Ghost from DVD's

Posted on 2004-11-09
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
A client is developing a  piece of hardware to potentially sell to the U.S. Military...That piece of hardware is attached via USB to a Dell laptop...The Dell is sold along with the hardware to the Military...

A custom application  has been developed to control this piece of hardware...this is the only application installed on the laptop...

Laptop runs XP Pro, SP2 with all criticals...

The U.S. Military had a 32 page guide book on how to "harden" the OS for their use...most modifications were in gpedit.msc...
That little project took me about 6 hours to accomplish...but that's another story...:)

Now that I have the laptop fully configured, I made a Ghost image of that laptop and it is stored on a server shared drive...

That image is 4.8 Gb is size...slightly larger than one DVD...

Now I want to develope a bootable DVD (or DVD's) that holds the holds the image so that the Tech Sargent in the middle of the dessert can re-image the laptop should it be necessary...

I would like this "re-image" DVD to operate as closely as possible to the Dell, (and other) types of re-imaging CD's...

It needs to be as automated as possible, with some type of "progress" indicator so that the user knows what is supposed to be happenning is actually working...I cannot assume that the person operating the laptop with the attached device is computer literate...

In other words, in a dead laptop, I want to be able to insert the DVD and shortly thereafter have the OS up and running again...

I don't think the DVD player in the Dell laptop is capable of reading the new double layer DVD's, so this will either have to be a bootable CD and then a DVD to follow, or 2 DVD's...

Been reading various posts on EE the last couple days, been to Barts page and some others, built Barts bootable CD, but have not built his PE yet...

I have Ghost 2003 to work with...

At this moment I am burning a CD-RW (my test "dvd") with the bootable W98 files, made an autoexec.bat file and going to put a Ghost DOS executable on and see if this will work...

But I need ideas, thoughts, etc on how to make this work...

Question by:stevem5000
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    As far as I know Ghost should have built in  support to create a bootable CDR, along with the image. You can tell ghost to split the built image into sections so each of them fits to
    a CDR. If that works for CDRs it should also work for DVDRs. If not, there's another good product, Acronis trueimage, which works fine. Both products, ghost and acronis have a progress bar. The graphical display of Acronis, in my opinion looks better than Ghost.
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    Good for you...

    Second: My guess is that you want to create a full compatible image CDs (which means that the media has to be a CD-ROM rather than a DVD (though I think that DVD drivers are getting spreaded more and more)).
    My thoughts are as follows:
    1. Create a bootable DOS 7.1 (Freeware) CD along with any NTFS drivers reference (In case the users will have to access NTFS material).
    2. Add some tools to allow soem basic disk management (My preferred one is 'diskpart' from MS though I dont know if it operates under DOS 7.1 environment).
    3. Setup both config.sys and autoexec.bat files to load all EMM386 managers.
    4. Also, add the ghost utility to allow the image recovery.
    5. For 4.8GB you will have to use at least 7 spanned CDs - So, create those CDs using Ghost CD spanning option.
    6. There you have it (Through this method you can create a DVD version as well).

    Symantecs explanation on how to span an image on CD-ROMs:

    DOS 7.10 home page (I think that as a developper you will love this page):

    Good luck

    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    If your Dell can burn its own DVDs, then I would approach it this way;

    Create a 'Windows Startup Disk' using a Win98 computer. Strip everything from this floppy, except the IDE CD-Rom driver, configure the driver to assign a fixed drive letter (say Z:).

    Copy Ghost.exe to this floppy. Configure the autoexec.bat to load ghost.exe with the proper switches to start ghosting from Z:\image001.gho to internal hard drive.

    You need to get the image to fit onto one DVD, delete all excess files (temp, sys vol info, pagefile.sys etc) to achieve this.

    Using ghost, burn complete hard drive to DVD (use switches to enable max compression), when asked if you want to make it bootable, feed it the floppy prepared earlier.

    This should create a bootable DVD which will automatically restore the internal hard drive.

    (or, another possibillity occurs, created 2nd partition to hold ghost file, boot from floppy to restore!)
    Cheers and good luck
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    ...just caught your later question... :)
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Hi all...

    Thanx for the ideas...

    Some comments...

    The DVD on the laptop is NOT a burner...combo DVD player and CDRW...

    Am trying to get under about 4Gb in size so ghost will fit on one DVD...

    I also have this related question on EE...considering some kind of "hotkey" if possible to ghost from a second partition...

    If I go the DVD ghost route, I am forced into a situation where I will have to ghost the laptop to a server share, then burn DVD's from that share...

    Right now there are 10 laptops to do, and if this project works, there may be quite a few more...

    Continueing to learn, test, and ask questions   :)

    Will post back
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Connect an external USB dvd burner to laptop for ghosting. Today they come cheap and once you have finished with the rollout of the laptops you will be happy to use it for other purposes.
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    I have made alot of ghost restore cd/dvd's and have the following works the best for me.
    Programs I use to make this process simple. You do not need to use WinImage but future Images will be a snap if you do.
    WinImage & Nero

    Make a bootable floppy disk.
    it will need to contain the following, shouldnt be too hard to find.
    VIDE-CDD.SYS   <--- IDE CDROM Driver i use.
    edit autoexec.bat to this:

    A:\MSCDEX /D:CDROM1 /l:Q /V
    ECHO This will restore Image from CDROM to Local Hard Drive 1.
    ECHO NOTE: This is a Ghost backup Image of your computer
    ECHO It will erase/destroy any data on Hard Drive 1.
    ECHO Do you wish to continue?
    ECHO ÿ
    ECHO 1. Click Y for "Yes"
    ECHO 2. Click N for "No"
    CHOICE /N /C:12
    edit config.sys to this:

    DEVICE=A:\VIDE-CDD.SYS /D:CDROM1 /P:1F0,14 /P:170,15 /P:1E8,12 /P:168,10

    Use WinImage to create a non-compressed Image file.

    In WinImage select:
    Disk ---> Read Disk

    Once it is loaded select:
    File ---> Save As
    Change Save as Type to "Image File"

    Save As ---> Boot.img not Boot.ima

    Note: I save it as Boot.img for Nero to find it later for creating the bootable cd/dvd.
    While you do not need to create an image like this, you can use WinImage Later to modify this boot image for other bootable cd/dvd's,
    alleviating the need to create another bootable floppy in the future.

    In nero select bootable dvd.
    Select the Boot Tab switch from floppy to Image
    point it to the image you created.

    Include ghost and the Image you want to load to target machine on the dvd, I also include the boot.img file on the cd/dvd. Comes in
    handy if you want to create another copy of it later.

    Some Notes:
    Ghost is not saved on the bootable floppy, it is saved on the dvd with the Image.
    In the autoexec.bat:
    A:\MSCDEX /D:CDROM1 /l:Q /V
    the /l:Q assigns the drive letter Q: to the dvd image. You can change this to whatever you see fit.

    The following will automatically start applying the image with ghost, removing -sure will allow you to interact with ghost.

    The above is what I use and have found it to work well, modify it to suit your needs.
    Happy Ghosting :)
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Vladonator, you don't need to do that all by hand. Ghost has options with which it makes the cd onto which it makes the image bootable, and adds ghost.
    You can also use the span option which results in the image being split if it is larger than the CD would be.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Rindi, I cannot comment on how well ghost create's a bootable image for you, I have never used it.
    Been using the above for the last 4 years. Maybe I should buy a new copy of ghost and check it out :)

    Stevem5000 was asking for different ideas, maybe my solution will suit him...
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Its a good idea...

    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanx to everyone for the great ideas...
    Even though I am not going to use any of your suggestions...I'm gonna divide up the points, I hope, fairly...

    This is what we are going to do:

    This program creates a "restore partition" like the IBM laptops use...if you need to restore, just hit F11 during bootup and that's it...

    For the problem at hand, this seemed like the best solution for potentially non-computer types that might be working with it...

    Thanx again

    Expert Comment

    REad your comments and the following discussions ,I thing if a hard disk is going to fail then thats it u r stuck unless u have a spare one in your pocket.
    so a second partion whith the ghost image on will do u no good ,i think u realy need to
    create a dvd bootable :seems the safest way to me or why not just use  linux move it and tailor the laptop to function with that
    that way u dont need a hard disk just carry a 64mb usb stick which will hold config data and u r up and running.

    Expert Comment

    hi guys
    need help.

    using Ghost to back up my laptop (Fujitsu / Siemens Amilo 7440)
    HAVE a DVD burner, but when in DOS i cann only burn CD and NOT DVD.

    any help ???
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

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