USB external drive innacessable after using Ghost 2003

Posted on 2006-04-29
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I was performing a back-up from my main drive to an external USB drive using Norton Ghost 2003 in DOS. After waiting 2.5 hours for the back-up, I tried to access the file on the destination drive but got a message saying the drive is inaccessable and a file was possibly corrupted.
I would be very interested to know if I am able to gain access to this drive again. I tried to do a repair through XP but this wasnt possible.
I really dont want to re-format and lose the contents of this drive.

I would be extemely grateful for any help with this.

Thanking You

Question by:Brakers
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Why don't you describe exactly what you did first?

    For example, if you formatted the external (backup) drive as FAT32, and your Ghost process works in DOS, and you used Ghost to make 2GB (each) image files of your original hard drive, that would work perfectly.  If you ghosted the hard drive from one drive to the other (rather than putting the original hard drive into a few .GHO files on the destination drive) than you wouldn't be able to access the destination drive (which, assumedly, would be NTFS at that point) from within DOS.  


    Author Comment

    Hi and thanks

    As far as I can recall, the USB drive was in NTFS format. I opened Ghost and selected the Backup option. Then I selected a file location on the USB drive in My Documents and copied the contents of my Main hard drive to this location.

    Does this mean I will not be able to access the USB drive?

    I would be grateful for your help.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    I can't parse your question.  Please detail exactly what you did.  Include the file options you chose.  

    DOS can't write to or get directories (natively) on an NTFS volume.  Yes, you can back up an NTFS volume from DOS (Ghost just reads the entire disk) but you can't write to an NTFS volume from within DOS unless you do a disk-to-disk copy.  Yet you said you did a disk-to-file (ie disk to .GHO file) copy, and you wouldn't be able to do that if the USB disk was NTFS.

    "Selected a file location on the USB drive in My Documents and copied the contents" -- is the part I can't parse.  What in the world does this mean?  Typically either A) you'll ghost to .GHO files, and store those files somewhere on a FAT32 volume (say, the root of the drive), or B) you'll ghost the entire hard drive, and then you'd have an exact copy of the source HDD "on" the destination HDD, and it would be fully bootable (if you moved it inside of your computer, etc.), and so forth.

    Again, more details, please.  Are you sure you're doing this in DOS?  If you're in a WinPE environment, you'd be able to write to NTFS without issue, and then you could save .GHO files to any location on the NTFS drive.  

    Clarify if you're doing a .GHO image to file copy, or a disk to disk copy.    

    Author Comment

    Sorry about my bad description of this. To tell the truth it was the first time i did this and I didnt write down the file name but I think from memory it was a.gho image and I am sure I didnt do a disk to disk copy. I did use the "Backup" option, and copied the whole of my C drive to the file I mentioned. I know that I had to re-start my computer and there is a message that says something like "start this computer in DOS" .  I selected this option then a screen with the source and destination were shown along with a progress bar.  I hope this is a bit more for you to go on and appologies for my lack of knowledge in this area.


    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Then just look on the destination USB drive, find the .GHO files, and those are your backup files.  They should be 2GB in size, multiple files, and taken together, they'll let you restore your internal disk to the way it was when you ran ghost.  


    Author Comment

    Thanks but the the problem is, I cant access the USB drive at all to look the file. If I click on the drives icon all i get is the following error message:

    G:\ is not accessible
    The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable


    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    1) You may have chosen the wrong options in Ghost.
    Normally tou would do a Partion to image .
    If you use a newer version of Ghost ( v 8 and up ) it is indeed able to write to NTFS file systems.

    I would test the external drive in a different machine for a start.

    If it is still bad, you have a choice
    Use a repair program to try to recover the data, or wipe it and try again.

    I hope this helps !
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

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    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Assuming you only have your backup data on the USB drive, just reformat it with FAT32 (you may need multiple 32GB partitions) and then reboot into Ghost/DOS and redo the Ghost operation.  

    Be sure to back up the entire drive into Ghost files.
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    I agreed with SysExperts. Please just follow his recommends.

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