View Full Version : Ghosting or Cloning

01-01-2007, 04:55 PM
Hi frnds

My second thread in this forum as my first thread really made me learn alot thanks for zqwerty and trinsic for providing a Valuable information.

Now my thread is about

What is Ghosting or Cloning of Harddisk?

Can u help me out with appropriate Tutorials or Links to do it.

01-01-2007, 05:21 PM
making an image of your hard drive. You could say it is a photocopy of it. http://ghost.radified.com/

01-01-2007, 06:06 PM
Hi Blackhat. There are several packages suitable for ghosting. I use Ghost 2003 to clone my entire Master hard drive to a similar sized Slave drive in the same box. I have a friend who has two similar machines and copies one to the other - called peer-to-peer. I have no experience of later versions of Ghost but have read that they are not as friendly as 2003.

Terry Porritt
01-01-2007, 06:07 PM
As indicated by pctek, the word Ghosting comes from the name of the Ghost program, which incidently was a New Zealand program before being bought up by Symantec.

When an image is made of a hard drive, a single file is produced, which can be restored to the drive if required by using the imaging program.

When a drive or partition is cloned, a byte by byte copy of the drive is made to another hard drive, so the backup hard drive is an exact copy of the original. This backup drive could be substituted for the original and booted if necessary, or copied back to the original drive in the event of something happening to the original.

I prefer cloning, and use HDD caddies, as it means the backup drive can be plugged in and used to try things out without fear of causing problems to the main drive.

01-01-2007, 06:20 PM
Hey Terry best software for Cloning then??

Can we store it in a CD or DVD so that we can reboot or either to reinstall the entire OS again in our PC?

01-01-2007, 06:49 PM
They all do the same thing. Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image.

They all ghost and clone your hdd, they are the same thing. Ghost is just that some pple use Norton Ghost so they call it ghost. Some pple not all may use google to search the net, so they say, "google it".

Yes you can install onto DVD or CD, you can make a Norton Ghost or Acronis boot CD and then browse your HDD partition for the image file or browse a diff CD or DVD for it.

For these things, the clone image is only good for the original computer, if you alter the major hardware it does not work. For win9x platforms you can force it and then change the hardware drivers but for NT based like 2000 and XP you cannot unless you do some prep work before you ghost/clone it and once you load the file back on the computer you will need to go via the activation stage again for licensing ... If you do not you will get a blue screen at startup, there may be a workaround it but I don't know.

PS. I am not too sure if you go into specifics. I think these 2 software you can clone it onto a caddie hard drive. If you are wanting to do a CD or DVD you are talking about image file that needs to be extracted back onto the HDD. If you want to do cloning caddy style onto CD or DVD I don't think you can, you cannot run the whole windows on a DVD, it needs to be on HDD.

Terry Porritt
01-01-2007, 07:17 PM
There are also free programs to do the job, a Google search will produce some.

Hard drive manufacturers usually have utilities on their web sites that can be used for copying an old hard drive to a new hard drive.

The terminology seems to have become looser as time has gone by, as we continually read about image clones, and it is not clear from web sites what program does what.

For example Acronis web site talks about image clones, I cant see anywhere if Acronis can copy byte by byte direct to another drive, or whether it can only produce image files.

An image file is not a clone until it has been restored onto a drive, whereas a byte by byte copy direct to a hard drive produces a true 'clone' immediately in one hit.

Both methods have pros and cons.

I use an older version of Ghost from Norton System Works 2002.

01-01-2007, 08:01 PM
I find Norton Ghost 2003 the best software of any hdd copying software. While it does cost, it does everything you need and does it well.

Norton Ghost has options like most other programs should to backup to external devices and later use if need be. I have always installed windows and all the applications I need and then made a copy of it on DVD. When my PC started to slow down or get errors I would pop in the DVD and start again :)

This meant I didn't have to install windows again nor all my programs.

01-01-2007, 09:18 PM
There are free options, that can be googled.
Not sure of the following as they from my bookmarks; Qtparted, Bootit NG, g4u, daemons.

If you wanna use your image file or clone on a diff PC or after major hardware upgrades - look at sysprep that needs to be done before the creation of the image or clone file. After booting in after restore you will have to do activation again.

For the software, I like the Norton or Acronis b/c they work in windows and they create your file for you in windows. It creates a boot up CD for you. To me it much easier, they also have a good help file. The issue I have with the free ones are they tend to work in DOS with a basic DOS command and some a basic DOS menu interface, more difficult to use and a lack of a good menu driven help system in easy language. Some also may be incompatible with different file systems such as NTFS or larger partitions etc. It difficult to know that you have successfully done so, so in the past I had to test it out by wiping and restoring ...

01-01-2007, 09:56 PM
I think QTparted is just a partitioning program like Partition Magic isn't it?

I have used g4u (http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/) several times - it is a version of UNIX on a bootable CD that allows copying of whole drives or partitions. The only problem I have occasionally struck is that it doesn't recognize all NICs when ghosting over a LAN.

01-01-2007, 11:32 PM
I checked, Acronis does support image and cloning.

02-01-2007, 05:44 AM
if you clone a hdd then install it to a different puter yes you will have some issues specially with the drivers on the system which will be setup for the 'previous' hardware however usually a 'repair install' will cure that....

02-01-2007, 08:45 AM
imho - Acronis is better than Norton's Ghost - easier to use and quicker. You can download a trial program - easy to find via Google or use the Search here on PF1 to find my other posts on this.

02-01-2007, 10:45 AM
imho - Acronis is better than Norton's Ghost - easier to use and quicker.

Would have to agree here, I've used Norton's Ghost and compared to Acronis quite a bit more cumbersome. Haven't had any problems with Acronis whereas Ghost has caused quite a few headaches... often resulting in a complete format and re-install of my system.



02-01-2007, 11:18 AM
imho - Acronis is better than Norton's Ghost - easier to use and quicker.

Always used Ghost but maybe I might try Acronis this time :) But I guess if it isn't broken dont fix it(or change programs in this instance)!

Terry Porritt
02-01-2007, 11:30 AM
I've never had any problems with Ghost when cloning disk to disk, not even with the very old original DOS version.
I used to use Powerquests Drive Copy for disk cloning before using the Ghost version that came with System Works 2002.

With two 80GB ATA 133 hard drives, (and Athlon XP 2600+ cpu) copying speed using Ghost is between 1500MB per minute and 2000MB per minute depending on which is master and which is slave, that seems pretty fast to me.