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Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far! (Read 5117 times)
runner_bean
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Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Apr 13th, 2011 at 5:03am
 
I would like to be able to use Ghost 2003 to image the hard disks of the various laptops/netbooks in my household, all of which have at least two usb ports, but some not CD drives.

My plan is to boot DOS Ghost 2003 from a memory stick in one USB port and send the Ghost image to a USB disk plugged into the second port.  I am almost there...

1.  I have made a bootable USB memory stick using the HP Disk Storage Format Tool and a Windows 98 boot disk.  This works fine and Ghost (with no extra drivers) starts normally.
However, Ghost can only 'see' the internal disk in the laptop and the memory stick, and not the USB disk I wish to image to.  Not unexpected and to address this I have tried various USB drivers in an effort to get the configuration to work as I wish, but so far without success.

2.  Using the Iomega aspiehci.sys driver and the 'usual' autoexec.bat and config.sys files Ghost starts and now 'sees' both the memory stick and the USB hard drive, BUT can no longer 'see' the internal hard disk, so this configuration can't work.  Why can't Ghost see the internal drive?  Is there a workaround?  I have tried various switches in the Ghost command line but without success.

3.  Using the widely recommended Panasonic usbaspi.sys driver with /w and /v switches both USB drives are found by the driver but the system then halts with a C> prompt and a 'missing command.com' error message, so Ghost cannot start.  I have experimented with various minor changes to switches and boot files but have made no progress so far.

Please can anyone advise what may be happening and a way forward?  I think 2 above should be easy to fix but I can't see how.

Many thanks in anticipation.
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #1 - Apr 14th, 2011 at 2:40am
 
@
runner_bean

Quote:
2.  Using the Iomega aspiehci.sys driver and the 'usual' autoexec.bat and config.sys files Ghost starts and now 'sees' both the memory stick and the USB hard drive, BUT can no longer 'see' the internal hard disk, so this configuration can't work.  Why can't Ghost see the internal drive?  Is there a workaround?

Maybe.  Given what you have described, I usually get a system freeze during boot, rather than the internal HDD not showing up!

In the various setups above (i.e. 1., 2., and 3.)--how is the USB stick loaded during boot--is it A:\ drive or C:\ drive or .......?

You are probably having compatibility issues where the BIOS and the DOS drivers are competing--it has to be either one or the other--not both!

Settings in the BIOS are *USB emulation*, or *USB Mass Storage Support*--if it's something you can enable or disable on your own--what do you have?

I'm going to be out of town a couple days--so I'll not be responding immediately.
 

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runner_bean
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #2 - Apr 14th, 2011 at 8:45am
 
Thanks for your response.

In all setups I have to have the laptop BIOS enabled to 'USB Legacy Support' mode in order that the memory stick is seen.  I don't have a USB Mass Storage Mode to select.  If I don't enable the 'Legacy' mode then the only boot options are the CD drive and the internal hard disk - the memory stick is invisible.

Booting off the memory stick results in the C:> prompt being shown and I can start then Ghost from this, or run any of the usual DOS commands.

Hope this helps.
 
 
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #3 - Apr 14th, 2011 at 10:09am
 
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runner_bean

Quote:
In all setups I have to have the laptop BIOS enabled to 'USB Legacy Support' mode

Interesting--there are so many variations!  I have a Dell Latitude D610 laptop (approx. 2005), and it has no *USB Legacy Support* option, but only *USB Emulation* that controls weather a USB HDD or flashdrive (or external USB Floppy drive) will be seen as a boot device.  What make/model laptop do you have?

Quote:
My plan is to boot DOS Ghost 2003 from a memory stick in one USB port and send the Ghost image to a USB disk plugged into the second port.

Yes, but both ports are being run by a single USB controller!  If the BIOS has tasked the USB port(s) to boot a USB device, then the ports are no longer available to be used by other USB devices--like a separate USB HDD.

The following may work--depends on your system(s) and USB hardware:

If you can not load DOS via separate boot device (i.e. built-in CD drive, USB floppy drive, maybe USB CD drive), and your only option is booting from the USB port with a USB flashdrive--or USB HDD...then ditching the flashdrive and using the USB HDD to boot could solve the problem.

I have done this on a USB HDD that is PATA based and up to 160 GB in size.  File system has to be FAT--probably 32 (this can be a problem if it is not already formatted--WinXP limits the size to a max of 32 GB--may have to use a third party tool to successfully format to the full capacity of the HDD!).  Once it's formatted, you then make it bootable by using the *sys.com* program that should be in the Win98se bootdisk files.  From a DOS prompt in the directory where the *sys.com* program is located, you type *sys x:* and hit enter (be careful here--*x* has to be the correct current drive letter assigned in Windows to the USB HDD.  Now copy all the boot files over to the HDD just as you did to the flashdrive--including Ghost 2003.

Test it.  If all has gone as planned, it should show up as the C: drive, DOS loaded, and hopefully the whole HDD capacity listed (you will get an initial boot splash screen saying you're booting *Win98*--we can get rid of that, if desired).  Should be able to load Ghost and save the image file to the USB HDD that you have booted from--probably in a separate sub-directory to keep things neat and tidy.

I have been unsuccessful with this technique, so far, attempting a 640 GB SATA HDD attached to a USB adapter--system freezes when attempting to boot DOS, and/or run Ghost from it.

What USB HDD setup do you have?  Size, file system, PATA or SATA HDD based--brand of USB adapter?

If you decide try this, let us know what you find out!

I'm out of town and away from any computers for several days now!
 

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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #4 - Apr 16th, 2011 at 9:56am
 
Runner_Bean,

I've got the same sort of problem. In the past I've used Ghost 2003 for Disk-to-Disk cloning and for doing Partition-to-Image, both where external USB-connected drives were concerned, but those were in the days of PATA drives, rather than SATA. So, now that I've a system based on SATA drives instead, I've invested in a new spare SATA hard drive (to be cloned) and a supposedly good SATA docking station. I've initialised and formatted the new drive in the dock and so Windows itself can see the drive. However, when I try to run Ghost (2003, with Build 793), PC-DOS will not fully launch. Instead, it reaches the low-res GUI and then corrupts and stops. It appears that it doesn't like the particular implementation of the USB 2 interface on the docking station.

The station's a product of Akasa and I went to special effort to get it, thinking that the japanese are usually non-quirky when it comes to designing USB interfaces. The hard drive in it that I'd otherwise be trying to clone is a brand new Samsung Spinpoint 1TB.

It's indeed known that Ghost 2003 is very touchy as to which USB implentations it'll choose to recognise, so maybe you and I are just two more of the unlucky ones.

Just to illustrate the point, I also use a LaCie external USB-connected drive that's permanently built into an enclosure. I bought that a year or two back. But that's nicely recognised by PC-DOS and I regularly make partition images to it. (Note that I'm making the distinction between partition imaging and complete disk cloning).

In my case, it looks like a Disk-to-Disk Copy is going to be completely impossible with Ghost unless I temporarily install the Samsung drive into my machine. But that completely defeats the object of having an external docking station. There are alternative utilities around, like Acronis True Image, of course, but ATI cannot make images of individual partitions, so in that respect is not as versatile as Ghost 2003. ATI seems to be best for just doing complete disk-to-disk cloning. I want to do both. In any event, I don't know if ATI is equally flakey when an external device, connected via USB, is involved.
 
 
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #5 - Apr 16th, 2011 at 3:27pm
 
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voximan

voximan wrote on Apr 16th, 2011 at 9:56am:
There are alternative utilities around


Image for Linux can create partition images and whole drive images. It can also create partition copies (clones) and whole drive copies. It can backup and restore over a network and even restore over a wireless network. Because IFL accesses the HD directly, it doesn't matter what brand of USB chipset you are using. There is a 30 day trial. You can use it from a CD, USB flash drive or a HD install.
 
 
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 4:58pm
 
Thanks for all this advice which is much appreciated.

I have done a little more work on the problem and it looks as though all my problems come down to the BIOS on my HP N620c.

1.  I have tried changing the configuration on my USB memory stick, even going so far as to dig out my old DOS manual and creating a RAMDRIVE and using this to boot DOS on the N620c.  No difference unfortunately, with the results exactly the same as when booting directly off of the memory stick (i.e. Ghost can't see the internal disk with the aspiehci.sys driver or alternatively with the Panasonic USB driver can't find command.com, and with no USB driver can't see the USB hard drive).

2.  However, I tried using my original basic memory stick configuration (without USB drivers) to boot my wife's Asus Eee (which is one of the devices I wish to backup) and had immediate success.  Ghost starts and is able to see the internal hard drive, the external USB hard drive (a Buffalo HD-PCUT2 plugged into the second USB port), as well as the memory stick.  I haven't yet made a Ghost image to the USB drive but I see no reason it will not work.  CELEBRATE!!

3.  I cross-checked with the HP N620c and found as before that with this basic memopry stick configuration Ghost starts but can't see the USB hard disk (but can see the memory stick).  So I think it's pretty conclusive that the problem is with the USB section of the BIOS in the N620c which I can do nothing about.  I think the BIOS is unable to handle two mass storage devices on the USB ports - one yes, but two no.

4.  My next step is going to be to make a Ghost bootable CD for the N620c as an alternative to the memory stick and with a following wind I should be able to boot Ghost on the N620c from the CD and see the USB hard disk on one of the USB ports.  This will be a little clumsy but still provides a workable solution.  The solution for the Asus Eee will be to use the memory stick to boot as the Eee has no CD drive.  I will let you know my progress.

5.  I haven't tried using the USB hard disk as the boot device but can see that this might work.  Thanks for the suggestion anyway.  I note though that the instructions with my Buffalo USB disk state that it cannot be used as a boot device for an OS - why I do not know.  Perhaps it doesn't run up to speed fast enough when the PC reboots.

Thanks again for your support.
 
 
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Re: Backup to USB Disk - So near yet so far!
Reply #7 - Jun 20th, 2011 at 6:48am
 
Well it's taken a while to get there but I can now backup all my PCs with Ghost 2003.  The outcome was as follows:

1.  For the N620c I created a standard Ghost 2003 bootable floppy disc with USB 2.0 drivers and drive letter feature (with PC-DOS) and used this floppy to burn a CD-ROM (boot) CD with Nero Burning ROM.  I can now boot the N620c off the CD and send image data to my Buffalo USB drive which plugs into one of the USB ports.  Works fine (tested by playback of arecording).

2.  For the ASUS Eee I created a bootable USB memory stick using the HP Disk Storage Format Tool and a Windows 98 boot disc plus the Ghost executable.  No USB drivers are required and indeed do not seem to work(so no drivers loaded by CONFIG.SYS) but Ghost recognises the Buffalo USB disc and I have been able to make a backup (data transfer a tad slow though).

3.  For a Compaq P800 I own which has only USB 1.0 ports as standard, but has an added USB 2.0 interface, I couldn't get the Ghost USB 2.0 floppy to recognise the Buffalo drive if plugged it into the USB 2.0 port.  However, when I rebuilt the boot disc to use the Panasonic USBASPI.SYS and DI1000DD.SYS drivers the USB drive was found and I have been able to do a full backup speedily.

3.  Finally, for my HP DC7600 I have been able to use the standard Ghost 2003 USB 2.0 floppy disc to do a backup.  Without USB drivers the Buffalo disc was not found, but with them it was all OK.

So it's been a long road and a different solution has been needed in each case, but the outcome is good.

My kind regards to all who have assisted with this project.
 
 
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