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Problem with Norton Ghost Backups

  • Norton
  • Backup
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
January 18, 2008 1:56:09 PM

It's not a problem but actually a result of how Norton Ghost works but a workaround would be highly appreciated.

Imagine I have a Ghost backup of one month ago. Then today I get a virus and I want to restore that backup. Assuming i didn't installed any new application during the last month, I should have, after restoring the Ghost image, the exact state in which my system was yesterday.

However this is not true :I'll have the exact state in which my system was one month ago not yesterday. This is because even if i didn't installed anything new, all used applications during this month have their "state" changed. In order to explain, the best example is Mozilla FireFox. All other applications have the same problem. So let me explain:

Assuming Firefox is installed on C: (system partition) that I backed up with Ghost, my bookmarks as well as histories and other similar things may have changed during this month and these changes are in C: where I'm restoring, so I'll erase recent bookmarks and so on when restoring.

Of course I can backup my bookmarks (export) right before restoring and then retrieve the new ones after restoring. But this is hard to do each time; beside i have no idea how to backup other things like history.

In short i need a straightforward (and preferably automatic) way to save my last changes before any image restore. Now one straightforward way i can think of, is to save the entire directory of each application like Firefox residing for example in C:\ProgramFiles\Firefox somewhere and then after restoring the complete image of C: , put it back in its place.

Do you think this can work for all applications ? If yes, I can automate it with a simple Batch file (.bat) going around C:\ProgramFiles and saving those applications i want to save data.

Doing it for ALL applications (the entire C:\ProgramFiles directory) doesn't make sens however because the source of my problem (e.g. a virus or a troubling application) probably comes from one of these application's directory that I should not reinstall !


More about : problem norton ghost backups

January 18, 2008 11:33:48 PM

This sucks as I had a much longer response typed up and the site tossed me while trying to post.

Any way the much shorter answer is
Ghost did what it should do.
It takes a snap shot of your system.
It was designed to take you back to a earlier time period.
It can in newer versions do incremental backups I think.
I am just learning about ghost and am using V9/10 due to my circumstances but as I traveled through Symantics site I found that there is another prog better designed for ghosting along with incremental backups.
Sadly I cant remember the name but here are a couple of links that could help

hope this is helpful
January 19, 2008 2:51:38 PM

I know this is not a problem.
However i don't want to do incremental backup;

I just want to save some program states by copying the program directory without ghost.

Actually i should ask the question:

Generally in Windows XP, a program is run from ProgramFiles directory or wherever else you put it when installing (e.g. Mozilla FireFox).

And the question is : does restoring this directory get the program back to its state (bookmarks, searches, etc.) ? Or does the program save some (hidden) other files in other directories or in the register that i can't easily find?
It is that simple. Actually I should just try :) 
January 19, 2008 2:58:10 PM

Most information for programs that are user specific are stored in either C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data or C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Local Settings\Application Data.