Ghost 2003 - Imageing laptops

I have 1 Dell laptop I am setting up to use some special applications...
Ghost 2003 is installed on this laptop...

When completed I want to Ghost this Dell image to 2 other identical Dell laptops...

How can I do this???

Ghost talks about ghosting thru USB cables...ghost also talks about NOT using a USB port...

So, is there a USB cable with the same connection at each end??? I need some type of "crossover" USB cable???

How do I physically hook 2 laptops together and ghost one from the other???

Steve MutchlerIT TechAsked:
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Back to this original question:

> So, is there a USB cable with the same connection at each end??? I need
> some type of "crossover" USB cable???

Yes there is a special USB male A to male A cable available to directly connect 2 PC's. Here is one that will work with USB 1.1:

BF-100C BAFO - Direct LinQ - Data Transfer USB Cable with Male to Male Connectors at

For a USB 2.0:

CP-U2N-02 CP Technologies - Network Data Transfer USB Cable at

[I'm not endorsing TigerDirect, although they usually have some good prices. I'm just using them to show you a product. Shop around.]

The USB 2.0 is with the extra money if you have USB 2.0 on your PC's. It is backwards compatible with USB 1.1 and 1.0. The advantage is speed. USB 2.0 is 480MBs. USB 1.1 was only 12MBs. Unless you have gigabit network cards the USB would be almost 5 time faster that a standard 100MB network adaptor. Maybe even faster considering you will not have the TCP/IP overhead.

> I've been studying up on network boot disks and this is something I need to learn
> how to do...

A good reference and tool for creating boot disks is:

Bart's Boot disks
The easiest (and most effective) way is to use Partition Magic on your Laptop to create a second partition:  decrease the size of the first partition and add a second one, if not already available.  On the other two laptops, set up two partitions (you can still use partition magic).

Use GHOST on your master laptop to create the partition on its second partition.  The IMAGE then can be transfered a number of ways to the second partition of your other laptops.  You can use:

A network connection
Burn the image to CD / DVD

Once the IMAGE is on the second partition of each laptop, you have two advantages:  first, you can easily (and at any time) reimage the individual laptops, and two, the master image then travels wherever the laptop goes.

I like the network connection best because I can directly image from one laptop to another directly and it's very fast.  I have most of the DOS network boot disks for DELL laptops already finished, so it's very easy.

Hope this helps!
Another solution you can try is to take the drive out of the machine you are trying to clone and setup it up on an extrernal drive bay with the proper laptop drive adapter to IDE and connect it through the USB Port.  When you boot into the ghost CD then just select to load the USB drivers and then you should be able to image your drive on the 2nd and 3rd laptop with the one.  

On most new Dell laptops the drives are easy to remove as they just have one screw and just remove like a battery.

After that is done I am not sure if you will have issues with the XP keys being the same so if you do you could use the magicjellybean key changer.  You can do a google search for that and this program allows you to change the key for XP.

Good Luck
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Ron MalmsteadInformation Services ManagerCommented:
ghosting thru an ethernet connection is the fastest and easiest way.

collect the "ndis" dos drivers for the network cards the laptops are using.  start boot disk wizard.
point it to the driver files you extracted and setup the IP scheme you are using.... e.g. DHCP or static.

then boot one of the laptops with the disk, and make sure it binds with and recognizes the card.

start your multicast session named "ghostpc" from the computer with ghost installled. and choose "load from client"
save as filename "ghostedpc.gho" "accept clients"

now go back to the other laptop you booted with the disk and go to multicast...type the session name "ghostpc"

hit ok..yes...ok

and it will start choose "load to client" from multicast server and do the same process to load to other laptops....

TIP:  your ndis (dos) driver must be the exact match or it won't work at all.....creating the boot disk is the only hard part about this process.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Thanx guys...

Huntersvcs...I like your idea, never considered making another partition..I have PM 6 but as I am typing this response, I have an ugly feeling I need PM7 for XP...

Tmireles...I have not taked a HD out of this particular Dell, just picked them up from client today, haven't really looked at the case yet...and I have the adapters I need to Ghost to another HD on my that's not an issue...and I have the jelly bean no problems there...

Xuserx2000...never done a Ghost across the network, never made up a network boot while this procedure might be the best over all, it will take the longest because I have to learn some new stuff and make everything work...

I am going to google for some directions on making a network boot disk and start playing around with it...

Al in all, I guess I was looking for the answers to my original question...I just wanted to hook the 2 computers with a USB or Laplink or some method, and Ghost from one to the other...thinking that would be the easiest and quickest...

I'll build the image of the first laptop tomorrow and then see where that puts me...

If there is an easy and simple way to cable the 2 laptops together and Ghost them, I would love to find out...

Will post later
If you have a CD or DVD burner you can use ghost to image to disk. Make sure you enable disk spanning in the options (the ones I have done took 3 CDs. Also make the CD bootable when the wizard asks. Then you can care the set to any laptop, boot of the first cd, copy image to partition and you are done. No cables needed.

You may want to look at the Microsoft sysprep tool. You run this before imaging and it removes the system specific information. That way when you first boot off of the image it will prompt you for machine name, IP address, etc.

I think the easiest way it cable to laptops together would be with a network crossover cable. These are available at most you compurer retail outlets. It has a special pinout that allows you to directly connect 2 computers. A regular network cable is straight-thru and will not work for this.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:

Considered a crossover cable, but I believe that will require a network boot disk...but I might be incorrect on that...

Depending on how big the image is, I think imaging to CD's will probably be the best answer...

Make more decisions after I get the first one built...

Network Boot Disk:

Contents - IBMBIO.COM

         <DIR>          GHOST
         <DIR>          NET

               (This is an example - of course in this folder you need to insert
                 your network card's packet/DOS drivers)


@echo off
prompt $p$g
\net\FETPKT.COM -n 0x60 (edit this line according to your network card data)
cd \ghost

Boot the laptop that holds the stored image.
Connect a crossover cable between the two laptops.
Boot the second laptop with the diskette and use NET USE command to map a drive:
i.e. net use f: \\laptop1\d (depending on the OS you may require name/password as well).

Try to access "F".  If it works, you can then either:

copy the image to the second partition on the other notebook


Start GHOST and select "Partition from Image".  You should see "F" as a possible source where your *.gho image is located.
Sorry, forgot to add "net.exe" to the file list, otherwise you can't map the drive.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Thanx huntersvcs...

I've been studying up on network boot disks and this is something I need to learn how to do...

Will work on this over the next week...

Appreciate your time
> Considered a crossover cable, but I believe that will require a network boot
> disk...but I might be incorrect on that...

Actually ghost will build the boot disks for you. Launch Ghost, select Ghost Utilities, then select Nort Ghost Boot Wizard. This will open a new window. Select Peer-to-Peer Network Boot Disk and click Next. Here you may run into a snag. Ghost has a limited number of network cards it supports. You can add your own if you can find a DOS Packet or NDIS2 Driver for your card. I have had mixed results with adding cards and the disk actually working with the PC. Hopefull if you try this they will have your network card in the list.

Back to the CD method. A bootdisk to be needed when making the CD bootable. I forget whether if I used Standard Ghost Boot Disk or if I used the CD/DVD Startup Disk with Ghost. I think it was the latter. One of these selections uses 2 diskettes and the other creates a single diskette. The single diskette is the one you want.
That should have read "Norton Ghost Boot Wizard". Don't know what happened to the "on". ;-)
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Thanx again everyone...

I found a USB Data Transfer cable at the local computer shop...$17.00...I thought that was ok...

I am also playing with Acronis True Image to make my images with...I found out today that after I get the first build done, I need to Ghost to 34 other laptops...

these are all brand new Dell Inspiron 5160's...HD comes out real easy and I have the adapter should I decide to Ghost to a IDE drive...

And I found Barts Boot Disks last night and have been reading up...

I need to give some points and all of you went way out of your way to help me out...

I will split some points up and I  hope everyone considers this to be fair...and will close the question...

I have the info I need now I just need to work things out...

thanks again

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