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PE2005 Ramdisk and Imaging


Tigerbeetle
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I am working with a customer that uses CD/DVDs only for deployment of images. I have successfuly created a PE CD that will load into a ramdisk and allow me to change the CD and insert the CD/DVD with thier image and then proceed to lay the image onto the HD. They are using Ghost 8, the image is 6G in size and it is taking about an hour to complete. This is on a portable with an internal drive, and a desktop machine. I have tried making the WinPE with the /PNP switch and all the latest drivers (using Drvinst) and without PNP. It starts off really fast (about 700M or so) and then tapers off to about 110M on the portable and around 240M on the desktop.

It doesn't do this if we don't use the Ramdisk. I haven't been able to find out how much memory the Ramdisk takes (I assume that it only takes what it needs to load the iso). I haven't tried a dir on the ramdisk but assume (I know. I know. Assumption is the mother of all mess ups) that it will report only the size of the ISO.

Can someone point me in the right direction (besides network based imaging)? Has anyone ran into this issue?

Thanks,

Shawn

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The memory utilization of WinPE will be the RAMDisk size plus the size of the WinPE working set (~64-96 MB). How big is your RAMDisk ISO, and how much RAM do you have on the system(s)?

What does the RAM utilization of Ghost look like over time? If it gradually grows, if the system has 256MB, you could be seriously straining the capabilities of the system...

One other thing, I can't remember if that version is based off of PowerQuest technology or not - if not, you might want to take a look - PQDI always way outperformed Ghost in my experience. If that's the version based off of PQDI, well then you can disregard this. :-)

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All of the systems we are working on have at least 512M of mem. When I ran task manager (inside a VM) memory and page file usage never spiked or steadily rose. I will have to ping the Symantec Rep about the source of Ghost 8 Corp edition but I am pretty sure that it's not the PQDI based version.

My initial RAMdisk ISO is about 150M for non PNP and 170M for the PNP version with the added drivers. Tomorrow I am going to go through the .txt files that tell me what the safe files to remove are (using a script tha was on this forum) and try again.

One thing I did try (although not an exact repro of the issue) is in the VM (using VMWare 5.0) it was averaging about 400M, but the GHO file was from a mounted DVD ISO on my HD. I will have more info tomorrow.

Thanks for the info...

Shawn

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:huh:

If you are running in a winPE environment why are you using 8/8.26 based version of Ghost? Thats the DOS Vesrion !!!!! If you have a Symantec Corporate

Ghost Vesrion 8 it should come with Ghost32.exe thats the version made to run

in WinPE.

Ghost 9 is the PQ product with WinPE based Recovery Environment.

Your problem sounds like it is being caused by the Ghost Environment.

Try this get a bootable USB Flash drive and format with boot utility.

Now use Ghost bootdisk Wizard to build your BootDisk for the hardware 'you need, I would also check for DOS drivers to add to it that will increase speed EX:IDE Drivers now copy to flash drive.

Take your image and put on a 2nd HDD.

Boot flash drive and run ghost now.

Also run bechmarks in your PE environ.

maybe because its a dvd-r it will not be that fast of a drive.....

test a 2nd drive see above.

This will make the Ghost version you are using the happiest!

Print the HUGE pdf it comes with it has lots of info in it.

Latley I have been using a Single copy of TImage 8 on a DESKTOP

with a USB 2 Ext 300gig drive.

I create the rescue media boot and image 2 and from ext usb HDD

pretty quick.

SkunkWerkz

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Yes it Ghost 8 Corp Edition (ghost32.exe). Unfortunately, the target systems won't have the 2nd HD (USB or otherwise) as an option and the techs that will actually be doing the work aren't always the brightest and it is going to be a challenge to get them to swap the CD/DVD when the time comes.

I plan on trying some more tests this morning when I get in but even if the USB HD or even a network pull is faster it won't help me much since those options aren't available for the forseeable future in my customer's enterprise.

The only thing I could think of is that on the DVD version, the image is several 2G files and it is having issues with reading that large of a file or something. Today I will try and re-create the image in smaller 650-700M chunks to see if that helps.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Shawn

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Why don't you just use ghost 2003 or something dos based. make the cd with the image bootable to a dos environment run ghost and deploy the image. seems to me that Winpe is overkill if all you are going to do is dump an image on the harddrive.

Just my humble opinion.

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Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of that on hand. Also getting USB to work properly on some of the newer portable systems that have external only USB drives has been problematic. They aren't really open to purchasing new deployment software yet.

Thanks for the advice!

Shawn

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I'm doing it with smaller images (about 1.8GB) and former powerquest tool pqideploy. I haven't seen the problem you describe so it is possible that it could be ghost32.

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Can't boot from a USB thunb Drive ??? how old are the PC's????????

From your situation a I would not see 1hour or so from low speed DVD

that far out of line ?

I remember people with 72X cdrives shocked when I showed then that

the fastest read they will get on a burned cd is the Max speed of media

or max speed that it was burned. Spin Up Down Up .............

If they all get they all get same load take 1 master and buy this:

http://www.diskology.com/products.html

Handheld IDE Drive duplicator.

Besure same size drives

SkunkWerkz

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Can't boot from a USB thunb Drive ??? how old are the PC's????????

From your situation a I would not see 1hour or so from low speed DVD

that far out of line ? 

I remember people with 72X cdrives shocked when I showed then that

the fastest read they will get on a burned cd is the Max speed of media

or max speed that it was burned.  Spin Up Down Up .............

If they all get they all get same load take 1 master and buy this:

http://www.diskology.com/products.html

Handheld IDE Drive duplicator.

Besure same size drives

SkunkWerkz

There are still tons of new machines shipping without USB Flash Drive boot support. Unfortunately. And even those that ARE shipping with it are all too frequently shipping with 1.1 support in the BIOS, resulting in a really unpleasant - and unusable - experience.

Given that the slowdown occurs over time, and isn't consistent, I would hesitate to blame the drive (optical or HDD) as that would be a straight-line performance hit, not a gradual decrease (usually a sign of growing memory usage).

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Some of thier systems are up to 5 years old. They are trying to standardize on one type of media as some of the techs in the field are not exactly the brightest bulbs.

The funny thing is I usually get up to 300M if I don't use the Ramdrive and have the image local on the DVD that it booted PE from. When imaging across the wire (computer to computer) I get full wire speed. Only when using the Ramdrive does this happen.

Thanks for the info Mats. Today if I have enough time I will try PQDI and see what's up.

Thanks again for all the help y'all.

Shawn

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