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Best way to create a bootable cd that will run an automated ghost image restore.

Posted on 2006-10-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I know that this question is probably not posted in the correct location but I am running Windows 2000 and using Norton Ghost 2003 so I thought it would be a good place to start or to try posting my question.  

I have over 35 DELL GX150 computers that I purchased through auction and I will be selling the computers locally through my business to customers looking to buy basic computer systems.  All the computers had Windows 2000 COA's on them so I just slipstreamed a Windows 2000CD with SP4 and did a clean install of Windows 2000 on all the machines using the same disc.  

I do not have Windows 2000 CD(s) that I can include with each system for recovery purposes but I would like to at least provide a customer with a ghost image of their machine so they could return to the original setup if it was ever necessecary.  

The main question is I was wondering if someone can tell me in the simplest terms what the easiest way is to create a bootable cd that will run an automated ghost image restore.  I am using Norton Ghost 2003 and Nero to try to accomplish this.  I have tried several times using Nero to create a boot cd by providing the 1st ghost boot disc and editing the autoexec.bat and config.sys files with no success.  I guess I am just wondering if anybody can provide me with a good example to follow to accomplish what I am wanting to do.

This is the example of the config.sys file I'm using:

device=himem.sys
device=oakcdrom.sys /D:mscd001
files=50
buffers=30
dos=high,umb
stacks=9,256
lastdrive=z


This is the example of the autoexec.bat file I'm using:

mscdex.exe /D:mscd001 /L:Q
ghost -clone,mode=load,src=q:\5118611.gho,dst=1 -sure -fx

All I am wanting to do in the automation is to load a ghost image file from the CD (D:) and replace all the data on the only partition on primary drive (C:)

Thanks for any help that you guys can provide for me.

     
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Question by:mstep3
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matrixnz earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
Hi mstep3

Personally I think you should consider having a menu, otherwise the user may inadvertantly wipe their drive by mistake, by leaving the CD in the drive and than shutting down and than the next while restarting the system was reimaged, losing all their data.

Here's how I've done it in the past.

Config.sys
[MENU]
MENUITEM = Manual,Run Ghost Manually - Symantec Ghost Software
MENUITEM = REIMAGE,Reimage Hard Drive
MENUITEM = DOSPROM,Dos Prompt

[COMMON]
FILES=60
BUFFERS=20
DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DOS=HIGH,UMB
STACKS=9,256
LASTDRIVE=Z

REM [CD-ROM Drive]
DEVICE=OAKCDROM.SYS /D:MSCD001

[MANUAL]
[REIMAGE]
[DOSPROM]

AUTOEXEC.BAT
@ECHO OFF

CLS
MSCDEX.EXE  /D:OEMCD001 /L:D

CLS
PROMPT=$P$G > NUL
:: Next two lines only required if you have Mouse.com
:: ECHO Loading Mouse Driver...
:: MOUSE.COM > NUL
D:\
GOTO %CONFIG%

:MANUAL
:: Copy Ghost.exe to the <CD-Drive>:\Ghost\ Folder
ECHO LOADING...
D:\GHOST\GHOST.EXE -fni
GOTO DOSPROM

:REIMAGE
CLS
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO  ***WARNING***
ECHO.
ECHO DRIVE IS ABOUT TO BE WIPED, ALL DATA WILL BE LOST
ECHO.
ECHO PRESS CTRL-C TO CANCEL OR ENTER TO CONTINUE.
ECHO.
ECHO  ***WARNING***
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO.
PAUSE
:: Copy Ghost.exe to the <CD-Drive>:\Ghost\ Folder
:: Copy 5118611.GHO to the <CD-Drive>:\Image\ Folder
D:\GHOST\GHOST -clone,mode=load,src=D:\IMAGE\5118611.gho,dst=1 -sure -fx
GOTO DOSPROM

:DOSPROM
CLS

:END

So place this on to a bootable floppy disk, try starting a computer with the floppy to ensure that it's working correctly i.e. the menu is displaying.  Select Option one or two just to make sure the menu sequence is correct.  i.e. D: should be mapped for the CD Drive, it shouldn't run Ghost since Ghost isn't their.

Once testing the floppy is completed, than use Nero or Easy CD Creator, Sonic or any other type of CD burning software that allows you to create a Bootable Disk from a Floppy.  It should read your disk but not burn the files, at this point create two folders GHOST and IMAGE copy GHOST.EXE - GHOST Folder and 5118611.GHO - IMAGE Folder.  Now Burn the CD, it should now be bootable.

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:mstep3
Comment Utility
Thank you for your response.  This looks very good.  I am going to try this tonight and I will see how it goes.  Thank you for the nice example that you posted.  Mike

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Author Comment

by:mstep3
Comment Utility
Hi,

I was just wondering when I create the bootable cd within Nero and use the floppy as the source of the boot image data.  Should I be using any of the advanced settings such as Emulation.  Like Floppy Emulation 1.44 or 2.88.  Things do not seem to be working correctly and when I choose re-image it kicks back out to the A:\ dos prompt.

Thanks,
Mike
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Expert Comment

by:matrixnz
Comment Utility
No using the floppy to create your image is fine, what happens when you use the floppy itself.  What happens if you select Option1 or Option3.  Here is the commandline I normally use, some Dell Systems, wouldn't run Ghost, unless specifying the -fni swich, and SZEL just tells the image to Expand to the remainder of the disk, for e.g. if the user put in a new HDD.

Ghost -fni -clone,MODE=load,SRC=D:\IMAGE\5118611.gho,DST=1,SZEL -sure -fx

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:mstep3
Comment Utility
Currently when I just use the boot disk it gives me an invalid drive specification and it kicks back out to the A: prompt when I select option 1 or 3.  It will first load the cd rom drivers but then goes back to A:  When I use option 2 it will load the cd rom driver give the Warning message that you provided in autoexec.bat and when you press Enter it just goes back to A:  I was thinking it would give some kind of error message when running the ghost.exe.  I don't currently have ghost.exe on my boot disk.  Sorry, I'm having so much trouble with this one.    
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by:matrixnz
Comment Utility
Hi Mstep

Can you tell me if the drive letter is correct i.e. D: so when it kicks you back to the A: Prompt can you tell me what happens if you type D:

Your previous Config.Sys was set to Q: so I'm just wandering if it's using the wrong path name otherwise it looks like it is working correctly.

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:mstep3
Comment Utility
Hi,

Well currently when I boot with the floppy and I choose a menu option and I go back to A:\ when I type in D: it gives me 'Invalid Drive Specification'.  Here is a copy of my autoexec.bat and config.sys from the boot floppy.  Also I was wondering if part of the problem might be that I am using a Windows 98 boot disk and just modified the autoexec.bat and config.sys.  Would it be better to use another boot disk.  Thanks for the help.  Mike

****Autoexec.bat*****




@ECHO OFF

CLS
MSCDEX.EXE  /D:mscd001 /L:D

CLS
PROMPT=$P$G > NUL
:: Next two lines only required if you have Mouse.com
:: ECHO Loading Mouse Driver...
:: MOUSE.COM > NUL
D:\
GOTO %CONFIG%

:MANUAL
:: Copy Ghost.exe to the <CD-Drive>:\Ghost\ Folder
ECHO LOADING...
D:\GHOST\GHOST.EXE -fni
GOTO DOSPROM

:REIMAGE
CLS
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO  ***WARNING***
ECHO.
ECHO DRIVE IS ABOUT TO BE WIPED, ALL DATA WILL BE LOST
ECHO.
ECHO PRESS CTRL-C TO CANCEL OR ENTER TO CONTINUE.
ECHO.
ECHO  ***WARNING***
ECHO.
ECHO.
ECHO.
PAUSE
:: Copy Ghost.exe to the <CD-Drive>:\Ghost\ Folder
:: Copy 5118611.GHO to the <CD-Drive>:\Image\ Folder
D:\GHOST\GHOST -clone,mode=load,src=D:\IMAGE\5118611.gho,dst=1 -sure -fx
GOTO DOSPROM

:DOSPROM
CLS

:END







****Config.sys******



[MENU]
MENUITEM = Manual,Run Ghost Manually - Symantec Ghost Software
MENUITEM = REIMAGE,Reimage Hard Drive
MENUITEM = DOSPROM,Dos Prompt

[COMMON]
FILES=60
BUFFERS=20
DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DOS=HIGH,UMB
STACKS=9,256
LASTDRIVE=Z

REM [CD-ROM Drive]
DEVICE=OAKCDROM.SYS /D:MSCD001

[MANUAL]
[REIMAGE]
[DOSPROM]


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Author Comment

by:mstep3
Comment Utility
Hi,

Sorry about this but I found out what the problem was.  I had forgotten to put the MSCDEX.EXE on my boot floppy.  I guess that usually helps.  Do you have any suggestions about maybe a better bootable floppy that I should be using as the image to create a boot cd?

Thanks,
Mike
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:matrixnz
Comment Utility
Hi Mike

Can you load the disk, while at the menu, can you press Shift F8(I think that's it) to do a step by step, I have a feeling that your CD isn't being loaded.  Can you verify that OAKCDROM.SYS exists on the drive.  If this still fails than have a look at www.bootdisk.com and download another 98 Disk with CD Rom support.

Cheers
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