do a Disk to Image backup from a SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD.

Is this a common issue and is there a known work around?

Would upgrading to the newest version of Ghost (Ghost 14) solve the problem?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Rob.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #2 - Jul 19th, 2009 at 9:51am
 
@
Viper

Quote:
Attempt #1: In ghost 2002 both the internal and external hard drives are correctly detected, I know this because they both appear as options in the select source dialogue, with the correct sizes listed.

The first strange thing happens when I go to select the destination location to save the image file to.  The previously empty folder that I created to receive the image now contains multiple other folders!!!Stranger still these folder’s names are made up of strange symbols that look like wingding characters and their creation dates are either years in the past or the future?

Well, the drives may be detected--but, the second statement clearly indicates not *correctly*!

I have questions--neither Ghost 2002 or 2003 have any built-in ability to access an external USB HDD in DOS--there must be DOS based drives for that to happen--are you loading DOS drivers or is your system's BIOS providing that access?

Quote:
The destination is an external 500 GB LaCie USB 2.0 HDD, the drive is FAT 32 and has plenty of free space. It is connected directly to the system, i.e. not via a USB hub.

There have been several postings over the last few years that LaCie USB HDDs in particular have poor compatibility if attempted to be used in DOS.  I don't know if that's simply with the Ghost 2003 DOS USB driver--or with any DOS USB driver--I don't have a LaCie, so can't test that out--but you could--and report back  Wink !  Also, if it's your BIOS that is providing USB support for access to the HDD in DOS--then it appears that that driver is not compatible with LaCie--you might have to determine if you can turn the BIOS support off, and then try other DOS USB drivers loaded during boot up from your boot media.

Quote:
… stating that Ghost 2002 is not compatible with external USB devices and that you need 2003 or newer

Ghost 2002 may work fine with external USB HDDs--if you provide the DOS drivers necessary--it's just that USB DOS drivers were not included until Ghost 2003.

Quote:
I don’t seem to be able to use Ghost 2002 or Ghost 2003 to do a Disk to Image backup from a SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD.

Is this a common issue...

Yes, this is a common issue.  USB was not developed to be a DOS based storage solution--but, there have been some DOS drivers created to work around this--but the compatibility issues are many.  You have to have hardware that the software is aware of and knows how to communicate with it--and then the motherboards have various levels of USB support--and that *software* via the BIOS can conflict with any USB DOS driver(s) you may be loading.

Quote:
and is there a known work around?

Yes...and you have already mentioned some of them--but, you have stated that you do not want to try those things!

Quote:
I have read reports that switching from AHCI to compatibility modes can allow you to make images. However, I have also read that making that switch has been known to render systems unbootable!

Links--references?

What I have seen done is you shut down Windows, reboot and enter the BIOS and change to *compatibility* mode (or whatever the terminology used by your BIOS), boot to DOS, do the imaging procedure, reboot and again enter the BIOS and switch back to AHCI, and then boot back to Windows.  Lots of steps--and you still have to figure out the right combination of settings for USB compatibility!

Quote:
Would upgrading to the newest version of Ghost (Ghost 14) solve the problem?

Probably...Ghost 14 is entirely Windows based--including the bootable installation CD that boots to Windows PE for its *Recovery Environment*--and USB likes Windows, and vise-versa--as I said earlier.  But, now all your imaging is *hot* based!  There are other versions of Ghost that might be compatible--for instance the newer Corporate based Ghost that is still DOS based + Windows *hot* imaging based--but expensive because you have to purchase a min. of 5 licenses.  Or, there are other companies with competing programs--will they work--often times you don't know until you try and *get down and dirty* working with the programs!

Quote:
On entering Ghost is selected to load the USB 1.1 driver

USB 1.1 has to be deadly slow!  Personally, I'd be thinking about installing a second internal HDD to save images to, and if wanted--saving *copies* of those image files to an external USB HDD.  (But, you still need to have access to those images on the USB HDD if your other HDDs get fried!)

Let us know what you decide to do--we can try to help.
 

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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #3 - Jul 19th, 2009 at 4:42pm
 
Hi NightOwl, thanks for taking the time to reply.

A) “I have questions--neither Ghost 2002 or 2003 have any built-in ability to access an external USB HDD in DOS--there must be DOS based drives for that to happen--are you loading DOS drivers or is your system's BIOS providing that access?”

In Ghost 2002 I’m not loading any additional drivers, at least not that I’m aware of! I guess because I can see the external drive that my BIOS must be providing the access. As you say though, it obviously isn’t providing it correctly!

On entering Ghost 2003 I’m presented with a list from which I can load Ghost’s USB 1.1, USB 2.0, Firewire drivers etc. I have been using the USB 1.1 drivers because past experience has taught me that this particular LaCie drive does not like the Ghost USB 2.0 driver; although of course that is on a different machine.

B) “There have been several postings over the last few years that LaCie USB HDDs in particular have poor compatibility if attempted to be used in DOS.”

I also have an external 500 GB Western Digital USB 2.0 HDD, however, that drive is formatted as NTFS. I read on page 8 of the Radified guide…

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

…that some people experience problems when trying to use an external drive that is both USB and NTFS; hence why I went with the LaCie as its formatted FAT32. I can try the Western Digital if you think that is worth a shot?

C) “Yes, this is a common issue.  USB was not developed to be a DOS based storage solution--but, there have been some DOS drivers created to work around this--but the compatibility issues are many.  You have to have hardware that the software is aware of and knows how to communicate with it--and then the motherboards have various levels of USB support--and that *software* via the BIOS can conflict with any USB DOS driver(s) you may be loading.”

I get the impression that you think this problem is more likely to be a USB incompatibility issue rather than SATA AHCI related?

As far a USB goes, my BIOS probably does provide some native support. I hadn’t considered that. Do you think it is worth me trying without loading any of the drives from the Ghost 2003 boot media? I wonder if loading the Ghost USB 1.1 driver over the top might be causing a conflict with the native support from the BIOS?

D) “What I have seen done is you shut down Windows, reboot and enter the BIOS and change to *compatibility* mode (or whatever the terminology used by your BIOS), boot to DOS, do the imaging procedure, reboot and again enter the BIOS and switch back to AHCI, and then boot back to Windows.  Lots of steps--and you still have to figure out the right combination of settings for USB compatibility!”

Yes I had considered that, but ultimately decided against it. I can’t seem to find the exact page where I read about the dangers of switching from AHCI to ATA or vice versa, if I find it I will link it.

Call me a noob but in my mind the BIOS is something I want to setup once, setup right and then leave well alone! What I‘m looking for is an imaging solution that I can use with the system setup as it is right now. I want something that I can use quickly and reliably on a day to day basis without having to make system changes before and after. That might seem like bit of in inflexible attitude but I would rather use software that works for my system, not have my system work for the software.

If I can learn a new way to use my existing Ghost then great, however, if I have to I would rather upgrade than go jumping through hoops every time I need to make an image, hence my query about Ghost 14.

Thanks again for your time and patience,

Kind regards,

Rob.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #4 - Jul 20th, 2009 at 10:05am
 
I've had no problems for Ghost 2003 recognizing external USB drives from DOS mode on 5 different desktops and 1 laptop.  However, I had a problem on 1 Dell Laptop that failed to recognize the USB drive on 1 USB port, but it recognized it fine on the second USB port which may indicate the issue might be with certain hardware.

Try a different USB port, and if problems persist, I'd recommend Seagate DiskWizard which is a free download over Ghost 14.  Later versions of Ghost are just too big and use too many resources to suit me.  Also DiscWizard is faster than Ghost 2003, and it may be installed with BartPE plugin which may be used to make a BartPE CD to allow it to be used on more than 1 system if desired.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #5 - Jul 20th, 2009 at 10:20am
 
@
Viper

Quote:
In Ghost 2002 I’m not loading any additional drivers, at least not that I’m aware of! I guess because I can see the external drive that my BIOS must be providing the access. As you say though, it obviously isn’t providing it correctly!

Sounds like that must be the case!  There's no other obvious explanation!  Ghost 2002 may not be able to work with SATA HDDs even if it can work with the external USB HDD via the BIOS--some have reported that Ghost 2003 did not work with SATA until they upgraded to the most recent build.

Quote:
On entering Ghost 2003 I’m presented with a list from which I can load Ghost’s USB 1.1, USB 2.0, Firewire drivers etc.

Are you using the Windows Ghost interface to setup and do the Ghost procedure?  Or, are you creating boot floppies and booting from those to DOS Ghost?

Some have reported solving SATA drive problems by starting Ghost with the command line *-fni* switch added:     ghost.exe -fni   

Quote:
I also have an external 500 GB Western Digital USB 2.0 HDD, however, that drive is formatted as NTFS.

Ghost 2003 should have no problem seeing the NTFS partition (assuming you have access to the USB HDD in DOS) once you are in the Ghost interface--you should be able to both read and write to it.  Ghost 2002, I believe, could only *read* from a NTFS partition, but not write to it--had to write to FAT partition only in that version.

Quote:
I get the impression that you think this problem is more likely to be a USB incompatibility issue rather than SATA AHCI related?

Actually--both!  People have reported issues accessing SATA HDDs when no USB is part of the equation!

Quote:
As far a USB goes, my BIOS probably does provide some native support. I hadn’t considered that. Do you think it is worth me trying without loading any of the drives from the Ghost 2003 boot media? I wonder if loading the Ghost USB 1.1 driver over the top might be causing a conflict with the native support from the BIOS?

You definitely have to avoid loading *both*!  There will be a conflict!  So, it should be one or the other!

Quote:
Call me a noob but in my mind the BIOS is something I want to setup once, setup right and then leave well alone! What I‘m looking for is an imaging solution that I can use with the system setup as it is right now. I want something that I can use quickly and reliably on a day to day basis without having to make system changes before and after. That might seem like bit of in inflexible attitude but I would rather use software that works for my system, not have my system work for the software.

Well, not really--it's your system and you should use it the way you want to.  But, read what you're saying!  Ghost 2002 and 2003 are +7 year old software--it's not going to work on today's hardware unless you configure the hardware to be compatible with that *old* software!

Also, I don't see mention of what OS you are using--but there can be issues with older Ghost programs and the newer Vista OS--unless you make needed adjustments!

If you require those criteria--then Ghost 14 is probably your answer!  Or, some other imaging solution that is more current:  List of Cloning Programs
 

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Re: Ghost 2002 and 2003 SATA AHCI to USB 2 External HDD
Reply #6 - Jul 21st, 2009 at 4:06am
 
@ Tator, thanks for the advice. I will try a different port. My new motherboard has 8 USB ports. I think some are on the same chipset that also handles the SATA ports, while others are on the chipset that also provides the legacy IDE and eSATA interfaces. Perhaps a different port will have better compatibility for this particular drive.

@ NightOwl, thanks again for your help.

A) “Sounds like that must be the case!  There's no other obvious explanation!  Ghost 2002 may not be able to work with SATA HDDs even if it can work with the external USB HDD via the BIOS--some have reported that Ghost 2003 did not work with SATA until they upgraded to the most recent build.”

My copy of Ghost 2003 is build version .793, the one you apparently need if you want to work with SATA drives. Although of course SATA AHCI could be a different story!

B) “Are you using the Windows Ghost interface to setup and do the Ghost procedure?  Or, are you creating boot floppies and booting from those to DOS Ghost?”

I’m not using windows to setup the Ghost procedure. I have Ghost 2003 on a boot CD and I’m using it from DOS Ghost.

C) “Some have reported solving SATA drive problems by starting Ghost with the command line *-fni* switch added:     ghost.exe -fni “

Please correct me if I have misunderstood. As far as I was aware the –FNI switch just disables “direct IDE access support for IDE hard disk operations”.

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/1998082612540625

The system doesn’t have any internal IDE drives only the single SATA AHCI. I have no idea if inside its enclosure the external LaCie drive is natively IDE or SATA, but surely that doesn’t matter as that interface should be hidden from Ghost behind the USB interface. I’m confused as to how turning off support for IDE might help if I don’t have any IDE drives in the mix anywhere? Please forgive my hesitation; this being a first backup of the system I’m just keen to understand anything before I try it. Are their any risks associated with using the –FNI switch?

D) “Ghost 2003 should have no problem seeing the NTFS partition (assuming you have access to the USB HDD in DOS) once you are in the Ghost interface--you should be able to both read and write to it.”

Thanks I will give it a try.

E) “You definitely have to avoid loading *both*!  There will be a conflict!  So, it should be one or the other!”

Understood, this will be the first thing I try once I get some time (just waiting for a day when work isn’t mental!). I will try 2003 again without loading any drivers and see if the BIOS USB support on its own has more luck, perhaps I have unintentionally been creating a conflict!

F) “But, read what you're saying!  Ghost 2002 and 2003 are +7 year old software--it's not going to work on today's hardware unless you configure the hardware to be compatible with that *old* software!”

Yep completely agree, I don’t blame the software at all, Ghost 2003 has been fantastic to me over the years, hence why I’m so keen to see if I can learn how to keep using it. Ghost 14 will be my last resort.

Again many many thanks, I will post back with any findings soon.

Regards,

Rob.
 
 
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