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Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7 (Read 53375 times)
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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #45 - Apr 28th, 2010 at 7:13am
 
NightOwl,
with reference to your reply #39:

Quote:
The BCEdits should make it so you don't have to use the *-fdsp* switch any longer!

BCEdits are, regrettably, still on the "to learn" list ... Embarrassed ... but I will hopefully get to it.

Quote:
Well, that seems to indicate that Ghost 2003 is and the SATA controllers are set to compatible modes--see page 52 and 53 of the User Guide you mentioned in your reply # 34 above--the default setting for the SATA Control Mode is *IDE* and not *AHCI*--I think that's what's required to make them work together.  Although, I thought it was the *SATA Native Mode* setting that was needed--but it says the default is *Disabled*--what are your settings?

In BIOS the access mode is set to "AUTO" and the options are "CHS", "LBA", "Large" and "AUTO".

Quote:
As far as Win7's installation CD is concerned--apparently that installation CD already has the needed SATA controller drivers included on the CD--no need for the F6 sub-routine to add drivers.  WinXP on the other hand is quite a bit older than the motherboard you're working with--so not surprised the drivers are not included on the WinXP installation CD!

No difference between XP and 7. No SATA drivers needed.

With reference to your reply #40:

Quote:
But, there may be a *switch* for that!  Look on page 164 of the Ghost 2003 User Guide for the description of the *-szee* switch:

-szee

Forces Norton Ghost to keep the sizes of all destination partitions the same as in the source
partition (no resizing).


I've had a look around in the manual and also found this switch but I'm not sure that I'd like that. I would prefer if Ghost resized proportionally, e.g Old = 250 GB split in 50 GB + 200 GB > New = 500 GB split in 100 GB + 400 GB. I have a memory of that being the "default" in the past but I don't recall which version of Ghost.

Quote:
That motherboard has some nice specifications--lots of options for what can be connected to that system!

Is this a new system you are building for yourself--or for someone else?

It's a build for a friend who does a lot of Photoshopping. We discussed an AMD Phenom II X4 945 - Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 based system as well but decided in favour of the Core i7 860 based system. I think that I personally will save some money and go AMD (when time permits ... Lips Sealed ... )

With reference to your reply #41:

Quote:
Shouldn't the SATA ports listed on page 26 be correlated to what is listed in the BIOS as the various channels and master/slave designations as seen on that page 48?!


Well, they are but it's not obvious how ... Undecided ... if I recall correctly:
SATA2_0 = IDE Channel 0 Master
SATA2_1 = IDE Channel 1 Master
SATA2_2 = IDE Channel 0 Slave
SATA2_3 = IDE Channel 1 Slave
SATA2_4 = IDE Channel 2 Master
SATA2_5 = IDE Channel 3 Master

There are 2 SATA3 ports, GSATA3_6 and GSAT3_7 but I have not used those and don't know to which channel they are "connected".

Quote:
Here's my question--did you just leave your three HDDs installed at this point?  And, did Win7 assign drive letters to match what you had ended up with previously with WinXP?

When I installed XP on unused drives, I hooked them up one by one. First HDD0, partitioned, formated and installed XP. Next HDD1, partitioned and formated and finally HDD2, partitioned and formated. Now, I noticed the mess.

When I installed W7, I left all HDD:s hooked up and the drive letters were assigned as listed. The DVD/RW was assigned I:, immediately changed to X:.

Quote:
But, did the drive letter assignment come out correctly?!  You forced the drive letters to be assigned to the HDDs to be in a particular order originally by attaching only one HDD at a time--I follow the logic of why those would be assigned the drive letter in the order you intended.  But, if the HDDs are all hooked up at the same time when Win7 is installed--I wouldn't necessarily expect the drive letter to be assigned that same way as had been done with WinXP and the one by one addition of the HDDs.

They came out the desired way and it seems like the controllers are searched for partitions in the "good old way": First, starting at channel 0, primary partitions are identified and drive letters are assigned. Next, restarting at channel 0, logical drives are identified and drive letters are assigned. I believe the "secret" behind the success is that there was only one primary partition, the first partition on the first HDD. Had there been primaries on the other HDD:s as well, the outcome would have been different, both in the case of XP and W7. (Does that make sense?)

When I installed XP, the partitions on HDD0, connected to SATA2_0 (IDE Channel 0 Master), were assigned C: and D: respectively.
When I connected HDD1 to SATA2_1 (IDE Channel 1 Master), the partitions were assigned E: and F: respectively.
Thus far, all was well but when I connected HDD2 to SATA2_2 (IDE Channel 0 Slave), these partitions were assigned E: and F: respectively AND the partitions on HDD1 were reassigned G: and H: respectively.

My conclusion is that the Channel numbers rule and the task is to identify to which SATA port the respective channel connects. When I had sorted it out in XP and connected the HDD:s to the correct SATA ports, W7 got it right with all HDD:s connected during the installation.

(Note that there is no hidden W7 system partition. This was avoided, as recommended by Brian, by installing XP and partitioning prior to installing W7.)

Quote:
Hopefully, all that makes some sense above--I'm just curious how Win7 handled assigning drive letters vs how DOS would have, given this new *order* based on SATA controllers with mysterious *master/slave* assignments!

I hope that my reply (with 4 characters to spare) covers "all bases" of your posts ... Lips Sealed ... !
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #46 - Apr 28th, 2010 at 8:00am
 
A few additional thoughts, assumptions and conclusions based on my findings:

With four drives, I selected to connect them all as masters:

SATA2_0 = IDE Channel 0 Master > HDD0 with C: and D:
SATA2_1 = IDE Channel 1 Master > HDD1 with E: and F:
SATA2_2 = IDE Channel 0 Slave > unused
SATA2_3 = IDE Channel 1 Slave > unused
SATA2_4 = IDE Channel 2 Master > HDD2 with G: and H: (actually removable in a rack)
SATA2_5 = IDE Channel 3 Master > DVD/RW

If I connect a drive to any of the unused ports, the "current" drive lettering will get messed up.

I believe the same assignments of drive letters would be the case if connected as below:

SATA2_0 = IDE Channel 0 Master > HDD0 with C: and D:
SATA2_1 = IDE Channel 1 Master > HDD2 with G: and H: (actually removable in a rack)
SATA2_2 = IDE Channel 0 Slave  > HDD1 with E: and F:
SATA2_3 = IDE Channel 1 Slave > DVD/RW
SATA2_4 = IDE Channel 2 Master > unused
SATA2_5 = IDE Channel 3 Master > unused

The difference is that connecting additional drives to any of the unused ports, the "current" drive lettering will not get messed up.

From my own post:

Quote:
There are 2 SATA3 ports, GSATA3_6 and GSAT3_7 but I have not used those and don't know to which channel they are "connected".

That's partially true. I have connected the SATA port on the case front panel header to GSATA3_6 but have not hooked up a drive and in concequence, don't know to which channel it correlates.

I also don't know to which channel the IDE connector correlates.

With thirteen "channels" in all, most are accounted for:

6 SATA2, 2 SATA3, 2 IDE, 2 eSATA making it twelve. The thirteenth, is that the FDD?

Hmm, I've got a headache ... Roll Eyes ... !
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #47 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 1:19am
 
@
Christer

Yeah, my head hurts too!  It's hard to follow some of the sequences when you are not the one with the hardware in front of you to understand everything you have physically done....

But, I think I have the gist of what's been done.  My take away summary would be that Win7 follows the same *rules* of precedence for assigning drive letters as has been done for years based on the DOS outline--that being said, I bet if you set up you HDDs with partitions so they are assigned DOS drive letters--or in the case of NTFS where you don't get drive letters, but drive numbers and partition #--I bet the results will be the order you want when Win(whichever OS) assigns drive letters--should match what Ghost shows!  (I could be wrong--but, I think that will work--just have to be able to track which drive is which as well as the partitions.)

Quote:
It's a build for a friend who does a lot of Photoshopping. We discussed an AMD Phenom II X4 945 - Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 based system as well but decided in favour of the Core i7 860 based system. I think that I personally will save some money and go AMD (when time permits ...

I thought way back when (2002 or 2003) we had that long thread--about there being issues with AMD based processors and their respective North/South bridges and drive performance issues-- that you swore off AMD for the future--I know I have!!!!!
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #48 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 2:57am
 
NightOwl,

Quote:
I thought way back when (2002 or 2003) we had that long thread--about there being issues with AMD based processors and their respective North/South bridges and drive performance issues-- that you swore off AMD for the future--I know I have!!!!!

I think you're confusing me with someone else but I may be wrong. The only item in my body that gets upgraded is my memory ... Roll Eyes ... which is now teflon coated!

I built my first BOAC (Box Of Assembled Components) in 2001 and have built a few more since then. Only two, including this last build, have been Intel based. Photoshop benchmarks indicated that it was a good idea and price wasn't a primary issue.

My main reason for going AMD, as long as there is no specific reason not to, is to support the only Intel competition. If AMD were going "tits up", Intel prices would immediately go in the same direction.

Anyway, a lot of water under the (North/South) bridges since 2002/2003 ... Lips Sealed ... maybe it's time to re-evaluate?
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #49 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 10:10am
 
@
Christer

Quote:
I think you're confusing me with someone else but I may be wrong.

My bad (as is quite common!)--speaking before I refresh *my memory*--which is probably not a reliable function!!!!  It was VIA Chipsets (the north/south bridge) that you swore off--not AMD processors--so I was close--just the wrong specific item  Wink !

Here's the original thread:  Comparing HDDs - strange results

Here's where I started contributing to the discussion and implicating the VIA chipset:  Comparing HDDs - strange results--Reply #81

And here's where you swore off anything VIA chipsets:   Comparing HDDs - strange results--Reply #122   

Quote:
Anyway, the tests on the ABIT VA-10 based hardware have convinced me that my next motherboard will not include anything VIA.


Quote:
I thought way back when (2002 or 2003) we had that long thread--about there being issues with AMD based processors and their respective North/South bridges and drive performance issues

And--it was 2004--not 2002 or 2003--oh, well!
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #50 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 10:30am
 
NightOwl,
I remember that thread, well ... Embarrassed ... not in its entirety but fragments ... Cool ... and I have stayed clear off VIA.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #51 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 4:05am
 
A side effect that I have forgotten to mention:

I installed Windows 7 > created Image, installed Office 2007 > created Image and installed Photoshop CS4 > created Image. Prior to creating each Image, I defragmented (Windows 7 Defragmenter) the system partition and it didn't take long.

After that, I did a few tests and had reason to restore the most recent Image. I installed Acrobat 9 and defragmented the system partition. The "defragmenting" part of the process was quick but the "consolidating" part of the process took quite a long time. The second run didn't take longer than prior to restoring the Image.

It seems like the defragmenter doesn't agree with how Ghost restores the files.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #52 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 9:03am
 
@
Christer

Quote:
It seems like the defragmenter doesn't agree with how Ghost restores the files.

Interesting--I'm no expert on the actual inner workings of DOS Ghost 2003, but my understanding is that if you have a FAT file system, then Ghost will create the image file with the files compiled in a defragmented state--so when you restore that image, you have a defragmented partition or HDD.

But, if the file system is NTFS--then DOS Ghost is not able to do the defragmentation-- (so this is where the question(s) lie as to what effect the restored Ghost image may effect the files!).

I know I've seen several reports of this behavior on the forum here--but, I can't remember if I've ever seen actual documentation of that Ghost *feature* or behavior.  But, folks have reported that if they run defragmention software right after the restore of a FAT partition image, it is completely defragmented!

You might look at the defragmented state just before you create an image, and then immediately restore it, and once again look at the level of defragmentation before doing any further tests--see if there is an observable difference.

There are files, like the swap file and hibernation file (plus others) that are left out of a default image file--Ghost 2003 does not know about Win7--so I wonder if there's any interaction there that could cause a problem--or if the Win7 OS is a close enough match with WinXP (the most recent OS that Ghost 2003 would have awareness of!) that it doesn't trash the Win7--because folks are successfully restoring Ghost 2003 images--it must be *okay*!
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #53 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 11:16am
 
NightOwl,

Quote:
You might look at the defragmented state just before you create an image, and then immediately restore it, and once again look at the level of defragmentation before doing any further tests--see if there is an observable difference.

I always "clean up" and defragment the partition prior to creating an Image. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for Ghost 2003 to create an Image without errors. (I once created an Image of a messy partition and it didn't pass the Integrity Check. - Never again!) This means that I can't do that test ... Lips Sealed ... unless I let it get "trashed".

I don't think that Ghost 2003 behaves differently on a NTFS partition. It collects the bits and pieces of the files and write them to the Image in contiguous chunks. The defragmenting takes 5-15 seconds but the consolidating/optimizing takes 13-14 minutes.

I don't know if you know of Auslogics Disk Defrag (ADD)? I downloaded it and tested:

If nothing else, as opposed to the Windows 7 Defragmenter (WD7), it has a graphic display.

ADD makes a single pass > analyze/defragment/optimize.

W7D makes an initial pass > analyze/defragment/consolidate and then makes 3-6 additional passes (much quicker than the initial pass). When comparing elapsed times, I have only "counted" the initial pass.

I restored the most recent Image (used space = ~19 GB excluding pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys) and installed ADD.

W7D took 13 min 30 sec. A consecutive run of ADD took 30 sec.

I, again, restored the most recent Image and installed ADD. This time, I ran them in the reverse order.

ADD took 11 min 30 sec. A consecutive run of W7D took 35 sec.

It seems like ADD is a bit quicker (~15%) and you have something to watch.

The graphics in ADD indicate that they do the same job.

There's also Auslogics Disk Defrag Screen Saver which is quite nice but it only works on accounts with administrator privileges.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #54 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 11:20am
 
NightOwl,

Quote:
There are files, like the swap file and hibernation file (plus others) that are left out of a default image file--Ghost 2003 does not know about Win7--so I wonder if there's any interaction there that could cause a problem--or if the Win7 OS is a close enough match with WinXP (the most recent OS that Ghost 2003 would have awareness of!) that it doesn't trash the Win7--because folks are successfully restoring Ghost 2003 images--it must be *okay*!

As I indicated in my post above, based on the difference between "used size" and "copied size", pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys are excluded from the image, just like on XP.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #55 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 1:31pm
 
@
Christer

Quote:
I restored the most recent Image (used space = ~19 GB excluding pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys) and installed ADD.

W7D took 13 min 30 sec. A consecutive run of ADD took 30 sec.

I, again, restored the most recent Image and installed ADD. This time, I ran them in the reverse order.

ADD took 11 min 30 sec. A consecutive run of W7D took 35 sec.

So, if I'm reading your post correctly--you defragged before creating your Ghost image.

But, after the restore, you then had to do a 10-13 minute defrag again.

Quote:
I don't think that Ghost 2003 behaves differently on a NTFS partition. It collects the bits and pieces of the files and write them to the Image in contiguous chunks.

Well, that doesn't sound like what Ghost does when the partition is a FAT file system--there should be no defragging necessary after that restore!

I wonder what Ghost is doing to the NTFS partition as part of its restore leaving you with that defragging necessity?!
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #56 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 4:49pm
 
NightOwl,

Quote:
So, if I'm reading your post correctly--you defragged before creating your Ghost image.

Yes, I always do that.

Quote:
But, after the restore, you then had to do a 10-13 minute defrag again.

No, defragging took a few (5-15) seconds (including "analyzing").

Consolidating/Optimizing took 13,5 and 11,5 minutes for the respective defragger.

Quote:
Well, that doesn't sound like what Ghost does when the partition is a FAT file system--there should be no defragging necessary after that restore!

Almost no defragging was necessary. When I installed ADD (not included in the Image), those files were potentially fragmented and also a few system files that had been written to when starting the system.

Quote:
I wonder what Ghost is doing to the NTFS partition as part of its restore leaving you with that defragging necessity?!

I think we have to focus on the difference between defragmenting and consolidating (W7D terminology) / optimizing (ADD terminology).

In ADD there's the option to only defragment or to defragment + optimize. They warn that the latter option takes longer.

Defragmenting arranges the fragments of a file into a single contiguous chunk. It can be positioned anywhere on the partition.

Next, consolidating/optimizing rearranges the defragmented files to the optimum position on the partition and all the little unused spaces between the defragmented files are "consolidated" into the free space.

When Ghost restores an Image, the defragmented files are not written to the optimum position on the partition. The defraggers rearrange them according to an algorithm that decides which files should be close to the MFT, which files should be at the front of the partition and so on. Maybe those preferences are different for W7 and Ghost 2003 knows nothing about it?
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #57 - May 1st, 2010 at 4:16am
 
I'm on my way to deliver the computer to its owner but I managed to get a few screen shots of Auslogics Disk Defrag. I'll post them a.s.a.p.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #58 - May 1st, 2010 at 4:36am
 
Fresh-Restore-Analyzed
...

Defragged-Optimized
...

Re-Analyzed
...

As you can see in "Defragged-Optimized" it took Auslogics Disk Defrag 9 min 23 sec to perform the task. When restored (the Image) again and repeated using the Windows 7 defragger, it took 13 min 14 sec.

Depending on how you "bend" the figures, Auslogics was 29 % quicker than Windows 7 or Windows 7 was 41 % slower than Auslogics.
 

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Re: Ghost 2003 strategy for Windows 7
Reply #59 - May 1st, 2010 at 12:16pm
 
@
Christer

(Boy, I hate it when I hit the wrong key stroke and loose everything I have just typed  Angry !)

So, I see there are two different functions being discussed:  1.  De-fragmentation so files are together in one spot, and 2.  Optimizing (Consolidating) where the files are located on the partition for best performance.

Do you know if Win7 uses the same *Pre-fetch* optimizing for loading sequence in WinXP?

I see that the OS partition has used approx. 20 GB already--just installing Win7 and basic programs for general use?  Good to note how much space is needed--a lot more than WinXP in the past!
 

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