Using Ghost to create a restore CD

I have never done this but I am thinking of creating a restore CD set so I could restore the computer to where it was at a given moment in time. I have Ghost and the documetation but I am quite confused. Let’s see if I got something right:

1 - I need a bootable floppy to start up the computer and run Ghost from. Ok, I understand that and I have already done it.

2 - I need the image of the partition and this would be a single .GHO file spanning several CDRs. How do I get this? I can only see the option of creating the image on another drive. I believe I need to use Ghost under DOS so I can create the image while the partition is not being used and then I can go into windows and copy this huge file onto several CDRs? OK, I have a spare drive where I could create the ghost image which would be several GB in size. Now, how do I get that to span several CDs? Or am I doing it all wrong? Can it be done directly to CD? If I can get the image file to span several CDRs then I guess I could do the same with some movies I have which are over 800 MB?

Yes, in newer versions of Ghost (2003 for sure and I think 2002) you can burn backups directly to CD.

If you’re using an earlier version (or you want to burn it to CD later rather than directly) you can use the -SPLIT=XXX switch to break the image into filesizes of your choice (i.e. -SPLIT=690 would create spans 690MB in size). From the comand-line just type A:\GHOST.EXE -SPLIT=690.

Ghost has ooodles of cool command-line switches - you should read up on them. On my old proxy server I made my own restore cd that had this line in the autoexec file:

a:\ghost.exe -clone,mode=pload,src=x:\proxy.gho,dst=1:1, -rb -sure

The -rb switch tells Ghost to automatically reboot after it’s done while the -sure switch supresses all user input.

The latest version of Power Quest’s Drive Image program does all the CD spanning for you, complete with decent compression to minimise the amount of CDs you need. It will even make the first CD bootable so you don’t have to bother with a floppy boot disk.

I haven’t used Ghost for a while but I’m pretty sure they’d be up to speed since they are the market leaders.

Are you using the latest version? It may be worth checking Symantec’s home page to check. There is a shockwave tutorial on there (under Ghost 2003’s product info page) called “How to create and restore an image using CD-R/RW or DVD” that is probably worth checking out. I would download and check it for you but it is over 5meg and I’m on a slow dial up.

If that doesn’t have the options, it might be limited to their corporate version, but it would seem stupid.

Do they do it on dvds too? that would be more practical for me.

I am confused because when I start Ghost I get a window interface with boxes to select and nowhere is the option to limit file size etc. I have version 7 on this computer and version 5.1 on another one and they are slightly different but basically the same concept. I hate the idea of having to temporarily install another drive just to temporarily save the image file. On the other hand, unless I do it from DOS, the partition is changing and that would mess things up?

Hmmm… I just replaced my PC with a new, homemade PC (don’t worry, still use my Macs more than anything :)), and it’s taking forever to install everything from scratch (wanted to do it clean). Also, I finally caught up with my Macs’ technology wise and did NOT install a floppy drive (Win2K and XP and most Linices boot right from CD now). Also, my PC drives are NTFS.

So, considering this, will one of these work for me?

Also read about System Restore, here is a quote:
“By default, System Restore monitors and restores all partitions and drives on your computer. It also monitors all installations of applications or drivers that users perform through delivery mechanisms such as CD-ROM or floppy disk.”

sailor, if you have a cdwriter, you probably have Nero, Nero has the option to backup your HD to cds. If your nero doesn’t, then get the latest Nero from, its free if you own Nero.