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Bootable Ghost CD to deploy images - GUIDE


dlevens
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I came up with this guide to make it as easy as possible to deploy ghost images from CDs. I prefer to use unicasting or multicasting whenever possible but there are times when a CD set is needed. I have received a lot of help on these forums and wanted to give a little back.

This guide will help you to take a large ghost image and span it on to CDs with the first CD being bootable. Also the first CD contains ghost.exe and autoloads ghosts to deploy the image.

I am currently using Symantec Ghost 8 Corporate but this process should work for most versions of Ghost.

SPANNING YOUR IMAGE

===================

1. Open up the ghost image to deploy in ghost explorer

2. Select view | options | set a span split to fit your cd media

3. Select File | compile and save your image

MAKING YOUR FLOPPY IMAGE

========================

1. Start with a Windows ME boot disk and keep only these files

AUTOEXEC.BAT

CD1.SYS

CONFIG.SYS

MOUSE.COM (get this from disk 1 of a ghost boot floppy)

MOUSE.INI (get this from disk 1 of a ghost boot floppy)

MSCDEX.EXE

IO.SYS

MSDOS.SYS

COMMAND.COM

2. Change your autoexec.bat to match the following:

@echo off

MSCDEX.EXE  /D:tomato /L:R
SET TZ=GHO+08:00
prompt $p$g
MOUSE.COM
for %%i in (r:\*.gho) do set image=%%i
echo Loading...
\ghost\ghost.exe -clone,mode=load,src=%image%,dst=1 -rb

NOTE: If you do not want to auto deploy the image then remove

the parameters after ghost.exe

3. Change your config.sys to match the following:

FILES=30
BUFFERS=20
DEVICE=cd1.SYS /D:tomato
LASTDRIVE=Z

4. Make an image of your floppy using WinImage

a. Open WinImage then click on Disk | Read Disk

b. Click on Image | Change Format and select 2.88

c. Drag and Drop the Ghost folder including ghost.exe from disk 2 of a ghost boot disk set

d. save your image as a .ima image

MAKING CD1 YOUR BOOTABLE CD

===========================

1. Open Ahead Nero Burning ROM and choose bootable CD "CD-ROM (Boot)"

2. From the boot tab put a check in image file and browse to your .ima file

3. Put a check in "enable expert settings" and change emulation to 2.88

4. Click on new

5. Drag and drop the first *.gho image from your spanned ghost image

6. Burn your CD

MAKING CD2-CDx GHOST CDs

========================

1. Open Ahead Nero Burning ROM and choose "CD-ROM (ISO)"

2. Click on new

3. Drag and drop the next *.ghs image from your spanned ghost image

4. Burn your CD

DONE

Just take your CD set now and put in CD1 and let it rip. Ghost will ask you for

the next CD when it is ready for it.

Dennis

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Very Nice! I did the same thing, since my eMachine CDs are .gho files.. had to extract them put on a seperate partition and remake the GHO files. pain in the rear.

I though about making a guide but would've never been able to put it as clean as you have. Very nice! :D

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Thanks for your comprehensive guide - I've created the bootable CD.

However, when Ghost launches off the CD it queries the Hard Drive and says "destination drive too small". I've tried this on different hardware.

I know the HD's are OK as Ghost loads images to them fine if I boot ghost via RIS/Windows PE instead. Interestingly even if I use the built-in boot wizard CD/DVD Startup disk, i get the same error.

Symantec say to try using GHOST -OR to stop ghost checking the destination disk, but this does not fix the problem.

Did you come across this problem/any idea how to fix it?

Thanks alot for your help.

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Thanks it works fine now - the ghost files were spanned and were written incorrectly for some reason.

I've now created a bootable DVD with Nero 6 Reloaded, with your boot image files/config.

One problem I find is that when I insert my bootable DVD (or bootable CD for that matter) and reboot the PC, it boots off the DVD with no chance to intervene. Ie, when I use a manufacturer's bootable CD normally you get the message:

Press any key to boot from CD...

The down side to this is that the PC boots off the DVD, restores the ghost image automatically, reboots automatically, and then boots off the DVD *AGAIN* and goes around in a loop, unless you are sitting at the PC to intervene.

I was really hoping that it would not boot off the DVD if I didn't sit there and press any key when prompted.

Is this something to do with the boot image/emulation specified in Nero?

Any ideas? Thanks.

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Yep

I'd love to know this answer to query too.

--- Regarding restoring a image from the server by Ghostcasting: ---

I hope this isnt quite off topic (any admin - please move it to a new topic if you think it should be in a new topic) but isnt there some way of doing the following:

(sorry the following sounds complex, but I sometime find it hard to put things into words hehe)

Have a boot sector on the hard drive that works like the normal XP CD boot sector (i.e. asks for user input to boot the cd) but instead, have it boot a partition on the hard drive which loads up a image of the boot disk that you could have set to automate a restore of the main partiton

i.e.

- You press a key when the hard drive asks something like

press any key to start the ghost process...

- it loads a seperate partition on the hard drive that is basically, the image (or something similar) of the floppy disk you can create in the Ghost Boot Wizard tool.

- This process (automated by params in the autoexec) will restore the primary partition which could be periodically updated i.e. new hotfixes, updated apps,etc. all installed,

I know I've sorta explained it twice hehe but its only to help you all understand what the hell i'm going on about....hopefully :)

This would cut down on the need for have cd's and floppies lying about, plus where u have many of the same system's i.e. computer suites, etc. u only really need one machine (after setting this up on each pc) to have one cd-rom drive and a floppy drive i.e. cutting hardware replacement costs :)

Best Regards (and hope someone can suggest a way of doing the above),

Nath.

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Milkymagic,

Only the first CD is supposed to be bootable. CDs 2 on prevent this from happening since they are not bootable. If you are going to use a DVD or have a really small image that fits on one CD then you can remove the -rb from this line

\ghost\ghost.exe -clone,mode=load,src=%image%,dst=1 -rb

and then it wont reboot when it is done.

You are right though, it would be much smarter to incorporate the press any key to boot to cd option, which probably is fairly easy but I have not looked into it yet. If you find the time to figure this out please share it with us, if I somehow find the time I will do the same.

it_ybd, what you are describing is similar to what companies like IBM do. There is a hidden partition where an unattended install resides and pressing F11 allows you to boot to Microsoft PE type mini OS That can rebuild the pc. There is also some software that does something similar to this called rescue and recovery. This would be a nice way to rebuild a pc quickly but I have found the unattended install is so easy and fast that there has not been a need to pursue it yet.

Dennis

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hehe I'm glad i made "some" sense then ;)

Unattended is fine for a few machines but i need the ability to restore multiple machines - like at the moment, booting with a floppy disk in each pc and ghostcasting 4 at a time usually works well enough.

probably could do more that 4 thinking about it if the network isn't being used at the time.

The trouble with the disk or cd method is it relies on the floppy disk/CD drive actually working and there lies the problem here - pupils = vandalism hehe and many of the cd drives here dont work. No point replacing for them to be "destroyed" again really. Guess I'm lucky that all the floppy drives still work for me to ghostcast.

....i'll be back to edit this after....

Cheers,

N

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@it_ybd

What you describe, can be done thru Multi-boot.

You can have 3 options on the bootable CD - one for starting Ghost, one for booting into DOS (for preparing the hard-disk, probably), and one more option to boot from hard-disk. You can make the "boot from hard-disk" as default choice, and then if you need to start ghost or DOS, use arrow keys to select that option and launch it.

Example Screenshot of Multi-boot is below (attached):

post-19-1102081174_thumb.jpg

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@prathapml:

That sounds great for a cd - but that isnt what I was refering to hehe ;)

I know I was "sort of" staying from the exact topic but i was refering to a method that could be used on the HD, not CD.

If it could be used somehow as the HD boot sector then great :) I'm after a hidden partition with the Ghost boot disk image on it that can connect to the Ghostcast server and then use that to restore the main partition which has the OS on it, virtually eliminating the need for a floppy or CD device to boot ghost.

Cheers,

Nath

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