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Old November 22nd, 2009 Top | #1
 
roirraW "edor" ehT's Avatar
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Default Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

I recently was trying to find a satisfactory backup solution for Windows 7 which also supported the ATI RAID chipset. The easiest way it would do that would be to use Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), which would use the same Windows drivers. Windows 7's built-in backup is satisfactory but slow and once in a while occasionally fails to perform a backup for no good reason. Not only that but you can't describe the backups (example: "Before installing Office 2010"). It's simple and functional, but I wanted something a little fancier.

I am a longtime fan of Acronis products, but I tried both Acronis True Image Backup and Recovery, and True Image 2010 under Windows 7, and although I liked things about both of them, especially Backup and Recovery (not having to go through a wizard to change one backup setting), I couldn't get either one of them to work consistently.

True Image has always had quirks, but the tradeoff was acceptable in the past. Also, neither True Image emergency disc supported my RAID even though the hardly updated Acronis Disk Director v10, both builds 2160 and the "new" build 2239 BOTH recognize my RAID drives when loaded from the emergency disc.

True Image has a BartPE plugin, and a way of adding itself to a Windows PE disc, but I don't want to fool with BartPE or Windows PE 1.x any more, I want Windows PE 3.x (based on Windows 7), or at least 2.x (based on Vista) Try as I might it was too technical to try to integrate both True Image and the RAID driver into a Windows PE 2.x disc, and even the new True Images don't support Windows PE 3.x yet.

When doing this research I had found information that Symantec was working on Norton Ghost v15. I had tried v14 under Windows 7 but it says it has compatibility issues right from the getgo, and even though I could find a way to force it, I'd rather wait for the full compatibility.

Just days after I find that v15 has been released. I hadn't tried Norton Ghost since v9 or 10. I am highly impressed by version 15.

Some features that are new to me were incorporated into v12 through v14 but there is one major new feature, the ability to backup from Norton Ghost's recovery CD (which uses Windows PE 2.x, I suspect 2.1 or 2.2 but could be wrong). Previously you couldn't do backups from the recovery CD.

Some of the not completely new features I love are the ability to customize a recovery CD. Norton Ghost scans your Windows installation and automatically offers to add any relevant drivers (storage/RAID, networking) to a customized ISO. You can have it burn directly to disc, create an ISO, or both. It will only use 32-bit drivers so if you are running 64-bit Windows, then you'll have to manually direct it to 32-bit drivers.

You can, of course, also manually load drivers from the recovery CD, from a flash drive for instance.

You can also add the customized recovery environment to the Windows boot menu, for much quicker and convenient loading than from a CD. In my tests, this worked great both in VMWare Workstation under Windows 7 Ultimate x64, and under Windows 7 Ultimate x86 on a real computer. For some reason on my own computer, this recovery environment never shows up in my Windows boot menu (I have three Windows installations currently listed, Windows 7 Ultimate x86 RTM, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 build 7100, and Windows Vista). I don't know what caused this glitch but it appears to be the exception, not the rule, so I'm not that concerned, and maybe they'll find a bug that's causing this and fix it.

Ghost v15 is slower at incremental backups than Acronis True Image, but the pros outweigh the cons since it appears to perform consistently at least.

Norton Ghost v15 acts very robust and I believe I saw on their website that it's only $60 which I consider very reasonable for software of this power. It has a 60-day fully functional trial. Note that customizing a recovery CD requires that you have the original recovery CD in the first place (unlike True Image). This probably helps discourage piracy.


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Old November 23rd, 2009 Top | #2
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Originally Posted by roirraW "edor" ehT View Post
For some reason on my own computer, this recovery environment never shows up in my Windows boot menu (I have three Windows installations currently listed, Windows 7 Ultimate x86 RTM, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 build 7100, and Windows Vista). I don't know what caused this glitch but it appears to be the exception, not the rule, so I'm not that concerned, and maybe they'll find a bug that's causing this and fix it.
It is because your boot loader entry (Identifier) for the recovery is not pointing to the correct recovery entry (Identifier).

From command prompt type: bcdedit /enum all

Copy the whole list to a text file then find your error.
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Old November 23rd, 2009 Top | #3
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Thanks, AZ. I don't even see the entries for the Symantec LightsOut Restore option. I see two sets of WinPE entries, but it appears to me that they are just the entries necessary for either Windows 7 installation to run the "Windows Recovery Environment" if Windows 7 fails to load or you press F8 from the boot menu while selecting a Windows 7 installation.

Do you agree with this assessment?

FYI I tried both Windows 7 and Windows Vista Startup Repair from the original installation media. Also, I disconnected the PATA drives because I remembered that if I leave them connected then Startup Repair never finds my Vista or 7 installations even though the boot order is correct in the BIOS. This seems to be at least semi-common as I've had this problem when using SATA/RAID for my boot drives on a total of five or more computers of my own and other people's I've worked on. I also tried leaving them disconnected while trying to enable the LightsOut Restore option in Norton Ghost, and still no go, then another Startup Repair and still no go once more.

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
path \bootmgr
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {6ceb54d2-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
displayorder {current}
{3bd0daf8-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
{3bd0daf9-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 5

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0daf7-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
osdevice unknown
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {6c030d71-cd70-11de-a2b6-806e6f6e6963}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0daf8-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate x64 7100
locale en-US
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8160642d-cd7f-11de-89b2-806e6f6e6963}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0daf9-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume4
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
osdevice partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume4
systemroot \Windows

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0dafa-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0dafc-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
device ramdisk=[D:]\Recovery\6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\Winre.wim,{3bd0dafd-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
path \windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Recovery Environment (recovered)
locale
osdevice ramdisk=[D:]\Recovery\6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\Winre.wim,{3bd0dafd-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
systemroot \windows
winpe Yes

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate x86 20091013
locale en-US
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {184c2b31-cd89-11de-9084-806e6f6e6963}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {3bd0daff-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
device ramdisk=[C:]\Recovery\6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\Winre.wim,{3bd0db00-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
path \windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Recovery Environment (recovered)
locale
osdevice ramdisk=[C:]\Recovery\6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\Winre.wim,{3bd0db00-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
systemroot \windows
winpe Yes

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54c3-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 7100 #2 x64 20090517
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice unknown
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {6ceb54c2-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
nx OptIn

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54c8-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54cb-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
osdevice unknown
systemroot \Windows

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54cc-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54ce-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54d3-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 RTM x86 20091013
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice unknown
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {6ceb54d2-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
nx OptIn

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {b0b124f3-41a5-11de-a127-e82e07da7089}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows Vista
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
osdevice unknown
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {b0b124f4-41a5-11de-a127-e82e07da7089}
nx OptIn

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {184c2b31-cd89-11de-9084-806e6f6e6963}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice partition=C:
filepath \hiberfil.sys
pae Yes
debugoptionenabled No

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {6c030d71-cd70-11de-a2b6-806e6f6e6963}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice unknown
filepath \hiberfil.sys
pae Yes
debugoptionenabled No

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {6ceb54c2-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows Resume Application
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice unknown
filepath \hiberfil.sys
debugoptionenabled No

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {6ceb54d2-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows Resume Application
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice unknown
filepath \hiberfil.sys
pae Yes
debugoptionenabled No

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {8160642d-cd7f-11de-89b2-806e6f6e6963}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice partition=D:
filepath \hiberfil.sys
debugoptionenabled No

Resume from Hibernate
---------------------
identifier {b0b124f4-41a5-11de-a127-e82e07da7089}
device unknown
path \Windows\system32\winresume.exe
description Windows Resume Application
locale en-US
inherit {resumeloadersettings}
filedevice unknown
filepath \hiberfil.sys
debugoptionenabled No

Windows Memory Tester
---------------------
identifier {memdiag}
device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
path \boot\memtest.exe
description Windows Memory Diagnostic
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
badmemoryaccess Yes

EMS Settings
------------
identifier {emssettings}
bootems Yes

Debugger Settings
-----------------
identifier {dbgsettings}
debugtype Serial
debugport 1
baudrate 115200

RAM Defects
-----------
identifier {badmemory}

Global Settings
---------------
identifier {globalsettings}
inherit {dbgsettings}
{emssettings}
{badmemory}

Boot Loader Settings
--------------------
identifier {bootloadersettings}
inherit {globalsettings}
{hypervisorsettings}

Hypervisor Settings
-------------------
identifier {hypervisorsettings}
hypervisordebugtype Serial
hypervisordebugport 1
hypervisorbaudrate 115200

Resume Loader Settings
----------------------
identifier {resumeloadersettings}
inherit {globalsettings}

Device options
--------------
identifier {3bd0dafb-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
ramdisksdidevice unknown
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi

Device options
--------------
identifier {3bd0dafd-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
ramdisksdidevice partition=D:
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi

Device options
--------------
identifier {3bd0db00-cd89-11de-bfac-892aec669f25}
ramdisksdidevice partition=C:
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi

Device options
--------------
identifier {6ceb54c5-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
description Ramdisk Options
ramdisksdidevice unknown
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi

Device options
--------------
identifier {6ceb54cd-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
ramdisksdidevice unknown
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54c4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi

Device options
--------------
identifier {6ceb54d5-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c}
description Ramdisk Options
ramdisksdidevice unknown
ramdisksdipath \Recovery\6ceb54d4-410e-11de-9828-df2d0534a53c\boot.sdi


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Old November 23rd, 2009 Top | #4
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

I don't know about Norton but these may cause recovery not to work and there are many of them.
Maybe because of Norton?

ramdisksdidevice unknown

Should be pointing to your recovery partition (recovery folder is hidden in the root of the drive partition:

(example) ramdisksdidevice partition=C:

There is also this:

filedevice unknown

Should be pointing to a partition like ramdisksdidevice is.

I have a feeling you have done a recovery from the DVD cause Windows would not boot?

Reason I say this is I see (recovered) entries.

This can mess up the boot loader as new entries are created to boot from but may not all point to the recovery entries.

You can also end up with bad entries in system protection.

(driveletter:\missing)

First thing I did after installing Windows was make a copy of the BCD so if anything happened I could just import the copy and Windows is like new again without using auto fix recovery.

bcdedit /export drive:\whatevernameyouwant

If you need to put that copy back in:
bcdedit /import drive:\whatevernameyouwant

Anyway, you should not have any unknown in there.
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Old November 23rd, 2009 Top | #5
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

I fixed the problem without really resolving the bad entries in the BCD. The perfectionist in me may lead me to weed out the bad entries someday. I used NeoSmart's EasyBCD and manually added the Symantec entry and pointed it to the C:\SRD\Sources\Boot.WIM file as a WinPE entry, and all is working perfectly. I actually used the latest beta v2.0 build 76 available from their forum.

I was already a fan of NeoSmart's EasyBCD and iReboot, but I was nervous about trying to force it to work. It worked on the first try without me consulting any manual or other help. I did look at the BCD in VMWare Workstation where the Symantec LightsOut Restore worked perfectly, to compare the entries after I manually added the entry on my real computer with EasyBCD.

Thanks for your help AZ! Enjoy the added rep for guiding me down the right path!


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Old November 23rd, 2009 Top | #6
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

FYI you are basically correct. I hadn't used the Windows recovery, but I did use Acronis (loaded from my old Windows 7 installation) to restore a backup of my current Windows 7 installation. I've found that the first time I use Acronis to restore a particular Windows Vista or 7 partition, I always end up needing to perform a Startup Repair. Subsequent Acronis restores to the same installation don't need this so it must change something the first time you restore a partition that Vista and 7 don't like.


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Old November 24th, 2009 Top | #7
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

I don't use EasyBCD, VistaBootPro or any program like them as I know how to use bcdedit from command prompt.
Pretty easy once you know what to do and for me there is less chance of messing up your ID's.

EasyBCD creates new ID's so that is most likely why you have unknown entries as they are no longer valid. But, EasyBCD will not point the new entries to your recovery ID's which are most likely still the old (now invalid) ID's in the bcd file.

Here is some good info on using bcdedit.

BCDEDIT - How to Use - Windows 7 Forums
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Old November 24th, 2009 Top | #8
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

This was the first time I used EasyBCD to actually create a new entry. In the past the only things I used EasyBCD to do was to rename and reorder the entries, and occasionally change which entry is the default and the countdown timer. There are other ways to do these things but it's just so quick and convenient.

I'm not against using the command prompt, I do so all the time but I never had enough motivation to learn how to use BCDEdit. Thanks for the link and I'll check it out!


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Old November 24th, 2009 Top | #9
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Oh, another piece of information I forgot about. Actually the hidden boot partition on this computer was originally from either another computer or a virtual computer's Windows 7 installation.

The reason for this is that, in the "good" ol' days of when I had multiple Windows XP installations on the same computer, I had a dedicated 512MB partition for XP's boot menu. The reason I left it that large was since some applications force use the C: partition for extracting temporary files (ATI and nVidia drivers...). I continued using it like this when Vista came along.

Since I don't intend on going back to XP and for aesthetic reasons, I wanted to change my existing boot partition into Windows 7's style of the small 100MB hidden partition. Less chance of the boot information getting corrupted that way too. At the time I wasn't prepared to start with a brand new unpartitioned hard drive, so the easiest alternative I came up with was to copy Windows 7's hidden system partition to my computer (probably did it using Acronis True Image to make a backup, and then a restore) and add the remaining amount of unused space to one of my other partitions.

So this would be at least part of the reason why there are incorrect entries in the BCD. I don't know if any of them are also the result of the aforementioned uses of Acronis True Image to restore backups, and then having to use Startup Repair as I described before.


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Gigabyte motherboard MA790X-UD4P
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Old December 2nd, 2009 Top | #10
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

I just use the windows 7 image back up it has built into it .. .


Load "*",8,1 ...
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Old December 2nd, 2009 Top | #11
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
I just use the windows 7 image back up it has built into it .. .
Yep, me too.

Made it easier for myself to backup as I picked up an Antec drive dock.

Antec Easy SATA

I can install or remove a drive as fast as putting in a DVD.
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Old December 3rd, 2009 Top | #12
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Originally Posted by American Zombie View Post
Yep, me too.

Made it easier for myself to backup as I picked up an Antec drive dock.

Antec Easy SATA

I can install or remove a drive as fast as putting in a DVD.
I am going to look into that. It looks really cool ...


Load "*",8,1 ...
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Old December 25th, 2009 Top | #13
 
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Default Re: Norton Ghost v15.0 (Acronis True Image rant AND review of the new Ghost)

Does it backup Linux OS?

Thanks

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