How To Create A Bootable Ghost Rescue CD Tutorial
Note: The here mentioned instructions only apply to Norton/Symantec Ghost up to version 2003 or 8. The later versions 9 and 10 are completely different programs which cannot be used for this tutorial. If you are using version 9 or later, try to get your hands on an earlier version (preferable 2003 or 8.x) because these are much better in my opinion.
This tutorial does not cover the creation of a Ghost image. Norton Ghost's
manual is excellent so it shouldn't be much of a problem. A few tips though:
launch Ghost in full DOS mode (not a DOS window) with following command line:
- ghost.exe -split=640 -autoname
Or for Ghost 6.5 and later:
- ghost.exe -split=640
The -split=640 parameter will split up images in parts when the size
exceeds 640 MB. This way you get multiple 640 MB images which all fit on a
CD-R disc. Use High compression when Ghost asks for it. This will make the
images about 1/3th smaller.
A good Ghost tutorial can be found at Radified.com - http://radified.com/Ghost/ghost_1.htm
Once the image is created you can write it to CD and use a bootdisk to
restore it when needed... But it can also a lot more professional. What about
a CD that boots itself and restores the Ghost image after a single click on
the Yes button or even 100% automated.
This isn't very hard to do. All you need is a bootdisk which can boot your
computer with CD-ROM support. Edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT so it will launch Ghost
and restore the wanted image. Programs like Nero and WinOnCD use this floppy
to create a boot image for the bootable CD. But this isn't perfect... Assume
that your CD-ROM is D:. What if you buy another harddisk? The partitions on
this disk will make the CD-ROM's drive letter move further down the alphabet.
You could fix that by assigning Z: as your CD-ROM, but most readers of this
page have at least 2 CD-ROMs in their computer (a CD-ROM and a writer) thus
the rescue CD would only work in one of both CD-ROMs.
How can it be done than? "Something" needs to check the CD-ROM
stations to see in which station the rescue CD is. This sounds easier than it
is. Analyzing the bootable Win 98 CD I noticed that the little program
FINDCD.EXE returns the CD drive where the Win 98 disc is put in. I
reverse-engineered it to make it work with my own bootable CDs and that became
Creating the boot image
After this small introduction it's time for the real work. You'll need to
download the boot image:
New: In the above archive is now also a file called bootimage.ima. You can open and edit it with a program like WinImage. This way you don't need a floppy drive. This may come in handy for people using a computer without a floppy drive.
While the download is busy get yourself a 1.44 MB floppy. You don't need to
format it. When the download is done, just run bootdisk.exe.
Insert the floppy and click "OK".
Unless you still need the data on the floppy press "Yes" to
Please wait while the disk is being formatted and written to. After this
completed you have a bootdisk. In Explorer its contents should be:
Some files like (IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS) may be hidden and thus invisible for
you in explorer.
By default this disk is able to boot with support for all standard IDE
CD-ROMs (I haven't found one yet that doesn't work) and most of Adaptec's SCSI
controllers (and all attached CD-ROMs). Other SCSI cards like the Diamond
FirePort series, Tekram series,... are not supported and will need manual
editing of the bootdisk.
Start Windows Notepad and open the file CONFIG.SYS
menuitem=SUCD, Boot computer with support for CD-ROM.
menuitem=NOCD, Boot computer without support for CD-ROM.
menuitem=GHOST, Restore partition/drive with Ghost.
install=mode.com con cp prepare=((437) ega.cpi)
install=mode.com con cp select=437
Let's look at some important lines in this file:
This is the default IDE CD-ROM driver.
The first 4 lines load various Adaptec SCSI card drivers (including the
29xx series) and the last line is the generic Adaptec SCSI CD-ROM driver which
works with all standard SCSI CD-ROM drives.
If you have a non Adaptec SCSI controller you will have to download the
manufacturer's DOS drivers for that card and edit the CONFIG.SYS. You can
delete following files on the bootdisk to free space for the new drivers.
The 5 lines in the CONFIG.SYS which load the Adaptec SCSI drivers can be
replaced by following 2 lines:
Where xxxxx.sys is the SCSI card driver and yyyyy.sys the CD-ROM driver
from your SCSI card's manufacturer. Don't forget to copy the drivers to the
floppy disk too!
At the end of the CONFIG.SYS you'll notice following lines:
install=mode.com con cp prepare=((437) ega.cpi)
install=mode.com con cp select=437
If you live in the US or are used to a US keyboard don't change these
lines: It are regional settings. If you need another keyboard layout use the
table below and change the codes in the CONFIG.SYS to reflect your regional
|Dutch (The Netherlands)
|Spanish (Latin America)
When all that is done, the bootdisk should be ready. Before making an image
of it, test the disk! Reboot the computer with the bootdisk in the floppy
drive. Make sure you have set the boot order in you BIOS so that it will boot
from floppy. Boot order A:, C: or something like that will do the trick.
A boot menu will show up, choose "Boot computer with support for CD-ROM.".
If everything goes right you should get following error message "DetectCD was unable to determine the CD-ROM drive letter.".
Don't panic, that's normal... After all the correct detectable CD (the Ghost
rescue CD) isn't even burnt yet :)
The point is that you don't get any other error messages. Check if the
CD-ROM is working correctly. If you have multiple CD-ROM devices or writers,
make sure you can read CDs from all drives! It would be stupid to burn a bootable CD and find
out that it doesn't work because of wrong drivers or a type mismatch. If you
get error messages you will have to fix these first.
Now we have a working bootdisk it's time to figure out the correct settings
to make Ghost restore the image. Download GHOST.BAT:
Extract the zip file to a temporary folder. Start Notepad and open the just
extracted GHOST.BAT. It looks like:
What exactly does this line do? -clone,MODE=pload,
sets Ghost in restore partition mode. SRC=%CDROM%\IMAGE.GHO:1,
points to the location of the image on the CD-ROM. Do NOT remove or
change %CDROM%. If the image is called "BACKUP.GHO" and it's placed
in the /IMAGES folder on the CD it would look like SRC=%CDROM%\IMAGES\BACKUP.GHO.
The :1 means
partition 1 from the image file. Image files can contain multiple partitions. DST=1:1
means harddisk 1, partition 1. In other words, C:.
Thus the above line starts ghost and restores the ghosted partition
IMAGE.GHO located in the root of the CD-ROM, to the C: after clicking
"Yes". You can even go a step further and use
Now Ghost supresses the "Are you sure you want to continue"
message and restores fully automatic. Note that this does not work for the
personal edition of Ghost (ghostpe.exe).
For more detailed command line parameters see Appendix A of the Ghost
Double check the line to make sure it contains no errors. After it's burnt
to CD there's no way of editing it anymore. Save the file.
Burning the Bootable Ghost Rescue CD
I'll use Nero here to explain what to do because it's about the most used
software, but it's very similar with other CD-R software. Launch Nero and
choose "CD-ROM (Boot)" from the "New Compilation" window.
If Nero starts with the Wizard, close the Wizard and choose "New..."
from the "File" menu.
On the "Boot" tab select "Bootable logical drive (must fit
on the CD)" under "Source of boot image data". In the drop down
box select "A:\ 2 MB". Click the "New" button
Now drag & drop "GHOST.BAT", the Ghost executable
"GHOST.EXE" (no other files are needed to make Ghost work) and the
image itself, in the above example "IMAGE.GHO". If your image exists
out of more images (due to the -split parameter), only put the first part on
this CD and put the other parts on the next CDs (which don't need to be
bootable). On restore Ghost will ask to insert the next CD.
Note that "GHOST.BAT" and "GHOST.EXE" MUST be in the
root of the CD. Otherwise DETECTCD.EXE can not identify the CD. Make sure the
Ghost executable is called "GHOST.EXE". If you have the Ghost Personal
Edition your executable is called "GHOSTPE.EXE". You MUST rename the
file to "GHOST.EXE".
Since this bootable Rescue CD is also usable as bootdisk (you can choose
from 3 boot methods; "Boot computer with support for CD-ROM.",
"Boot computer without support for CD-ROM." and "Restore partition/drive with Ghost.")
you may want to add other files too, like tools you often use in DOS. By
default following DOS tools are incuded on the bootdisk:
If you are satisfied with the contents of the CD it's time to burn... From
the "File" menu choose "Write CD..."
Check the settings and hit "Write" when ready. Make sure the
bootdisk is still in the floppy and a blank CD-R loader in the writer. It will
take a while before the write actually starts because the bootdisk is read
And then Nero is burning the bootable Ghost Rescue CD! To use/test the CD
make sure you set the boot order in your system's BIOS that the system will
boot from CD-ROM if a bootable CD is found in one of the CD-ROM drives. Set it
to "CDROM, C:" or whatever your BIOS supports for booting from
CD-ROM... If you have a SCSI CD-ROM make sure your SCSI BIOS is set to boot
from the CD-ROM (if it supports that feature) and possibly you must set the
motherboard's BIOS to "SCSI, C:" or something similar.
That's it. If you followed all instructions correctly the bootable CD
should work fine.
Special thanks to Susan (SUSAN813) for the English versions of the files
and Howard (HWILLUK) for the mouse driver!