My computer is fuxx0red.

Ok, so I have this trial of Norton Ghost 9, you see? And I use it to make an image of my C: drive on my big fat external HD, then reformat my laptop hard drive (I originally wanted 3 partitions, but I changed my mind. I reformatted so that I could have just one big partition.)

So the reformat goes OK, and I have one big partition on my laptop drive. I go to restore the image I made with Ghost, but I can’t do it without a recovery disc. Wait, WTF? I’ve got a useless image on my external HD. How can I restore this image? Anyone?

I assume you have nothing to boot from. I suggest you reinstall Windows, Norton then run Ghost and recover the backup set. I use Ghost myself and have never had any problem recovering but I always ran the recovery from the hard drive not a recovery disk.

No, I’m booting from my hard drive. Ghost tells me that I have to have the CD to restore, though.

I prefer to do all Ghost stuff from a command line prompt.

As long as you have access to another machine, you should be fine.
Make yourself a boot disk – I use Bart’s Network Boot Disk since I like to keep my Ghost images on a network drive. (You don’t need to use the network part.)

If you wish, you can even do the Ghost stuff using a Win98 boot disk. Just find someone’s machine with Win98 and create a boot disk.

You can then use Ghost in command-line mode to perform the restore operation. Just run “ghost.exe” from your Ghost CD and use the menus to select your source file and your target partition.

Be extra special careful when you are selecting your target partition – you don’t want to accidentially wipe out the good partition with the data.

Here’s a good place for info on Ghost.
If you have any questions about the details, post exact info about messages/errors and the like and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

More info…

I just verified that my own Ghost CD (Ghost 2003) is a bootable CD, so even if you don’t have a boot disk available, you should be able to pop in the Ghost CD itself and boot your machine up in PC-DOS where you can run the command-line Ghost program (ghost.exe). You may need to do a little poking around to find where this file is on your own CD.

One question: Did you put your image file on an NTFS volume?

The problem is that I don’t have a Ghost CD. I also didn’t have the drivers disc that came with my wireless card, which made it a huge hassle to install some other software, so that I could use the HomePNA connection to download those drivers. That, and DOS, apparently, doesn’t handle USB drives, which is where the image is. This reformat is plagued with missing objects.

Thankfully, I haven’t lost anything important, and I’m just going to reinstall all of the programs and such that I had before.

Also, even though I can browse the image through the backup image browser, I don’t have sufficient privileges to access the “My Documents” from the image. Growl.

I take it your laptop doesn’t have a floppy?

You said that you’ve only got a trial copy of Norton Ghost. Perhaps it limits what you can do with the program?

I would look into how to access USB devices from a boot disk: here’s the first place I found in my search. (Again, I hope you have access to another machine to do all of the boot disk creation stuff.)

Another option is to use a good network boot disk (like the one I linked to above) and plug your HD into another machine on your network and share the drive over the network. This was my choice and it worked fine, though I didn’t use the wireless network for this, I ran a wire to my router. If you have a router and second machine available, this might be your easiest option.

Anyway, regardless of what your Ghost stuff came on, you should be able to make do with just “ghost.exe”