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Ghosting Vista


Justas
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It has been awhile since I have tried to ghost a Vista system (Ghost 2003, Dos). Before when I ghosted the drive it would never boot because of errors in the partition. But since I was busy I kind of forgot about fixing the problem and now that I have some free time I have been searching for a clear answer to the question: How do you ghost a Vista image?

I have heard that i can be as simple as reseting some variables in the partition tables... but unfortunately I have no experience in that and I am not sure where to start. However, even if this can be done with a simple bat file, will it have to be done to each disk individually after it has the image ghosted to it? Or is there a way to prepare the image prior to ghosting that will allow it to ghost to a new drive without crashing.

I have also heard that once you have a Vista image it can work on any hardware setup, I am not sure how much it differs from XP but that would make it a lot easier once it is working.

Any help would be appreciated. This question was probably answered a long time ago, however I could not find a clear answer.

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Aren't those the ones that are with PE tools? Last time I tried using PE tools it insisted it formated the hard drive... Are there any flags for a quick format with those? And if it has to do the slow format it takes longer then if I just did a clean install for larger hard drives.

Guess I can re read those, just too bad cant use Ghost reliably.

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Yea... Just don't understand why it is such a big deal...

Is the fact that it is not working part of M$ master plan? Is it supposed to be some sort of anti piracy thing? I don't see how, or why, ghost should not work.

Even if I ghost the image back onto the original hard drive it still wont go into Windows... so messed up. Talk about making thigns more difficult then they need to be!

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Well I got my PE tools stuff working decently now with a little Bat file...

But I was wondering if when I use diskpart to make a small (10gb) partition then format and after it is formated I extend it. Could this cause any problems? And if not... what would stop me from making a small (like 1gb) partition then just extending it yet again?

Havent had much time to really test the images after they are applied. Seems almost too easy to just extend it...

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Yes, it has to do with the way Vista formats the partitions - it is different that XP.

Vista bootloader depends on the GUID - which is generated based on the partition beginning offset. When ghosting and recovering the ghost image, the GUID is no longer valid - hence the error.

There is a way to make the vista bootloader independent of the GUID. The answer lies here in this forum somewhere....

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Vista format does not support Ghost, simple as that, don't loose time searching for answers to why, it doesn't and that's it. Get yourself Acronis True Image Home or Workstation and you will forget Ghost in no time...

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The newest versions of Ghost handle Vista just fine. I use the Ghost Solutions Suite 2 and have no problems with it whatsoever. I'm not sure what the equivalent home version of Ghost would be, but I'm sure the latest works fine too.

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Here is a great article regarding Cloning Vista, using some undocumented Microsoft fix:

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/cloning.html

Regarding the topic Ghosting Vista, and using the above article, per close attention to a referanced article "to the man" which links to this:http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=616666&SiteID=1

About the third or fourth post you will find the solution. It is also explained very well in the above article from multibooters.co.uk

EDIT: I did a test and opened a CMD prompt and typed the following:

BCDEDIT /set {bootmgr} device boot

BCDEDIT /set {default} device boot

BCDEDIT /set {default} osdevice boot

Then I Cloned my system using Ghost. When finished I inserted a different hard drive and using Ghost restored the cloned partition. Viola! It worked. So this method would work on any viable cloning program, Acronis for another.

Edited by vim
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Why can't I use Vista's own backup and restore to make an image? I remember reading an article about the capability. It may not be as good as Ghost or Acronis but it is free. I haven't actually restored the image so not sure what to expect but I would imagine it would it restore the image like any of the other products

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The cloning tools provided by M$ (Windows PE Tools) works fine... However you have to do alot more work for them. And work = time... Instead of running Ghost for 5-10min... I have to spend 20-30min with PE tools.

And when you need to mass produce 5-10 computers that are the exact same... That extra 15-20 min adds up and reduces how fast I can make a system.

Thanks for links vim, I will try those. Gotta love M$ making people jump through hoops to do simple tasks like making a Ghost.

Edited by Justas
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