NOTE: This version of the Radified Guide to Norton Ghost, presented on a black background (which some find easier on the eyes), is no longer being updated (cuz it takes too much time to update two different copies of the guide).
You are therefore directed to the white-background version, which is posted here:> Radified guide to Norton Ghost. The remainder of this guide will grow obsolete, then be deleted.
This guide presents what many consider the ultimate back-up strategy. It is based on features found in Norton Ghost, a hard drive imaging/cloning software program developed by Symantec.
Altho designed around Norton Ghost (considered the most reliable application of its kind), the strategies presented here can be applied to *any* disk cloning program.
Here is the *original* Radified guide. After more than 5 years on the 'Net, and countless updates, it is still the site's most requested feature.
Users of Ghost from all over the world contribute regularly to the insights it contains, which might be why its popularity continues to grow.
When you realize how much time & misery Ghost's supernatural disaster recovery features can save you, you'll understand why you shouldn't be without a cloning program.
Discover for yourself why so many
people include Ghost on their list when asked: "If
you could only have 10 programs...?"
This Ghost guide is also available with black text sitting
on a white background. Web usage
studies found that most people prefer reading online documents in
a format that mimics text printed on [white] paper. See here > Norton
Ghost User's Guide [<white background version].
Norton Ghost v10.0
New version: 13.sept.2005 - Symantec announces the release of Ghost v10.0. The short version: Ghost 10 = Ghost 9 + encryption (ability to encrypt your back-up images).
With version 10, Symantec continues to make Ghost easier to use, automating still more decisions you previously had to make yourself. Their aim is to bring the power of back-up imaging to the masses.
While applauding their efforts, I feel the need to caution users that each additional feature tends to sacrifice RELIABILITY. For example, if you encrypt your image file, you will, at some point, need to de-crypt it, before it can be restored .. which is one more place where something can go wrong.
For me, RELIABILITY is my #1 priority. I need to feel confident I can restore my back-up image should anything go wrong with my operating system or hard drive.
The good thing is that Symantec includes a copy of Ghost 2003 in the Ghost 10 retail box. And I *know* Ghost 2003 is reliable, because I've used it to restore dozens of images.
All the caveats about Ghost 9 & hot-imaging still apply to version 10, since they are basically the same program. So I suggest to familiarize yourself with the way Ghost 9 works. See here:> Ghost 9 & hot-imaging.
There is an on-going thread is the forums about Ghost 10. See here:> Symantec Norton Ghost 10, where I share my share my thoughts on version 10. There's also a blog entry posted here: Symantec Releases Version 10 of Norton Ghost.
Norton Ghost v9.0
New version: 02.august.2004 - Symantec announces the release of Ghost v9.0. Ghost 9 is controversial, because it's not really Ghost. It's actually Drive Image, a similar imaging/cloning product originally developed by PowerQuest, a company Symantec purchased on 05.dec.2003.
The reason Ghost 9 (Drive Image in disguise) is controversial is because it supports a feature Symantec calls 'Hot Imaging', which allows you to to create images of/from a 'LIVE' operating system, while files are able to change. Hot imaging might sound attractive to the casual user, but it comes with hidden risks that concern many veterans of the program.
NOTE: To keep this introduction uncluttered, the remainder of this discussion on Norton Ghost v9.0 continues on its own page:> Norton Ghost v9.0 + hot imaging (<white-background version only). I recommend you take a look. At the bottom of that page is a link that will bring you back here.
If you have no idea what an imaging/cloning program does or how it works, you should first read the Program Introduction. Then come back here & read the ditty on Ghost 9 & Hot-imaging.
Norton Ghost v2003
New version: 26aug2002 - Symantec releases Ghost
2003. This version offers a Windows-based interface. Prior
to v2003, you needed to boot to DOS in order to create or restore an image.
Being able to configure Ghost from Windows makes the program more
The official Symantec press release is posted
here. PCWorld reviews Ghost 2003 here.
They still claim it's "for PC pros only" tho. See here.
In particular, notice where they say, "The program is saddled
with a confusing manual, lousy Web support, and phone support that costs
$30 per incident."
That's why this guide has become so popular. It teaches you everything
you need to know .. with language that's easy to understand. That's because
it was written by someone who knows how confusing Ghost can be.
NOTE: Again, to keep this introduction uncluttered, the remainder of this discussion on Norton Ghost 2003 continues on its own page: > Norton Ghost 2003. (<white-background version only). Take a look. At the bottom of that page you'll find a link that will bring you back here.
For your <hypertext> convenience, this [dark-background] guide can
be found at any of this fine Radified URL (there used to be more URLs):
The guide contains 15 pages, organized like so:
- [Page 1] - Orientation: you be here.
- [Page 2] - Ghost 9 & Hot imaging.
- [Page 3] - Norton Ghost 2003
- [Page 4] - Program Introduction.
5] - Quick start: for the ready-fire-aim type, who wants to jump right in & begin imaging right
away. Plus an important limitation.
6] - Caveat: Need a second hard drive to be safe, Test restore.
- [Page 7] - Bootable Ghost CD/DVDs.
- [Page 8] - Imaging to NTFS drives, and to USB/External drives, Dead drives, Data integrity.
9] - Get your copy, Ghost alternatives, Running Ghost from DOS, RAID arrays, Knowledge base, Switches & Error codes.
10] - Pre-imaging info, Norton Ghost boot floppy.
11] - Create a Ghost image.
12] - Restore a Ghost image, Ghost Explorer Restoring image from different PC.
13] - Hard disk drive & partition cloning.
- [Page 14] - Automated batch files.
- [Page 15 - Network
Addendum] - Imaging across a network
or an LPT connection.