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Symantec Ghost Partition Query

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April 26, 2012 2:14:31 PM

Hi,

I have a 2 partition HDD set up for dual-boot (XP SP3) and I would like to create an image of this and then use that image on non-partitioned HDDs.

Is this possible using Symantec Ghost 2003 and if so, how?

Thanks for your help.
a c 289 G Storage
April 26, 2012 2:30:27 PM

Ghost 2003? Man, I thought I was the only person still using that. That is the one called 8.0, isn't it?

My interpretation of what you want to do is that you have two bootable XP installs on one drive, and you want to split that onto two drive, with each install taking up the entire drive. If this is wrong, please straighten me out.

The problem is that in addition to the installation partition your drive contains a Master Boot Record and (I think) a Boot Loader that are not in any partition. If you copy partition 1 to a partition on a new drive, it will not boot. No MBR.

If you do a disk image (instead of two partition images) and restore it to a new drive, you will get a bootable drive with two OSes, which is not what you want.

I see two solutions. One, restore the full disk image to both of the new drives. Then remove one boot entry from the boot menu of each drive, delete the corresponding partition, and expand the remaining partition to take up the entire drive.

The other is to restore each partition to its separate drive, then attach only one of the drives to the system, boot off the XP installation drive and choose to do a Repair Install. This will make the drive bootable. Repeat for the other one.

Of course, you will have to use the BIOS to choose which drive to boot from.

Finally: If you move to Win7, get a newer backup tool. I used Ghost 8.0 for years until I had Win7. It does a bad job with Win7 alignment and partitioning. A shame; that was a wonderful tool.
April 26, 2012 2:39:35 PM

Thanks for your reply!

I can't upgrade the OS (company won't pay).

I seem to have mislead you a little. I want to replicate exactly what I have on my original laptop on to 60 other laptops. That is, a single HDD with 2 partitions (Windows XP on each partition to cause dual-boot).

Related resources
a c 289 G Storage
April 26, 2012 2:55:33 PM

Mechanically, just do a disk image of the original and restore it to each of the laptops. I've had no problem restoring bootable images of XP to new drives and booting.

If the laptops are _identical_ hardware to your original, this will work. If not, then the need for different motherboard / chipset drivers will probably make the target machines unbootable. EITHER boot each target machine from the XP disk and do a Repair installation, or get a tool like EASEUS ToDo backup that can "restore to dissimilar hardware." Such a tool will pick the right drivers for the target environment.

PLEASE NOTE that what you describe is ILLEGAL unless you have 60 more licenses for XP. In addition, there is more professional-grade software to distribute a boot configuration to many machines and adjust the drivers. These are typically used in classrooms to reset all the machines to a base state at the end of the class, or day.
April 26, 2012 3:01:09 PM

Thanks again for the help.

I have more than enough licenses to cover this activity. We started with a pool of 250 laptops, all licensed, we're now down to 60 usable items. :( 
a c 289 G Storage
April 26, 2012 4:20:20 PM

OK. I think that it will work for you, then. I've cloned a few system drives with that tool with good result. If the hardware is identical, it will work just fine.

A thought, though: I wonder if the Windows activation code will notice that you have 61 machines on the same activation code and complain. If so, you may have to put in a call to Microsoft to get activation to quiet down.

What happened to the other 189 laptops? Died? Replaced? Stolen?
a c 371 G Storage
April 26, 2012 5:13:02 PM

WyomingKnott said:

A thought, though: I wonder if the Windows activation code will notice that you have 61 machines on the same activation code and complain. If so, you may have to put in a call to Microsoft to get activation to quiet down.


If the OP has the sysprep tool available to him, he can use this before cloning and it will take care of the activation removal. Of course, since you need your computer, I'd make a direct clone of the drive to another drive, boot with this new clone, then sysprep it. When finished cloning the rest of the laptops, put your original disk back into your laptop.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577
April 27, 2012 7:28:29 AM

WyomingKnott said:
OK. I think that it will work for you, then. I've cloned a few system drives with that tool with good result. If the hardware is identical, it will work just fine.

A thought, though: I wonder if the Windows activation code will notice that you have 61 machines on the same activation code and complain. If so, you may have to put in a call to Microsoft to get activation to quiet down.

What happened to the other 189 laptops? Died? Replaced? Stolen?


Good point ref. the activation code, something I've never thought about. I've had no correspondance from Microsoft yet and have never had any problems but will get in touch with them to ensure they are aware.

The other laptops are all dead and we changed our supplier so we now have individual licenses for the new ones.
April 27, 2012 7:29:12 AM

Hawkeye22 said:
If the OP has the sysprep tool available to him, he can use this before cloning and it will take care of the activation removal. Of course, since you need your computer, I'd make a direct clone of the drive to another drive, boot with this new clone, then sysprep it. When finished cloning the rest of the laptops, put your original disk back into your laptop.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577


I've not looked into this before but will definitely do so now, thanks for the info.
!