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USB Automated Ghost Need Help (Read 28082 times)
Brian
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #60 - Aug 8th, 2011 at 1:13pm
 
 
 
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snowdude
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #61 - Aug 9th, 2011 at 11:16am
 
I ran into a few more problems along the way using WinPE however I got them fixed. In my startnet.cmd batch file I used a for loop and a variable for drive and used an if exists command to set %drv% to be the value of the flash drive. This way I could use paths such as %drv%/image/%img%.gho and %drv%/ghost/ghost32.exe etc. This solved the problem of existing OS on the hard drive and variations in the pre existing set up of the computer.  I had to run this for loop again after the ghost32.exe /setosdrives or whatever line, I don't have the batch code open right now but it was after that line that I had to recheck the flash drive letter as the ghost process had created a new system partition I guess which had pushed my flash drive up one letter from F:\ to G:\. Adding the check loop again fixed any breaks in the paths that the new system drive caused and now it works perfectly. The only thing now I would raelly like to be able to add would be an HTA page to create a simple UI our users could use rather then a command prompt window.  If anyone knows how to add HTA support to the ghost boot WinPE OS or knows of a simple WinPE ISO that already supports it that I could download that would be very helpful.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #62 - Aug 9th, 2011 at 3:06pm
 
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snowdude

snowdude wrote on Aug 9th, 2011 at 11:16am:
I used a for loop and a variable for drive and used an if exists command to set %drv% to be the value of the flash drive. This way I could use paths such as %drv%/image/%img%.gho and %drv%/ghost/ghost32.exe etc. 


Interesting. I'd like to try that. Would you mind sharing your batch file?
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #63 - Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:03am
 
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Quote:
Here is another free WinPE that looks worthwhile. I downloaded it last night.

As is not unusual--life has complicated my free time for this week--I hope to be back to *experimenting* this weekend or next week--depends on how things happen in the next couple days!

Have to say, that website *bothered* me!  They want some pretty *personal* information in order to receive the *free* software.  Their privacy statement says they don't *sell* your information--but it says they may *share* the information with unspecified *partners*--exactly what does that mean?!  And, this is a Chinese based source--is there a way to vet these folks as being on the up and up--or do they have a *bad* reputation?

With WinPE, because you may have web access through the PE environment--I've always wondered what *phoning home* activity might be embedded in that PE OS?  When booting, does it have any access to one's home network--or do you have to set that up with appropriate network name and password--I suspect that must be true--but, once connected, what happens in the background?  And I'm not just wondering about this particular software--I've wondered that about the Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14 Recovery Environments--as well as other WinPE based sources!
 

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NightOwl
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #64 - Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:15am
 
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snowdude

Quote:
I used a for loop and a variable for drive and used an if exists command to set %drv% to be the value of the flash drive. This way I could use paths such as %drv%/image/%img%.gho and %drv%/ghost/ghost32.exe etc. This solved the problem of existing OS on the hard drive and variations in the pre existing set up of the computer.  I had to run this for loop again after the ghost32.exe /setosdrives or whatever line, I don't have the batch code open right now but it was after that line that I had to recheck the flash drive letter as the ghost process had created a new system partition I guess which had pushed my flash drive up one letter from F:\ to G:\. Adding the check loop again fixed any breaks in the paths that the new system drive caused and now it works perfectly.

Just wondering, did you notice this reference, How to create a bootable Windows PE 3.0 USB drive--Part 2 , from my reply #52.  Would that coding help identify your USB flash drive drive letter?

Quote:
The only thing now I would raelly like to be able to add would be an HTA page to create a simple UI our users could use rather then a command prompt window.

I'm afraid I don't recognize your short-hand--could you translate that into something a little more basic?

I thought you wanted to create an automated restore--why are you now wanting to create a UI  and/or *command prompt* window for user interactions?  Have your *goals* changed?

Brain has been reporting *automated restores* that apparently do not need any *user inputs*--have you been unable to do the same?
 

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Brian
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #65 - Aug 10th, 2011 at 5:17pm
 
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NightOwl

NightOwl wrote on Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:03am:
but it says they may *share* the information with unspecified *partners*--exactly what does that mean?


That doesn't bother me. They want your email address to spam you so I just sign up with a throw away address.

NightOwl wrote on Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:03am:
When booting, does it have any access to one's home network--or do you have to set that up with appropriate network name and password-

It does have access to your network if your computer is connected to a router. Once the WinPE boots you are "on the internet". This applies to Active@ and the TeraByte WinPE too. Networking can be disabled and enabled manually if you desire. To disable networking, edit startnet.cmd in the the boot.wim. Comment out the wpeinit line. To enable networking after WinPE has loaded, run wpeutil initializenetwork.

I forgot to mention, Active@ has a choice of whether to activate networking or not. I choose "not" as the WinPE loads about 10 seconds faster. The default is "not".

I like Active@ better, much better. The Wondershare WinPE boots slowly and is difficult to automate but it can be done. It has a lot of apps which I'll probably never use. I'll keep the CD but it's unlikely I'll use it again.

The Ghost CDs don't automatically connect to your network. You have to set it up manually.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #66 - Aug 10th, 2011 at 5:58pm
 
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NightOwl

NightOwl wrote on Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:15am:
this reference, How to create a bootable Windows PE 3.0 USB drive--Part 2 , from my reply #52. 


I made a WinPE from that reference. It loaded very slowly on my computer and wouldn't load at all if networking was disabled.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #67 - Aug 10th, 2011 at 6:12pm
 
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NightOwl

I just noticed this...

Quote:
When you place an order on our website, your full name, email address, mailing address, phone number, credit card number, and credit card expiration date will be required. The information is used to complete the transaction and help us provide better support and services to you.


But to get the trial you only have to give your name (true or otherwise) and an email address (throw away).
 
 
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snowdude
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #68 - Aug 11th, 2011 at 6:18pm
 
my full batch file is no longer in one segment, the startnet.cmd simply contains wpeinit then code to search for my HTA, which by the way is a form of html that can be run on the local computer with all the same functionality as a html page plus some. Here is how i searched for my HTA:
Code:
set drv=NONE
:loopstart
for %%a in (C D E F G H I J) do (
if exist %%a:\UI\AutoGhost.hta (
set drv=%%a
goto :loopend
)
)
if %drv%==NONE goto :loopstart
:loopend


It then launches the HTA which is a screen with the company logo and a few buttons which allow for automated imaging and rebooting of the computer. As well as a funny little clipart image of a ghost in a car for fun.

The HTA then uses VBScript coding to use the buttons to launch my new batch script "image.cmd" which has the same for loop but searches for base.gho instead, and then launches ghost32.exe to set the osdriveblinds, it then searches for base.gho again as the drive letter has now changed with the new system partition, then launches ghost32.exe to do the full image.

Originally my plan was an automated restore, and that is still the overall effect of this flash drive. However I felt it was a good idea to throw in a GUI for our inexperienced users and some failsafe abilities. My "Image" button on the HTA GUI screen launches a vbscript "msgbox" which prompts the user with a yes or no box that asks if they have backed up their data, if they answer yes it prompts the user again telling them that this process is unreversable, which if they click yes to continue it then launches the batch script which begins imaging with no further interaction needed. This gives the user some information so that we can send them the flash drive and simply let them boot from it and understand if they are ready to go through with the process or not.

The overall goal of an automated restore is still there, the user can simply click Image and Yes twice and they will end up with a freshly restored machine, while previously they would've have to have booted off a disc, then used the Ghost UI to navigate to the image file located on the flash drive and choose the correct partition to image to etc.  My GUI and scripts simplifly the process to a point where our users will be able to complete it themselves with virtually no need to contact us other then requesting the flash drive and likely backing up their data.

The flash drive is now working 100% on the hardware I have tested it on, I got HTA compatibility by building a fresh WinPE image using Microsoft WAIK and adding the HTA package to it.  Very easy process. Let me know if your interested in any of the UI or scripts related to it.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #69 - Aug 11th, 2011 at 8:03pm
 
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snowdude

Thanks for that. It is fascinating. I'll decline your kind offer as I'm at the limit of my ability already.

One thing I'd like to know. The pros and cons of your experience with WinPE over DOS Ghost. I found WinPE restores were much faster than DOS restores on my test computer.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #70 - Aug 11th, 2011 at 9:22pm
 
The pros of WinPE I found to outweigh the cons in comparison to DOS, the pros of DOS were the loading speed, from the time you select it as the boot device to the point where you initiate the image is considerably faster then WinPE, however when booting into WinPE you have a lot more options as far as tools and utilities and the such, for example, mine loads up with a command prompt that displays "Loading AutoGhost... Please Wait...", it then loads wpeinit and my hta which takes a decent amount of time, most of which is spent loading wpeinit, however as soon as it is loaded i run a utility i downloaded that hides the command prompt, the hta then launches the ui then after the user clicks image it launches in a hidden process a command prompt that launches ghost, which is then displayed to the user so they can see the time remained etc. None of that would have been doable in DOS which is why I found WinPE to be more versatile.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #71 - Aug 12th, 2011 at 1:37am
 
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snowdude

I use a TeraByte Unlimited WinPE to do auto restores with Image for Windows. It loaded slowly until I removed the wpeinit line. I was surprised as it still worked and loaded 20 seconds faster. This was just a chance observation.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #72 - Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:38pm
 
I believe that at one time I removed wpeinit from my startnet.cmd but when I did that it was no longer able to find my flash drive I think, I will look more into it but that was my experience.
 
 
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Re: USB Automated Ghost Need Help
Reply #73 - Feb 1st, 2012 at 9:27am
 
Great info here.  I configured a bootable USB to autoghost an image and used the information here to refine the process.  Thank you for the information.
 
 
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