Norton Ghost USB / External Drives
In reference to comments made by Mike Watts, found at the bottom of this page (see gray box), Pesky writes to say that it *is* possible to create images on USB drives formatted with/as NTFS (contradicting Mike). See here for details.
After doing more research, he developed a hypothesis which claims the deciding factors are:
If you have a Laptop with a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card and a USB 2.0 external drive, see here for njb's detailed step-by-step post on how to get this set-up to work with Ghost.
Mr. El_Pescador, the resident guru on getting Ghost to work with external drives, advises users to consider a SATA drive/controller, if they haven't already purchased an external drive .. for reasons he articulates here:
I don't use external drives, so I have no experience with them. There are however, gents at the forums who have much experience imaging to external drives, primarily USB 2.0. I'm sure they can help with whatever problem you might be having.
Putting the risk of a dead hard drive in perspective: of the 20 or 25 times I've had to restore images of my system partition, only two (maybe three) were due to drive failure (hardware related). Most of the time, problems were due to something software related, usually with Windows, such as bad drivers, or some new software I loaded, or an installation gone bad.
Hard drives die more frequently than we'd like to believe. The worst part is that they always die at the most inopportune time (trust me) .. as Murphy himself will attest. In fact, the reason I began researching back-up solutions, and discovered Ghost, is because I had a hard drive die (with squat for back-up). The back-up lesson can be painful.
It bears repeating: if you have only one hard drive, and that drive dies, your 'back-up' image will die with it. Putting it bluntly: you're screwed. Nothing but an image (on a separate physical drive, or CD/DVD) can restore your system if your system drive dies. Many back-up options are available, such as a registry back-up and Windows own System Restore, but none of these alternatives are as comprehensive as an image.
With the prices
of hard drives so
cheap these days, it's a shame not to have a second hard
drive. I've even posted a guide
on how to use FDISK to partition & format a new drive (thanks
to the Doc), and an article containing Partitioning
Strategies you might find helpful.
With two separate physical drives, the read/write
heads don't have to jump back & forth .. like they do when the
image source and destination partitions are on the same
(physical) drive. I never image one partition to another on the same
physical drive. It goes too slow.
This might be a good place to address data integrity factors, cuz that's what Ghost is all about: the integrity of your data .. especially the data contained on your boot/system drive. Things to consider:
So, if you want to maximize your system's data integrity, use a SCSI boot drive mounted in a hard drive cooler, formatted with the NTFS file system. Keep multiple back-up images on hand, stored on a non-system hard drive (also mounted in a drive cooler), and put your case in a place where is won't be subject to physical shock (usually on the floor, away from feet). If this type of info interests you, you might enjoy my piece on PC Stability Factors.
NT File System (NTFS)
As mentioned earlier, Ghost 2003 allows users to write images to NTFS partitions. See here for details. Prior versions would only write to FAT32 partitions, because Ghost works from DOS, and DOS does not support the NTFS file system.
Ghost would *always* let you create & restore images of NTFS partitions/disks, long as the image itself was stored on a FAT32 partition. And you could always clone (copy) one NTFS partition/disk to another.
Ghost 2003 has no problem working with NTFS drives, except in the case reported by Mike Watts, where he writes to say>>>: