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Ghosting (Or Imaging) My PC


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Can someone please tell me how to do this or provide a good guide that will help me out. I've never done this before and I need some help because I need to re-install windows now I don't want to spend hours re-installing windows and re-configuring all of my programs. I have a dell oem version of windows xp so there's no activation.

This is what i'm trying to do:

1. Make a seperate partiton (No Help Needed).

2. Install and configure my PC to my liking (No Help Needed).

3. Wipe my hard drive clean with killdisk pro (No Help Needed).

4. Use the imaging or ghosting software to re-install everything (Help Needed).

Also..what program you guys recommend to uus and can I make changes to the image that I make?

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Ghost has changed since v. 9 so the exact steps might not be the same.

It restores your OS, which is not the same as an installation. it doesn't go through the lengthy Setup routine.

It's not hard to use. When I first used it I just did it (was using Ghost 2003 and Ghost 8). Just follow the screen.

AFAIK you can browse the image with Ghost Explorer but not edit it, as least in older versions.

For the average home user there isn't much to choose between Ghost and Acronis.

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Two major ones are Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost. I personally have tried True Image from BartPE and can't get it to work. It says HDD not found.

If you go with Ghost, you need to decide on 2003 vs v 9 or 10. 2003 is significantly different from the newer 9 and 10.

I don't like 9 or 10. I use the dos-based 2003. It's very simple.

Anyway, search for Andromeda83's posts and you'll find a lots of useful info for Ghost 2003.

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Take LLXX's advice and read the docs for whatever imaging app you get (I'll use Ghost as an example here). The basics below will still leave you with a lot of questions if you've never done this before.

  1. Read the imaging docs for your app and the Unattended Guide to get an idea of what you're doing. A lot of it is similar.
  2. Figure out where you can store the image you're going to create (no, it can't be on the same drive)
  3. Build your system, install any apps that you want (you don't have to install Ghost on this system)
  4. Get everything as you want it
  5. Get a copy of Sysprep (from the WinXP CD in Support\Tools\Deploy.cab or from MS) and copy it to a folder under C:\ called Sysprep
  6. Create an answer file (e.g. sysprep.inf) either manually or using the Setup Manager (from the WinXP CD Support\Tools\Support.msi)
  7. Create a boot disk that can access this location
  8. Copy ghost.exe to your boot disk (ghost32.exe if it's a PE based boot disk like BartPE)
  9. From your clean, newly built system, run sysprep -mini -reseal
  10. Before your system reboots again, use your boot disk and create your Ghost image
  11. Remove the boot disk and reboot
  12. Let the system run through mini-setup and you're back w/your orig system and a Ghost image of it

I'd recommend testing your sysprep.inf before making the image, just to make sure it works the way you want. At some point you may also want to make a bootable DVD with your image on it and Ghost so you can pop in the disk and restore your system.

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