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USB Automated Ghost Need Help (Read 49090 times)
NightOwl
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #15 - Jul 24th, 2011 at 10:41am
 
@
Brian

Quote:
Use a WinPE USB flash drive with ghost32.exe. Have the ghost script run automatically on startup. On completion of the restore, the client will need to manually shutdown the WinPE otherwise another restore would take place if the computer restarted with the USB flash drive still present.

One might be able to avoid this--but, it does require a little *pre-planning*, and some slight expertise on the user's part!

Set the BIOS boot priority so the system boots from the HDD before the USB flash drive--now a re-boot will not run the restore routine on the flash drive upon re-boot.

But, now the client has to know how to bring up the *boot menu* during initial boot to start the restore process (often times it's the F12 key--but on one of my systems it's the F8 key!).  Manually select the USB flash drive, and the boot then by-passes the BIOS boot sequence--but when the system re-boots, it will follow the BIOS boot sequence and go to Windows and not to the USB flash drive.  When the client returns--just pull out the flash drive!

This technique should also work with a floppy disk, or boot CD or DVD.
 

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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #16 - Jul 24th, 2011 at 4:44pm
 
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NightOwl
My autoexec.bat is in Reply #1. Here is the config.sys

Code:
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /testmem:off
DOS=HIGH,UMB
FILES=30
buffers=10


I was using ctmouse.exe but as you mentioned, a mouse isn't needed for an auto procedure. The actual mouse was PS/2.

I was using the ghost32.exe from Ghost 10. I tried two WinPE. A TeraByte Unlimited one made for Image for Windows and adapted by me. The other was Active@ Boot Disk. Both support running a startup script and are Win7 based. A friend has Ghost 11.5 and let me play with his computer. It can make a WinPE boot disk and you can add your startup script while making the boot disk. If you get the startup script wrong (eg incorrect drive letters) then you can easily edit start.bat in the "ghost" folder on the flash drive. You don't have to build another boot disk. The WinPE is Vista based.

As far as drive letters are concerned, this is a quick observation and may not be correct. With a Win7 based WinPE, if you have two HD partitions and an optical drive the USB flash drive will be assigned F: drive. With a Vista based WinPE the USB flash drive will be assigned E: drive.

 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #17 - Jul 25th, 2011 at 1:07pm
 
My config.sys file doesn't look like that at all, I also don't have a dos folder on this flash drive or anything called himem.sys, do I need that? I have attached a screenshot of the contents of my flash drive so you guys have a better understanding of what I'm working with. The Ghost folder only contains the ghost.exe file. I am going to give this set up one more shot before trying WinPE. The .ghs span files in my most recent attempt were named incorrectly, thanks for pointing that out, as you can see I have fixed them, the original names were the V2.7 etc that I gave you earlier as that is how they are named on our servers, I have changed them to the base# format to more easily keep track of them and modify them.
 

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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #18 - Jul 25th, 2011 at 1:48pm
 
The setup I just used worked, included -sure and -rb into the switches and it went all the way through from start to finish with no user intervention required, rebooted and is now sitting at the login screen. Thanks for all the help, this will really help us out.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #19 - Jul 25th, 2011 at 7:50pm
 
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snowdude

I'm glad it is working. If you get a chance, try the WinPE method. The restore was over four times faster than DOS in my test computer.
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #20 - Jul 26th, 2011 at 10:08am
 
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snowdude

Quote:
My config.sys file doesn't look like that at all, I also don't have a dos folder on this flash drive or anything called himem.sys, do I need that?

Probably not.  Some DOS boot disks (discs) sometimes put the DOS drivers in a separate sub-directory for organizational purposes (just like Ghost's Boot Wizard often puts the *ghost.exe* in its own *Ghost* sub-directory.  In Ghost 2003, if you add USB DOS supporting drivers, the Boot Wizard puts the USB drivers in their own *USB* sub-directory as well!  And, DOS network drivers (I think--I haven't played with that in a long time) are put in a *Net* sub-directory.

Quote:
himem.sys

Again, probably not necessary.

Quoting from Vernon Frazee's *MS-DOS v6.22 Help: Command Reference* for
*himem.sys*

Quote:
HIMEM is an extended-memory manager--a program that coordinates the use of
your computer's extended memory, including the high memory area (HMA), so
that no two applications or device drivers use the same memory at the same
time
.


And:

Quote:
HIMEM or another XMS driver must be loaded in order to load MS-DOS into the
high memory area (HMA). You load MS-DOS into the HMA by using the DOS=HIGH
command in your CONFIG.SYS file
.

If you are not short on the first 640 MB of low memory (RAM) to run you DOS program and any loaded drivers, and if there are no two programs attempting to use the same memory at the same time (usually causing conflicts and system crashes), then you can do without the *himem.sys*.

If you want to use the DOS *EMM386.EXE* program, you must load *himem.sys* first.  Quoting form the *emm386.exe* page:

Quote:
Provides access to the upper memory area and uses extended memory to
simulate expanded memory. This device driver must be loaded by a <DEVICE>
command in your CONFIG.SYS file

and:

Quote:
EMM386 uses extended memory to simulate expanded memory for programs that
can use expanded memory. EMM386 also makes it possible to load programs and
device drivers into upper memory blocks (UMBs).

For example--loading part of DOS into the UMBs.  Again, this can help free up RAM in the first 640 MB used by DOS programs (such as Ghost and other loaded drivers).

Quote:
My config.sys file doesn't look like that at all.......I have attached a screenshot of the contents of my flash drive so you guys have a better understanding of what I'm working with

You previously shared what was in *autoexec.bat*--can you share what's in *config.sys*?

Quote:
The setup I just used worked, included -sure and -rb into the switches and it went all the way through from start to finish with no user intervention required, rebooted and is now sitting at the login screen.

Glad to hear it's working!  Could you share how you set things up so you ended up at the *login screen*--was that without *user intervention* and the system didn't re-boot to the USB flash drive?

 

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NightOwl
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #21 - Jul 26th, 2011 at 10:27am
 
@
Brian

Quote:
try the WinPE method. The restore was over four times faster than DOS in my test computer

Okay--I'm interested!

Quote:
I was using the ghost32.exe from Ghost 10. I tried two WinPE. A TeraByte Unlimited one made for Image for Windows and adapted by me. The other was Active@ Boot Disk. Both support running a startup script and are Win7 based. A friend has Ghost 11.5 and let me play with his computer. It can make a WinPE boot disk and you can add your startup script while making the boot disk. If you get the startup script wrong (eg incorrect drive letters) then you can easily edit start.bat in the "ghost" folder on the flash drive. You don't have to build another boot disk. The WinPE is Vista based.

So, *ghost32.exe* form Ghost 10 did not work?  And the two WinPE's also did not work (that are Win7 based)?  You had to use your friend's Ghost 11.5 boot wizard that creates a Ghost 11.5 friendly WinPE, and allowed you to add your script during creation?

So *average me* won't be able to build a WinPE based boot flash drive unless I have a friend who uses Ghost 11.5 on a Vista system?

Or, did you mean all those options worked?

Quote:

That looks *pricey*--$80.00 to $110.00!

 

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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #22 - Jul 26th, 2011 at 4:00pm
 
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NightOwl

NightOwl wrote on Jul 26th, 2011 at 10:27am:
So, *ghost32.exe* form Ghost 10 did not work?And the two WinPE's also did not work (that are Win7 based)? 


No, both WinPEs worked fine. Just as well as the official Ghost 11.5.

Active@ Boot Disk has a demo download. The contained apps (which you don't want to use anyway) are in crippled mode but the WinPE disk that you create is fantastic. Best I've seen. You can add your own files during the build and you can add your own startup script during the build (must be a .cmd file).

http://www.lsoft.net/bootdisk.aspx#download

You can create a CD or USB flash drive. With the latter you can edit your startup script directly on the flash drive if you have made a mistake. Easier then building another boot disk although that is simple. So *average me* should be almost ready to go.


I read about the Ghost 11.5 USB boot disk. If you choose MS-DOS you only get a 2 GB partition on the flash drive. Snowdude has to use PC-DOS because it can use the full size of the flash drive. Here is config.sys

Code:
LASTDRIVE = Z 





 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #23 - Jul 27th, 2011 at 12:16am
 
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NightOwl

As an aside, you can image the Active@ flash drive partition with Image for Windows, restore the image to your HD and boot the Active@ partition with BootIt. The Active@ partition can be used for auto restores, initiated from Windows. No boot disk is needed. You could use IFW or ghost32.exe in the Active@ partition.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #24 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 12:59pm
 
I have been reading your responses and having probably a little too much fun with my automated ghost flash drive, building menu's using choice commands and even using ansi to make some interesting looking screens, this is great as it allows us to put company logo and our IT support number up on the top of the screen at all times and is working perfectly in the first machine I tested this with.

However a computer came my way to image using our more typical techniques, however due to network card issues this computer was unable to ghost over our secondary network as we usually do so I figured I would use the opportunity to ghost it with my new toy. Once ghost had loaded up and a number of attempts at figuring out why, it popped up with an error message asking me to put the ghosterr.txt somewhere, initially suggesting A:/ however its a modern laptop so no floppy drive, tried changing it to C:/ with no success. I then realized that it had lost all sight of the USB flash drive and this was the culprit. Cancelling out of that ghosterr.txt redirection window brought me back to a dos prompt screen saying error 10100 or something and then saying "Abort, Retry, or Fail?" the dos prompt continued to say C:\ even though it could not see the drive there but no commands could be executed anymore.

I am now testing with a WinPE boot method on a flash drive and have attempted to edit the start.bat but with no luck. I have added switches and the like to the start ghost32.exe line of the batch file but all that happens when the computer boots off the drive is a command prompt that says X:\windows\system32> and then brings up the ghost window but with no automation at all. I have tried to look for the X:\windows\system32 location on the flash drive as it is launching something called "startnet.cmd" which I believe is not scripted correctly for what I want but am not able to find it. What am I doing wrong?
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #25 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:16pm
 
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snowdude

Here is my start.bat

Code:
set path=%path%;x:\ghost
x:
cd \ghost
rem --- This will create primary OS drive configuration ---
ghost32.exe /setosdrives /blind >> x:\ghost\startlog.txt
start ghost32.exe -clone,mode=load,src=E:\backup\bjk.gho,dst=1 -sure


Can you post your start.bat?

startnet.cmd is in system32 of boot.wim. As you know, something like DISM needs to be used to mount boot.wim before you can see the contents. Here is the contents of my startnet.cmd which is one line to "Initialize WinPE".

Code:
wpeinit 



 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #26 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:33pm
 
Okay, well since my post I have made some progress, I am using gimagex v2 to view the boot.wim and was able to view/edit the startnet.cmd files, I didn't know what wpeinit was so I tried to remove it and that is probably causing some of the errors I am having now, now the startnet.cmd consists of just @echo off and call C:\ghost\start.bat, what is happening now is when I boot off the drive it launches the startnet.cmd but says "The system cannot find the drive specified" then gives me a X:\windows\system32> command prompt, from there i can type in the exact same code as in the startnet.cmd and launch as desired.

My start.bat also looks different, the hard drive in this laptop I am testing on is completely fresh, unless adding wpeinit fixes this problem diskpart doesn't even see the internal hard drive, just a cd drive and the flash drive, which means my flash drive is labeled C: not E: as in yours. Also I changed the directory the start.bat accesses to C: instead of X:, whats the difference? If i plug the flash drive into my computer to edit the files, without mounting the .wim, am I still editing the one that gets loaded to X:\ghost\ ? Here are my files as of right now, I will add wpeinit to the first line of my startnet one now and test that.

Start.bat:
Code:

@echo off
set path=C:\;C:\Ghost
pause

c:
cd \ghost
rem --- This will create primary OS drive configuration ---
ghost32.exe /setosdrives /blind >> x:\ghost\startlog.txt
start ghost32.exe -clone,mode=load,src=C:\image\,dst=2 -sure -fx & exit
color 84 & echo Error


Startnet.cmd
Code:
@echo off
color 80
echo Launching AutoGhost... One Moment Please...
call C:\ghost\start.cmd | color 84 & echo Sorry, there has been an Unexpected Error.
echo Have a Nice Day.
exit


Lastly, using gimagex I have been loading image 1 and image 2 of boot.wim, the forum post that suggested me to use gimagex was from a ghost user in the same situation and he said this was how he solved a problem he encountered, is there an easier way?
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #27 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:42pm
 
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snowdude

Have a look at this...

snowdude wrote on Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:33pm:
src=C:\image\,dst=2


You don't have a .gho file and the dst should now be 1 (it is 2 in DOS but 1 in WinPE)

I have a TeraByte Unlimited WinPE where I have removed the wpeinit line. Apart from the WinPE loading 20 seconds faster, it works the same. Strange.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #28 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:51pm
 
Yeah I know about the lack of .gho file, was testing to see if you specified a folder it would just look for a .gho file, that way it would be easier to swap images in and out for different situations without having to edit code, but my current problems were before it even got into ghost so I have been trying to fix them one at a time as I go.

So I launched the flash drive again and it loaded WinPE and is sitting at a cmd window titled X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe - startnet.cmd, there is no writing on the screen just a blinking cursor, it is unresponsive, key presses do nothing, not even Ctrl C, I can use the mouse but nothing is happening. Any ideas?
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #29 - Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:51pm
 
snowdude wrote on Jul 28th, 2011 at 3:33pm:
Also I changed the directory the start.bat accesses to C: instead of X:, whats the difference? If i plug the flash drive into my computer to edit the files, without mounting the .wim, am I still editing the one that gets loaded to X:\ghost\ ?


The X: drive is the "mounted" boot.wim. (I've always ignored it). When you edit start.bat on your flash drive this will not be reflected in the X: drive.
 
 
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