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Is there a way to make Ghost portable? (Read 6925 times)
serpico
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Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Apr 5th, 2011 at 1:46am
 
I wish to backup an encrypted system partition. If I boot into Ghost recovery and perform a cold backup, the size of the backup is the same as the size of the entire partition (bit for bit copy, including all free space and no compression).

And I'm not a big fan of installing Ghost in the OS both because that means hot backup and because it's another resource hog.

What would be ideal is a portable version of Ghost, similar to how quite a few apps come in portable flavors. So you'd boot into the encrypted OS you want to back up, launch portable Ghost and backup. Since Ghost is running in the (decrypted) OS environment, it just backs up actual data, not free space, and can compress the backup. So you get the backup sizing benefit of installed Ghost without the installation and performance hit that comes from a full-time Ghost process.

Anyway, I have no idea if portable Ghost is possible. Just throwing it out there.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #1 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 3:53am
 
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serpico

I haven't used encrypted partitions but you can do cold backups with Ghost 15. Ghost 15 doesn't need to be installed if you only want to create cold images. None of the earlier (hot imaging) Ghosts could do this. Please let us know what you discover.

Did you want a portable app that does a "hot" image backup of Windows?  Drive Snapshot is the only app I can recall that doesn't need to be installed to create a "hot" backup.
 
 
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #2 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:13am
 
Brian wrote on Apr 5th, 2011 at 3:53am:
@
I haven't used encrypted partitions but you can do cold backups with Ghost 15. Ghost 15 doesn't need to be installed if you only want to create cold images. None of the earlier (hot imaging) Ghosts could do this. Please let us know what you discover. 
I've been doing cold backups for years using the Ghost 9 plugin for Reatogo XPE. In fact, it was through this forum, and you specifically, that I figured out how to do that.

It's a bit incredible to me that Symantec waited until Ghost 15 to finally build native support for cold imaging into the app. And even then, they're behind the curve. Who wants to have to use a cd for cold imaging? I have a bootable Ghost USB stick. I'm sure Symantec will have native support for that by Ghost 18.  Roll Eyes

Quote:
Did you want a portable app that does a "hot" image backup of Windows?  Drive Snapshot is the only app I can recall that doesn't need to be installed to create a "hot" backup. 
Yes, 'hot' or perhaps we could call it 'warm' since Ghost is running in, but not installed in the environment it is backing up. Too bad Ghost doesn't do this - maybe, as with cold imaging, they'll offer the feature years after the customers have been wanting it.

Didn't know about Drive Snapshot, thanks. As little as I think of the pace of development of Ghost, I'm reluctant to switch away from Ghost because it's so reliable.

Alternatively, if I could install Ghost but run Ghost processes ONLY when I want to create a back up, that would be an OK solution - assuming Ghost's hot images are as reliable as Ghost's cold images. I find Ghost to be too much of a resource hog to run from system startup.
 
 
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #3 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:59am
 
I should mention that I've tried de-encrypting the encrypted partition inside the Ghost recovery environment (running a portable version of the encryption program off of my Ghost bootable USB). This works, and I can see the unencrypted partition in the Recovery Point Browser.

But when I go into the Back Up My Computer wizard, it does not see the mounted unencrypted partition. It only sees actual physical partitions. So it looks like I cannot get around the size issue for cold images of encrypted partitions.
 
 
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #4 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:47am
 
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serpico

I do remember the Ghost 9 plugin and our exchanges. That was a long time ago.

Quote:
Alternatively, if I could install Ghost but run Ghost processes ONLY when I want to create a back up, that would be an OK solution

Try this and let us know if it works.

msconfig, Startup tab, remove the tick from VProTray
Stop the Norton Ghost service and make it Disabled.

Temporarily enable the service when you want to create an image.

Quote:
I have a bootable Ghost USB stick


You can create a Ghost 15 one with...

http://krisrowland.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/boot-norton-ghost-14-srd-from-a-usb-...

 
 
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serpico
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #5 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:14pm
 
Quote:
Try this and let us know if it works.

msconfig, Startup tab, remove the tick from VProTray
Stop the Norton Ghost service and make it Disabled.

Temporarily enable the service when you want to create an image.
Thanks, I might give that a shot. I assume I would also have to manually shut down the Ghost service after closing the Ghost app? Are there any other processes associated with Ghost I should shut down to reduce system overhead?

It's been a very long time since I've (permanently) installed Symantec apps on my computer because I hate how Symantec loves to include a boatload of always-running processes with each of their apps. Maybe they've changed their MO in the past several years?

Quote:
I didn't check out your link, but here are the directions I followed: http://www.ehow.com/how_6469416_make-norton-ghost-bootable-usb.html

It works great, and you can also add portable apps to the stick so that you can have those apps if you want to run them in the Ghost recovery environment.
 
 
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Re: Is there a way to make Ghost portable?
Reply #6 - Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:27pm
 
serpico wrote on Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:14pm:
Are there any other processes associated with Ghost I should shut down to reduce system overhead?

I don't think so. Once you have disabled the service it won't re-enable after a reboot.

serpico wrote on Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:14pm:
but here are the directions I followed

The only difference is the inclusion of the boot sector step. I don't think it is required but it does no harm. You can also put your Ghost ISO on a Grub4DOS USB flash drive, along with a multitude of your other favourite ISOs.
 
 
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