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GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion (Read 15029 times)
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GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Feb 5th, 2010 at 4:05am
 
I'm having a little trouble understanding one item mentioned here:
http://www.symantec.com/connect/sites/default/files/Ghost251_readme.txt

Mainly, it says this version "enables the support for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. No additional functionality has been added or fixed in this release."

Fair enough.

But then there's this:

===============================================================
3. Known Issues
===============================================================

Windows 7 System Reserved Partition
---------------------------------------
Ghost by default does not save the System Reserved Partition which is created during Windows 7 operating System installation. An image of this partition has to be created separately. During the system restore, the System Reserved Partition has to be restored before restoring the OS partition. BEST PRACTICE: Take a disk image (default create image task settings) of a Windows 7 machine.


That's rather confusing.

Are they saying that a Local > Disk > (target) backup won't include the "System Reserved" partition, and that I'll have to manually do a Local > Partition > (target) backup of it separately after doing a Local > Disk > (target) image?

See, the reason I'm confused is, it's obvious that a Local > Partition > (target) backup of the Windows 7 OS partition wouldn't also simultaneously include the "System Reserved" partition, because with this type of backup operation, you only select one partition for imaging per backup operation in the first place.  (I.e. anyone doing a Local > Partition > (target) backup would realize from looking at the partition list that there were two Windows 7-related partitions on their drive requiring imaging, and that they'd therefore needed to two Local > Partition > (target) backup operations in total.)

So it seems pointless that they're even mentioning this at all.  But the fact that they are mentioning it makes me wonder if what they really mean to say is that Local > Disk > (target) backups will exclude the "System Reserved" partition.

Of course, if that were the case, then their advice about separately backing up the "System Reserved" partition so it can be restored first would make no sense ... if what you'd be restoring afterwards were a Disk image that would overwrite what you restored first.

Could anyone who's already figured this one out for sure for themselves relate what's actually going on here?  Smiley
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #1 - Feb 5th, 2010 at 4:22am
 
@
pishposh

It does say..

Quote:
BEST PRACTICE: Take a disk image (default create image
task settings) of a Windows 7 machine.

... so a disk image includes the SRP.

I use Ghost 15 and it doesn't do disk images. We have to do partition images. The SRP is no big deal. I prefer to get rid of it as I don't use Bitlocker and I don't want to backup and restore two partitions.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #2 - Feb 5th, 2010 at 10:04am
 
@
pishposh

Quote:
"enables the support for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. No additional functionality has been added or fixed in this release."

Interesting--how exactly is Win7 support added if they go on to say: 

Quote:
Ghost by default does not save the System Reserved Partition which is created during Windows 7 operating System installation.

If Ghost supports Win7--how can you then state that the new partitioning scheme of Win7 is not included in how Ghost functions--how is this statement even logical?

Quote:
See, the reason I'm confused is, it's obvious that a Local > Partition > (target) backup of the Windows 7 OS partition wouldn't also simultaneously include the "System Reserved" partition, because with this type of backup operation, you only select one partition for imaging per backup operation in the first place.  (I.e. anyone doing a Local > Partition > (target) backup would realize from looking at the partition list that there were two Windows 7-related partitions on their drive requiring imaging, and that they'd therefore needed to two Local > Partition > (target) backup operations in total.)

Unless Ghost 11.xxx functions differently than Ghost 2003 (not an unlikely scenario!), you can actually select more than one partition to include in a single image file when using *Local > Partition > To Image*.  After selecting the source drive, you are presented a list of partitions on that drive--you can then select one or more of the partitions to include!

Quote:
So it seems pointless that they're even mentioning this at all.  But the fact that they are mentioning it makes me wonder if what they really mean to say is that Local > Disk > (target) backups will exclude the "System Reserved" partition.

Of course, if that were the case, then their advice about separately backing up the "System Reserved" partition so it can be restored first would make no sense ... if what you'd be restoring afterwards were a Disk image that would overwrite what you restored first.

Actually, even if you made a separate SRP partition image, you could never restore it to the HDD unless it already had that partition present--Ghost will not *add* a partition to an existing HDD with other partitions already present!

Edited:
By NightOwl, 2/13/2010, @ approx. 3:40 pm:

I need to qualify the above statement slightly--Ghost will *not* add a partition to a HDD if it already partitioned and the whole disk is allocated to those partition(s).  But, if there is *unallocated* space on the HDD, and all the primary partition slots in the partition table are not already used up (or the unallocated space is inside an extended partition where a primary partition slot is not needed), then Ghost will restore a partition from an image file, and *add* it to the HDD with other existing partitions to that unallocated space!

Depending on whether you need to have that *added* partition in a particular physical spot on the HDD--and in the *correct* sequence in the partition table, you might have to control where that unallocated space is located (like using PartitionMagic to move partitions around), and you might have to correct the partition table to match the physical layout of the partitions--that can be done with the MBRWizard program.

This thread and posting talks about being able to restore a image of a partition to a HDD that already has partitions:  Restoring OS only image to new HDD, reply #41.


Unfortunately, as the statement stands, it's unclear what Ghost procedure is being referenced when they say *Ghost by default does not save the System Reserved Partition*.  But, given everything else, I think they must be referring to a *Local > Partition > To Image* procedure of just the OS partition--that would then fail to *include* the necessary SRP!

A quick test imaging procedure seems in order!

Do a *Local > Disk > To Image* of the HDD where your OS is installed (has to be an installation where Win7 did the initial partitioning so it has that System Reserved Partition (SRP) on it.  Open that image after it's created using DOS Ghost, or in Ghost Explorer if booted back to Windows, and see if the (SRP) is or is not present!

Unfortunately, Symantec's technical writers tend to leave out the details, and assume the reader *knows* what they are referencing without actually stating the *facts*!
 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are Wink !
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #3 - Feb 6th, 2010 at 12:22pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Feb 5th, 2010 at 10:04am:
@
pishposh

Quote:
"enables the support for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. No additional functionality has been added or fixed in this release."

Interesting--how exactly is Win7 support added if they go on to say: 

Quote:
Ghost by default does not save the System Reserved Partition which is created during Windows 7 operating System installation.

If Ghost supports Win7--how can you then state that the new partitioning scheme of Win7 is not included in how Ghost functions--how is this statement even logical?


Quite.  I think they should have done this instead.  If ghost.exe/ghost32.exe/ghost64.exe is used to do a Local > Partition > to (target) image of a partition which the software detects is a Win7 OS partition, then IF the software also sees -- but the user hasn't simultaneously selected-for-backup -- a Win7 System Reserved partition on the same physical disk, a warning pop-up should be displayed.  Nothing that forbids the operation, just an advisory saying:

Warning 34567: It appears you're about to image a Windows 7 OS partition. A "System Reserved" partition belonging to the selected Windows 7 OS partition has also been detected on this disk.  Be advised that your Windows 7 OS partition image will not be bootable without also imaging its "System Reserved" partition.  See product manual for details.  [Proceed Anyway]  [Go Back]


If that were done, there'd be no need for a readme.txt entry.  (Heh, do the current developers of classic Ghost read this forum?  I hereby place my example pop-up warning text into the copyright-free public domain, if so!)

Quote:
Quote:
See, the reason I'm confused is, it's obvious that a Local > Partition > (target) backup of the Windows 7 OS partition wouldn't also simultaneously include the "System Reserved" partition, because with this type of backup operation, you only select one partition for imaging per backup operation in the first place.  (I.e. anyone doing a Local > Partition > (target) backup would realize from looking at the partition list that there were two Windows 7-related partitions on their drive requiring imaging, and that they'd therefore needed to two Local > Partition > (target) backup operations in total.)

Unless Ghost 11.xxx functions differently than Ghost 2003 (not an unlikely scenario!), you can actually select more than one partition to include in a single image file when using *Local > Partition > To Image*.  After selecting the source drive, you are presented a list of partitions on that drive--you can then select one or more of the partitions to include!


Mia culpa.  You're absolutely correct.  It's been so long since I've done partition-based imaging that I plain forgot.  Smiley

Quote:
Actually, even if you made a separate SRP partition image, you could never restore it to the HDD unless it already had that partition present--Ghost will not *add* a partition to an existing HDD with other partitions already present!


That part I understand.  Ghost images partition contents and restores them to existing partitions.  Partition images don't, however, save any data about how a source partition is configured (i.e. if I back up a Win7 "System Reserved" partition, it won't back up its "properties" in its MBR boot track partition table entry which make it a Win7 "System Reserved" partition).

So, AFAIK, if I had an image of a Win7 OS partition, and an accompanying image of its "System Reserved" partition, the only way to operatively restore them to a new (unpartitioned) HDD would be to install Win7 on that HDD, let it create Win7 OS and Win7 "System Reserved" partitions, and then once the installation process finished, go back to Ghost and overwrite those partitions' respective contents with my respective backups.  (That, or use third-party tools like gparted -- if and when support is added to them for creating a partition Win7 would recognize as a "System Reserved" type partition.)

Quote:
Unfortunately, as the statement stands, it's unclear what Ghost procedure is being referenced when they say *Ghost by default does not save the System Reserved Partition*.


Again, same for me.  Seems the readme was very hastily written.

Quote:
But, given everything else, I think they must be referring to a *Local > Partition > To Image* procedure of just the OS partition--that would then fail to *include* the necessary SRP!

A quick test imaging procedure seems in order!


And that's just what I'd do if I had Windows 7 to test with.  Unfortunately, as things stand, I probably won't have it for months.  But I do have Ghost 11.5.1 already, and figured it'd be good to familiarize myself with its stated Win7 compatibility.

But that's when I ran into its cryptic readme.txt, and wound up on Radified hoping someone else with Win7 had already encountered and solved this puzzle.

Quote:
Do a *Local > Disk > To Image* of the HDD where your OS is installed (has to be an installation where Win7 did the initial partitioning so it has that System Reserved Partition (SRP) on it.  Open that image after it's created using DOS Ghost, or in Ghost Explorer if booted back to Windows, and see if the (SRP) is or is not present!


See above.

Anyway with your and Brian's comments I feel more confident on how this really works.  Only mystery left: why they say "System Reserved" partition must be restored "before" OS volume.  That shouldn't be necessary as long as both are restored before trying to boot the drive.  Yet they say it, making me wonder if Ghost silently modifies a "System Reserved" partition upon restoring an OS partition, necessitating that restore order.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #4 - Feb 6th, 2010 at 5:16pm
 
@
pishposh

pishposh wrote on Feb 6th, 2010 at 12:22pm:
So, AFAIK, if I had an image of a Win7 OS partition, and an accompanying image of its "System Reserved" partition, the only way to operatively restore them to a new (unpartitioned) HDD would be to install Win7 on that HDD, let it create Win7 OS and Win7 "System Reserved" partitions, and then once the installation process finished, go back to Ghost and overwrite those partitions' respective contents with my respective backups.

You are making restoring sound difficult when it is not. Just regard the SRP and Win7 as two partitions to be restored. The SRP is at the start of the HD so it should be restored first so it can be at the start of the new HD. Partition order does matter. You don't need to partition the new HD, (I'm not sure if Ghost 11.5 requires partitions but I'd be surprised if it does) just restore the drive or the partition images.

Even if you forget to restore the SRP to the new HD you can still get Win7 to boot by doing two repairs from the Win7 DVD.

 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #5 - Feb 6th, 2010 at 6:06pm
 
Brian wrote on Feb 6th, 2010 at 5:16pm:
(I'm not sure if Ghost 11.5 requires partitions but I'd be surprised if it does)

I rang a mate who uses Ghost 11.5. He assured me there is no problem restoring multiple Ghost images to unallocated space.

I tried it with Ghost 2003. Two partitions were created on HD0 and imaged to a third partition on HD0. All partitions on HD1 were deleted. The two images were restored (correct size) to the unallocated space on HD1. Easy.

I've restored Ghost 2003 images of Win7 in the past. It works.

 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #6 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 7:58pm
 
Brian wrote on Feb 6th, 2010 at 5:16pm:
@
pishposh

pishposh wrote on Feb 6th, 2010 at 12:22pm:
So, AFAIK, if I had an image of a Win7 OS partition, and an accompanying image of its "System Reserved" partition, the only way to operatively restore them to a new (unpartitioned) HDD would be to install Win7 on that HDD, let it create Win7 OS and Win7 "System Reserved" partitions, and then once the installation process finished, go back to Ghost and overwrite those partitions' respective contents with my respective backups.

You are making restoring sound difficult when it is not. Just regard the SRP and Win7 as two partitions to be restored. The SRP is at the start of the HD so it should be restored first so it can be at the start of the new HD. Partition order does matter. You don't need to partition the new HD, (I'm not sure if Ghost 11.5 requires partitions but I'd be surprised if it does) just restore the drive or the partition images.


This is clearly where our understanding of Ghost differs.  I was under the impression that a .gho image containing only partitions (i.e not made with a full-disk imaging operation) can not be restored to an unpartitioned drive.  I.e., that you need existing partition(s) on the target drive, so you can tell Ghost which to use as target(s) for the partition(s) in your .gho image.

(This understanding is perhaps why I was "making restoring sound difficult when it's not," I assume.  Wink)

Actually, this brings up a whole different can of worms for me.  If you have time, hop on over to this thread.

In any case, I thank you and NightOwl for your help on the windows 7 stuff.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #7 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:17pm
 
pishposh wrote on Feb 9th, 2010 at 7:58pm:
I was under the impression that a .gho image containing only partitions (i.e not made with a full-disk imaging operation) can not be restored to an unpartitioned drive.

I thought that too and that's why I did the test. But I'm delighted that it can be done.

Nice guides, but it's out of my league. I only dabble in DOS Ghost occasionally.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #8 - Feb 10th, 2010 at 12:06am
 
@
pishposh

I remembered we discussed this a few years ago but I'd forgotten the conclusions.

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

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1155827177/60#66

You can restore a Ghost 2003 image to unallocated space if a MBR is present. If there is no MBR the option to restore is greyed out.

So if one has a brand new HD and Ghost 2003 won't restore an image, create a Standard MBR.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #9 - Feb 10th, 2010 at 12:16am
 
@
Brian and
@
pishposh

Quote:
This is clearly where our understanding of Ghost differs.

I can't remember the details--it's been awhile--but, my recollection was that restoring a partition from an image required that a destination partition existed already.

I think I could do a *Local > Disk > From Image* and then choose a partition to restore to a whole disk.  But *Local > Partition > From Image* to the best of my memory required an existing partition to restore to.

Brian--you said you used Ghost 2003, so you must be booted to DOS--what procedure did you select?  Was the image file a single *Local > Partition > To Image*--or was it multiple partitions saved to the image file and selecting only one partition to restore--or multiple partitions?

It will take me a day or two to find the time to set it up, but I will try restoring a partition image to unallocated space to see what happens.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are Wink !
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #10 - Feb 10th, 2010 at 12:26am
 
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NightOwl

You probably didn't see my reply above before you posted as the times are close. We did some interesting tests in that thread.

I was using Ghost from a DOS CD. I deleted all partitions on the target HD before attempting the restore. I used Partition to Image (single partition only). Obviously my target HD had a MBR without a partition table.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #11 - Feb 11th, 2010 at 5:23pm
 
Brian wrote on Feb 10th, 2010 at 12:06am:
@
pishposh

I remembered we discussed this a few years ago but I'd forgotten the conclusions.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1155827177/0
http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1155827177/60#66

You can restore a Ghost 2003 image to unallocated space if a MBR is present. If there is no MBR the option to restore is greyed out.

So if one has a brand new HD and Ghost 2003 won't restore an image, create a Standard MBR.


A-ha!

The MBR (absolute/physical sector 0) contains executable code and the NT/Linux disk signature, but also holds the partition table (bytes 447-510).  So if absolute sector 0 is nulled, then there's no partition table either.  I.e., there's a differerence between "a partition table with all 4 entries set blank, indicating an unpartitioned disk" and "no partition table at all".  According to Dan Goodell, it appears the latter is specifically what causes Ghost to refuse to let you restore a partition-type image.

In that case I'll have to revise my draft to say something like "partition images can be restored to an MBR drive as long as sector 0 of the MBR boot track holds a valid partition table.  This is true even if that partition table indicates that the drive is unpartitioned, and even if sector 0 of the MBR boot track is itself otherwise nulled (e.g. contains no executable loader code)."

Got it.  Thanks!
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #12 - Feb 11th, 2010 at 5:37pm
 
@
pishposh

pishposh wrote on Feb 11th, 2010 at 5:23pm:
"partition images can be restored to an MBR drive as long as sector 0 of the MBR boot track holds a valid partition table.This is true even if that partition table indicates that the drive is unpartitioned, 

That is better worded than my post. The MBR does however contain boot code.

But another complication. I just tried to restore a Win7 image (Ghost 2003) to a HD that already contained a partition. A data partition. There was no option to restore to unallocated space. I had to create a partition to proceed with the restore.

So it looks like you can only restore to unallocated space if there are no partitions on the HD.
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #13 - Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:34am
 
*scribbles notes*

Gotcha.  So, I'll have to make my revision something like this:
(edit: see next post in this thread)
"a partition image can be restored to an existing partition on an MBR drive, or to an unpartitioned MBR drive as long as sector 0 has a valid partition table structure (a partition table whose entries are all unpopulated).  A partition image cannot, however, be restored to unpartitioned space on an MBR drive that already has one or more existing partitions; for that, a new partition utilizing that unpartitioned space must first be created manually."

etc.

Thanks again.  Smiley
 
 
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Re: GSS 2.5 LiveUpdate 5 (Ghost 11.5.1.2266) - Windows 7 Confusion
Reply #14 - Feb 13th, 2010 at 2:40am
 
You know what?

I take that all back.  I'm wrong.

Right after posting the above message above, I realized what I said couldn't be true.  Checking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Boot_Record confirmed my suspicions.

If a partition table entry is entirely empty, every byte within will be null.  There will be nothing left to even indicate that a partition table exists.  I.e., there's no partition table "structure"; just the partition table data itself, and if each partition table entry is empty, no partition table appears to exist at all because its entire region within sector 0 then contains nothing but 00h bytes.

When I realized I was forgetting this vital fact, I figured something else had to be responsible for telling Ghost whether or not to let a user restore a partition image to an unpartitioned drive.

So I did this test.

First, I did a Local > Partition > To Image backup of an empty MBR-formatted flash drive I had on hand.

Then, using a disk editor (HxD), I bumped that drive's MBR sector out of place one notch, like so:

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/331/1hex.png

As you can see, this left sector 0 entirely nulled, effectively rendering the drive "virgin", as far as logic-level recognition routines would be concerned.

After doing that, I started Ghost and attempted a Local > Partition > From Image restoration.  Here was the result:

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/3975/68702403.png

As this shows, I wasn't allowed.  Drive greyed out.  Which sync'ed with existing findings re: totally-nulled sector 0's.

So, back into HxD I went.  Considering Dan Goodell's findings (that partition images can be restored to a drive whose MBR sector 0 contains no executable bootloader code), I could only think of one possibility.  And did this:

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/7318/2hex.png

Notice the last two bytes of sector 0.  Leaving the whole sector blank, I simply restored the MBR 55AA signature.

Lo and behold, Ghost's reaction, while again trying to do a Local > Partition > From Image restoration, was this:

http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/7425/14034255.png

And it furthermore went on to present me with this, once I selected the drive itself:

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/6981/96405320.png

So, in conclusion, it seems my revision needs to go like so:

"a partition image:
  * MAY be restored to any existing partition on an already-partitioned drive;
  * may NOT be restored to any unpartitioned space that may exist on an already-partitioned drive; 
(edit: *sigh*, see next post in thread, once again)

  * MAY be restored to an entirely unpartitioned drive, provided the first sector of its MBR boot track contains at least the standard MBR signature bytes 55h AAh at offsets 510-511 (sector bytes #511-#512)."
 
 
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