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O/S Deployment Thread, Ghosting hard disks within Windows in Technical; Hi We have a large number of Ghost images stored on a NAS box - one image for each model ...
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    sdc
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    Ghosting hard disks within Windows

    Hi

    We have a large number of Ghost images stored on a NAS box - one image for each model of laptop/PC. Generally, we can very easily ghost any number of machines as required; however, we've found newer laptops' network adaptors don't seem to play well with Ghost (tried all sorts of combinations, etc, but no joy).

    Finally hit upon what we believe to be the solution - take the SATA drive out, put it in a docking bay (one of these) and then run Ghost32 from within Windows on our admin workstation(s), and then GhostCast server from the NAS box as normal.

    Now, this does work, but it's painfully slow - been going for at least 10 minutes and only about 3% complete. Usually an entire 10GB image can be deployed in a few minutes! Any ideas as to why it's this slow? Any thoughts as to how we might speed it up?!

    Thanks
    Stephen

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    Daleus's Avatar
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    Same trouble here - New nics and ghost throws a right wobbly. Switched to PING (partimage is not ghost) unfortunately it doesn't use ghosts' images.
    T
    he first time you use it you can get easily lost on the menu, but once you've used it a few times you feel confident knowing it will work with any combination of hardware.

    As for ghost with newer machines..wait for a symantec (or company owns it now) to release an update.

    Or if you are feeling a bit brave, try include the drivers with ghost (somehow, I never tried that).

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    ICT_GUY (11th February 2009)

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    I've generally found that turning SATA native mode on in the bios they ghost ok.

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    sdc
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    Thanks for the response; as we've invested a fair bit of money and time in Ghost, we'd rather not change just yet - if we can make this work somehow, that would be better. As for the drivers, we've tried that too - made custom boot USB sticks/CDs, and no progress. Ghost tends to just crash out when trying to load the network drivers - or, having attached to the network and obtained an IP, being unable to see the SATA hard disk! (Oh, and there's no BIOS switch to put the SATA drive into IDE mode...)

    Phoned Symantec support, who say to call the hardware vendors. Called HP, who told me to phone Symantec....... hmm...

    Stephen

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    You could pxe boot a winpe image and run ghost32 from that. you would need to inject any appropriate storage & noc drivers into the winpe boot image.

    It might be worth checking out this thread http://www.edugeek.net/forums/window...5s-laptop.html
    Last edited by PeterW; 11th February 2009 at 01:36 PM.

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    if you insist on Ghost, another vote for PXE.

    But imho Ghost is long past it. I have 1 image which works for every single computer we own, and infact any computer in the world (assuming it uses relatively common devices). Having 1 image means any computer, in any room, can be moved to any other room and within an hour be up and running with all the software needed in that room; ie i have no restrictions on where old IT suit computers get "handed down" to, & i can use any old banger as a spare/replacement for any room.
    RIS/WDS legacy, with driverpacks.net and AutoImage. Ive also found it 100x more reliable than Ghost.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 11th February 2009 at 01:48 PM.

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    bart pe

    have you tried making your own custom 'bartpe' boot cd, you can add whatever drivers you like/need to the cd image, and if you keep thing to a minimum you can make it boot really fast.
    thats how i use ghost, nas-images and a boot cd, works well for me.

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    We have one set of machines (yes, the newer ones), that the USB bootdisks that we use, don't recognise the netcards.
    We found that the only easy way to image the drives, is to have a USB disk (which I have made bootable, using windows 98), which I can then image onto the machine. It's really slow, and I blame on the USB, I _think_ it is because they only work as USB1 (or USB1.1), but never as USB2 speeds.

    I have no idea what to do about it, other than getting more disks, so I can do more at the same time. When we did the whole room, we had half a dozen of the realtek netcards (which work), and took them around the room, swapping them in and out when we imaged them and working around the room.

    I have thought that another way to solve it is to get hold of (10 or 20) USB network card, that we know works with the USB bootdisks.

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    We use NetBootDisk.com - The Universal TCP/IP Network Bootdisk for M$ Networks to build a CD that can create a network connection in DOS, then stick the Ghost.exe onto the CD and have a fully network ready Ghost CD

    The Ghostcast server is a early Pentium 4 XP box and works like a charm!

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    sdc
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    Thanks for the above suggestions; we have tried a number of these ideas but with limited success mainly due to the fact that there's no way of getting the laptop's BIOS to turn off SATA native mode (or similar option).

    So, having fixed the first first problem - e.g. getting a DOS-based network connection - we ran into the second problem, which I don't think there's a way around at preset: Ghost won't "see" the hard disk!

    Hence the idea to remove the hard disk and Ghost the image onto it some other way. I suspect the slowness may be due to the USB speeds referred to in User3204's post above.

    Ah well, we'll keep trying...!

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    Removing the hard disk sounds like a lot of work, I'm sure the latest version of Ghost solution suite will build a windows pe based boot image which would get round your problems.
    Last edited by PeterW; 12th February 2009 at 09:50 AM.

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    sdc
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    I agree - up until recently, we had created one bootable USB stick which worked for any machine/laptop we have encountered, meaning we could Ghost easily (plus run diagnostics, utilities etc). Simplicity is what we were aiming for!

    I'll have another go at the Windows PE image; I did try it but can't remember why it didn't work before - even though we have the latest version of Ghost Solution Suite.

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    I'll have another go at the Windows PE image; I did try it but can't remember why it didn't work before - even though we have the latest version of Ghost Solution Suite.
    You may need to inject the latest nic and storage drivers into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
    You may need to inject the latest nic and storage drivers into it.
    Would you be able to point me in the direction of some info on this, please? My experience with Windows PE is minimal - is there, for example, a generic SATA driver I'd need to include with it?

    Thanks!

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    Use the Windows AIK which will give you a Vista SP1/2008 wim image that you can use via WDS or put on a cd.

    This will include native SATA drivers for most controllers and give you a 32bit command prompt to run ghost from at full speed.

    Here are the instructions on adding drivers (which needs the aik anyway):
    HOW TO: inject drivers into Microsoft's free OS, Windows PE 2.0

    While your at it you might want to look at imagex and WIM imaging as it is really quite good and free to. You may have invested a lot in ghost but now that dos drivers are harder to find it may become a question of how much extra time it is costing you now rather than how much you paid then.

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    sdc (12th February 2009)

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