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Migration and Backup/Restore using external USB 2 DVD writer, Norton Ghost, Windows XP Home and DOS - Multiple Issues

Posted on 2004-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Situation:  I currently have two desktops and a notebook running windows xp home on a home network - combination Ethernet 100 and wireless G.

I am also building a new computer and want to be able to migrate my current programs and files from the old to the new one with a minimum of time and reinstallations.  (I have an Office 2000 Premier suite and installing it all again with the 5000 or so updates and patches gives me chills and fever - Let alone myriads of spyware, Norton Systemworks, Nero Suite, and tons of other stuff)

I thought a solution to my backup/restore problems for all three computers would be a Lite-on 832S DVD burner (updated drivers immediately) installed to an external USB 2 case, and using Norton Ghost 2003 (latest update version 793).  I also hoped to use Ghost to migrate to the new computer.  

Now I'm having doubts that this solution will work, because Ghost will not recognize my external USB 2 DVD Burner on my desktop after it reboots into DOS to run Ghost.   (It does recognize it in Windows xp as "accessible" and I've tried both the USB 1.1 and 2.0 options, and the no USB option.) I get an error 622.  Norton's support pages have been no help.  Been there and done that, or at least as much of it as I can understand.  Norton/Symantec speaks with a heavy Technese accent ;-)  It will recognize my new Emachines Athlon 64 notebook after rebooting to dos to run, and it seems to be burning ok and then just stops.  I haven't tried it on the third computer yet, because if it won't work on these two I need to try another solution anyhow -- like another drive image or backup program, or perhaps a computer migration program.

I might also have to consider taking the Lite-on Burner out of the external case and installing directly into a computer, if I can't get it to do what I need an external USB 2 burner to do.  (I don't have DVD burners on the other computers either and wanted this one to serve all three machines)

Note:  The Burner is accurately recognized by win XP and properly installed.  It shows up in my computer and in the cd/dvd section of system hardware.  There are no conflicts showing anywhere, and nothing under "other devices".  I can burn/copy/read/write/format/erase/etc accurately to and from CDs, DVDs, and MP3s, using the updated Nero Suite that came with the burner on both the desktop and the notebook.

1.  First I'd like to see if I can get this external USB 2 setup working to do the backup/restore jobs that I want it to do, and to use as a migration tool to the new computer after I get it working.  I'm pretty sure the reason it won't recognize the USB DVD burner is because of a driver issue because the machine is an older Intel D845BG that only has USB 1.1 onboard, and I added the USB 2 PCI card.  I've tried toggling on/off the bios legacy support for USB, and that makes no difference.  If I could figure out how to load the right USB 2 drivers into the Dos Boot Diskette (or CD) I think that might be at least a part of my solution.

2.  Second, if that fails, I'd like to find a solution that works, and won't cost me a bundle.  (I wouldn't be attempting to build my own from scratch if money weren't an issue.)  Perhaps I'd have better luck with another imaging program that would recognize the external USB 2 DVD burner.

3.  Of course getting a DVD burn is just a part of the solution.  I also need to be able to restore from it, or to migrate to the new computer from it.  I've been reading tons of reports about Norton Ghost problems, not only getting the image but restoring it also.  I know I'm going to have to do an integrity check to make sure the image is good, but first I need to get an image to check.

I realize this is a complex multipart issue that may take a while to completely resolve.  That's why I signed up for the experts.   Now you guys get to earn your money  ;-)   (I hope)

I guess I should add that I have been doing google searches for about a week or more trying to resolve this issue, (that's how I ended up here, signing up to see the solution ;-) and have also done keyword searches at Norton, and on this website knowledge base.  I certainly haven't exhausted all strings, but enough to know that lots of people are having similar issues with Ghost, older computers with USB 2 upgrades, and USB 2 recognition problems.  I'm hoping this will be of much help to many others, as well as just myself.

Jere
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Question by:jlhough
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by:BigC666
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howdy,

this may sound crazy but, whay don't you take the hard drive that you want to use in the new box, put in the box that you want to save all the stuff from, mirror the two drives, after it finishes, detach the new drive from the mirror, put it in the new box, boot from the cd and do a repair to get the new drivers, then do the upgrades.

hope that this helps
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by:tmireles
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You do realize that by changing the hardware on the OS you are trying to ghost you are going to get another set of problems.

Well if you are trying to use the PCI USB2 card then this is probably the reason that it doesn't work.  Have your tried the USB port on the motherboard?  I have used this setup before off of my DVD writer and it works just fine for me.  I have a USB2 compliant external bay and the USB1 on the motherboard and I have not had any problems at all.

You are probably right though it is probably a driver thing and if I remember correctly I thought when you do the boot up floppy or cd within windows it gives you the option to load any other drivers.  I will have to look at this more tonight when I get home.

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by:jlhough
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BigC666:  Thanks for offering your comments.  

By mirroring do you mean copying or cloning the old drive to the new?  Or are you talking about mirroring as in a RAID setup with multiple SATA drives?  I tried the former once or twice before -- I believe it was when I set up my current desktop, about 2.5 years ago  -- and wound up having to reinstall everything anyway -- I think.  The new computer has a sata drive and I'm not even sure that would install or run on the old computer's Atapi/PATA ports.

At any rate, even if it could be done, that would be a fallback solution to the problem of migrating to the new computer, but it wouldn't solve the problem about using my external USB 2 DVD burner to image/backup/restore all three of my computers.  I want to back up all three computers before installing the xp SP2 update to each.  I have my Intel desktop, my wife's Athlon desktop and an Athlon notebook we both use.

What I really need is a DOS diskette or CD boot disk that will boot up and run Ghost 2003 with my external usb 2 DVD burner drivers on all three machines - I think.  Either that or another imaging program that will work with my usb 2 dvd burner.  I'm really getting down on Norton/Symantec.  Nearly everything I ever try to do with their software has resulted in major headaches.  When their stuff works (and I know that for some people Ghost works well) their programs can be great.  My experience with them over the past 5 years of so hasn't been good.  

Thanks again for your comments.
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by:jlhough
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Hi Tony,   Thanks for the comments.  

>You do realize that by changing the hardware on the OS you are trying to ghost you are going to get another set of problems.

Yes I do realize I might have some problems if I clone the old HD to the new hardware.  I'm not sure exactly what they'll be.  I thought I could resolve them with a repair install, but I don't know that at all until try it.  I've also heard about a computer upgrade/migration program called Alohabob that PC Mag rates very highly.  I'm wondering if that might be a better solution than the Ghost imaging.  Or maybe I'll try them both, and have a fallback plan if the first dosn't work.  You see, after I build my new computer and set it up and get it running, I'm planning to give that one to my wife and then build another one for myself.  So I'm looking to do this more than once.

>Well if you are trying to use the PCI USB2 card then this is probably the reason that it doesn't work.  Have your tried the USB port on the motherboard?  I have used this setup before off of my DVD writer and it works just fine for me.  I have a USB2 compliant external bay and the USB1 on the motherboard and I have not had any problems at all.

Do you mean the original usb 1 ports that came with the computer?  I've tried using them with no success, although I'm not sure I tried doing it correctly.  I can enable or disable legacy usb support in my bios setup, and I've tried it both ways.  The mainboard bios is also updated to about 6 months ago.  I'm sure its the latest because Intel is no longer supporting that D845BG board.  They sure cut and run pretty fast.  It's a whole 2 1/2 years old, and still under extended warranty.

Anyway, I'm not having any problems using anything under win xp.  It's only the Dos with Ghost that the usb 2 is a problem.

Thanks agains for the input.  (Any newbies reading this:  I just had to retype this whole reply because I left the page and returned to it.  If you do that ... it's gone!   ;- )
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by:tmireles
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Just a quick note on the different hardware.  I also hope you have a different key for each one or else you are going to be left with one working machine and one that will expire in 30 days after your repair install.

As for the DOS are you talking about symantecs PC DOS or are talking MS DOS.  I assume you are using the ghost cd to boot from and then you get the options for the load of usb1 or usb2 drivers.  Your bios must have the usb support on as well.

Have you tried another DVD drive that will read your disks as an external ( I am also assuming that the drive is in an external bay and can be swapped).

Just a few thoughts on my end.  I will keep looking for you to see if I see something better or a solution for you.
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by:jlhough
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Thanks Tony,  

>I also hope you have a different key for each one or else you are going to be left with one working machine and one that will expire in 30 days after your repair install.

Hmmm.  I hadn't realized that.  Are you saying the old machine will stop working 30 days after the transfer, or will I simply not be able to upgrade it further?   Another consideration I wasn't thinking of is that one of my computers has an OEM xp Home disk, and MS might not allow the transfer of that to another new machine???

The last time I upgraded was 3 years ago, when I installed xp on my wife's MSI Athlon Thunderbird that came with Win 98 SP2.  I have the xp retail box for that.  So I'm not familiar with MS's newer copy protection schemes (that are the cause of 95% of all the computer problems we have).

>As for the DOS are you talking about symantecs PC DOS or are talking MS DOS?

Ghost supports both, if you have an older version of MS Dos. and can load it onto a floppy.  Making a sustem diskette with xp doesn't seem to work, nor does using the PC DOS that comes with Norton Ghost.

Norton Always gives me headaches!  I guess I could also try another solution.  I could take my second hard drive out of my computer and install it in a usb2 external case and see if that works with the Ghost.

On the other hand, I've been reading some other posts by Crazyone about using Acronis True Image, and that might be my best solution.  That's the only drive imaging program made so far (that I know of) that can make an image without rebooting to dos.  Since it 's the dos boot that is giving me all my problems, I'm thinking Acronis True Image might just work with all my usb2 storage devices, including the dvd burner and the second hard drive if I install that in an external case.

Actually, that (Acronis True Image) seems like it would be the solution I'm looking for if it works with a variety of external usb's, and it should work with everything that will work in wondows XP!!!  Then I can forget about the complexities of getting a dos boot disk to work with Ghost and my exteral usb2 hardware.

I think I'll try downloading the Acronis 14 day trial, and if it works the $49.95 might be the best $$ I've ever spent.  At least as far as backup/restore goes.  

It remains to be seen what the best computer upgrade migration tool to use.  Maybe the Acronis TI would work with that as well.  If not I can always try Alohabob Ultra.  I've heard some good things about that software.

I may have solved my own problem, with the help of the knowledge base and Crazyone's previous posts.

We'll see.  But other issues remain open, such as the ones Tony raised.  I'll try to make other questions that are less complex than this one.... assuming the Acronis software will work with my usb devices.

I appreciate the feedback from Tony and BigC666, even though they did not resolve my problem.  I will close this after I've tried the solution and know that its workable.  That may take a few days.
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by:jlhough
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PS   I have no clue as to how to assign points if Acronis works, unless other useful comments are made here to some of these unresolved issues.

I will first attempt to install my second hard drive into an external usb2 case and see if it works with Ghost.  If not Ghost gets ghosted and Acronis comes to life while I see if that solution works.

Later
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by:tmireles
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First of all if non of the suggestions posted helped you out I believe you can ask for a refund by posting a 0 point question to the modorators.  The only problem is that I am not exactly sure were to post that.  I am fairly new to this site.

Secondly XP will allow certain hardware to change over time.  So if you replaced more RAM or replaced CDROM or NIC on the board then it would be ok.  However if you did them all at the same time XP might try to re-register itself because it thinks you are putting it into a new computer.  I am not sure as to what the number of changes are that will trigger that.

So if you are completely changing the hardware around then you would essentially be making a lot of changes so that XP is going to have to re-register itself.  Now if you have a valid key for each machine then you can always use the magical jellybean key changer to change the key to the one you want for registration purposes.  

I don't typically recommend taking a drive out of one machine and plugging into another completely different machine because of all the hardware changes (ide controllers, processors, NIC, etc).  I think you are going to get more headaches this way and spend more time in the long run doing it this way than if you just installed XP on each of the machines and copied the files you want onto them and then install the programs you want.

After that is done then make a ghost backup or acronis backup of the new clean drive, I would apply all updates to XP and all before this.  This will ensure that if you have to re-install for any reason you have a fresh clean copy with everything that you want already on it.

Anyhow that is my 2 cents on that and as for the imaging software I have not had any problems with ghost other than every now and again I get a drive is to fragmented fault.  But after a defrag it works.  But different systems different problems.

As for the acronis software I have heard good things about it as well.  Not sure how well it works as I have never used it.  I would be very surprised if the software can do an exact clone of the drive without a reboot as it will need to access files that are in use by the OS and I don't think it can do that.  I could be wrong.  If you use the program let me know how it works so I might want to give it a try as well.

Good Luck
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by:jlhough
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Tony,  I appreciate the input.  I'm still unsure what issues I'll have by trying to clone, drive image, or restore backed up programs and files to the new computer.  

>I don't typically recommend taking a drive out of one machine and plugging into another completely different machine because of all the hardware changes (ide controllers, processors, NIC, etc).  I think you are going to get more headaches this way and spend more time in the long run doing it this way than if you just installed XP on each of the machines and copied the files you want onto them and then install the programs you want.

But the only reason I'm asking this question is precisely to avoid reinstalling all of my OS and programs with all their zillions of updates and patches.  I have all the software licences and keys, and don't mind re-entering those.  Do you realize how many hours and updates it requires to reinstall all of Occice Premiers 9 or so applications?  There simply HAS to be a better way!!  What I'm unsure of is whether to try transferring a clone image to the new HD and doing a repair on wind xp home or to do a fresh install of the OS and then try restoring all the backed up files.  I'm not sure how the registry handles that.  I guess I'll find out after trying it, huh?

>>As for the acronis software I have heard good things about it as well.  Not sure how well it works as I have never used it.  I would be very surprised if the software can do an exact clone of the drive without a reboot as it will need to access files that are in use by the OS and I don't think it can do that.  I could be wrong.  If you use the program let me know how it works so I might want to give it a try as well.

Well, you are wrong about that.  The software is suposed to do an exact clone, and that's exactly what PC Mag claims it does.  I've DLed it and played with the trial version some, and made two types of total c drive images and verified them.  They report as accurate.  The programs appears to be great!  It sets up several disaster recovery options -- Floppy Boot, CD boot, and and F11 key boot from a unbootable hard drive.  The one thing the Trial won't let you do is a restore or disaster recovery.  But the program apparently works well so far.

I'll keep cheecking back here for other suggestions or advice.

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by:tmireles
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Thanks for the info on Acronis.  I will have to give this program a try.
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by:jlhough
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I'm going to close out this issue, as I have worked through what I feel is the optimal computer migration or relocation method for me.  However it does not involve trying to directly use a USB external CD/DVD burner.  An external USB 2 HD is ideal, using either/or Alohabob PC relocator Ultra Control and Acronis True Image 8.xxx.  

I really liked the Alohabob for relocating programs and files to the new computer.  All you have to do is install the OS, and then Alohabob will transfer most other major programs, with a few exeptions, like antivirus software, Nero, or a couple others.  It DID however transfer all my Office 2000 Premier Suite with all the updates, and that is very time cinsuming to reinstall & update.  It reinstalled a dozen or more other programs as well.  The nice thing about it is that it gives you the odds or probability that each program will fully transfer without problems, and you can pay your money and take your chances.

I did have some glitches trying to transfer to a SATA HD from my PATA IDE, but when I tried it with PATA to PATA it went without a hitch.

Acronis True Image has a few issues (it didn't work correctly with my esternal usb DVD drive), but it essentially works as advertised to do a system state backup and restore of a partition or drive clone, and it does it without leaving windows and going into dos.

Tmirales gave me some useful feedback, but didn't provide a satisfactory answer to my relocation issues.  I'd award him some points, but certainly not all.  Crazyone gave some previous answers that I learned from, so I could also award him some points I guess.

I'm open to the moderators suggestions.
 
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