Using Symantec Norton Ghost 2003 for Image Backup, Restore, and System Recovery

20 July 2010

Technology

Technology > Resources

Summary. Symantec (Norton) Ghost 2003 is a utility program that makes it possible to create a complete system image that can be restored later (to the same computer) in the event of a hard drive crash. The backup includes data files, as well as the operating system, programs, and settings. The Ghost 2003 Version CD is included with versions as late as Norton Ghost 2009.

Hard Drive Compatibility. The Ghost program works well with most older computers manufactured prior to 2009. However, it needs to access the internal hard drive and an external hard drive to work properly. Some newer SATA internal hard drives and some external larger capacity USB drives aren’t recognized by Ghost. In such circumstances, use Acronis True Image Home 2010.

System Backup. Follow these steps to create a system image backup.

  1. Insert CD. Be sure to have a compatible external USB hard drive attached with sufficient storage space to create a backup. Place the Norton Ghost 2003 System CD into the CD tray prior to starting the computer but don’t insert the CD tray into the computer yet. Turn off (shut down) the computer, then close (push in) the CD tray.
  2. Start the computer. You will want to startup the computer with the Ghost program instead of Windows. Some computers are set to look for an operating system in the CD drive before checking for an operating system on the hard drive. This is configured in the BIOS setup. For Dell computers, press F12 at startup for a boot menu and choose the CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive.
  3. Press any key. When the computer starts from the Norton Ghost CD, press any key when prompted to start using PC DOS (the disk operating system used by Ghost).
  4. Select USB2. The next menu will have a list of options. Choose option #4 (USB2) if your system supports it (or USB1 if  you don’t have USB2). This will automatically include the CD ROM device drivers as well (so you can keep working with the CD after starting up). It is normal at this point to see error messages while starting because some of the CD ROM drivers may not be compatible with your computer. The very first message that appears, however, should indicate that the external hard drive was found.
  5. Start Ghost. Once startup has completed, you should be at the A: prompt. Type C: and press Enter (or in some cases you may need to type D: and press Enter). Then type “cd support” (without quotes) then press Enter. Then type ghost and press Enter. This will start the Ghost program.
    1. As an alternative, if you wish to backup to CD or DVD, at the A: prompt, type C: and press Enter (or in some cases you may need to type D: and press Enter). Then type “cd support” (without quotes) then press Enter. Then type the command ghost -bootcd -ghostoncd -z2 (This will allow you to backup to CDs or DVDs and will also put the ghost program on that media for future restores. The z2 ensures a relatively fast backup with some compression of data).
  6. Make Drive Compatible. If you are using a new hard drive for your image backup, you will be prompted to make the drive compatible with Ghost. This only happens the first time. Confirm to make the drive compatible, then Click Ok at the About Norton Ghost startup window.
  7. Start Backup. From the program menu, choose Local > Disk > To Image. Be sure not to choose the “To Disk” option because this would completely overwrite whatever drive you are backing the image up to.
    1. Select Source. On the “Select local source drive” menu, the source drive should be automatically selected and highlighted, so click the OK button.
    2. Select Target. On the “File name to copy image to” menu, the external drive should be selected. You may need to click on the drop down menu and specifically select the drive even though it is showing up as the selected drive. If you don’t do this, the process will halt with a non-desrcript error just after starting your backup. Once you’ve selected the external drive, give your image a unique name in the space provided below. Click Save. For Compress Image, choose Fast. Click Yes to proceed.
  8. Finish. When done, shutdown and remove the external drive.

Video Instructions. Below are videos that demonstrate the use of Norton Ghost.

Backup to CD or DVD

Restore From CD or DVD

Backup to Hard Drive (Example #1)

Backup to Hard Drive (Example #2)

Restore From Hard Drive (Example #2)

System Restore. A system restore using Ghost will completely erase everything on your computer and replace it with the backup image you are restoring. Follow these steps to restore from a system image backup.

  1. Insert CD. Be sure to have a compatible external USB hard drive attached with sufficient storage space to create a backup. Place the Norton Ghost 2003 System CD into the CD tray prior to starting the computer but don’t insert the CD tray into the computer yet. Turn off (shut down) the computer, then close (push in) the CD tray.
  2. Start the computer. You will want to startup the computer with the Ghost program instead of Windows. Some computers are set to look for an operating system in the CD drive before checking for an operating system on the hard drive. This is configured in the BIOS setup. For Dell computers, press F12 at startup for a boot menu and choose the CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive.
  3. Press any key. When the computer starts from the Norton Ghost CD, press any key when prompted to start using PC DOS (the disk operating system used by Ghost).
  4. Select USB2. The next menu will have a list of options. Choose option #4 (USB2) if your system supports it (or USB1 if  you don’t have USB2). This will automatically include the CD ROM device drivers as well (so you can keep working with the CD after starting up). It is normal at this point to see error messages while starting because some of the CD ROM drivers may not be compatible with your computer. The very first message that appears, however, should indicate that the external hard drive was found.
  5. Start Ghost. Once startup has completed, you should be at the A: prompt. Type C: and press Enter (or in some cases you may need to type D: and press Enter). Then type “cd support” (without quotes) then press Enter. Then type ghost and press Enter. This will start the Ghost program.
    1. Make Drive Compatible. If you are using a new hard drive for your image backup, you will be prompted to make the drive compatible with Ghost. This only happens the first time. Confirm to make the drive compatible, then Click Ok at the About Norton Ghost startup window.
  6. Start Restore. From the program menu, choose Local > Disk > From Image, and follow the prompts. Accept the default destination, and accept the default settings for partitioning and drive size. Click Yes to continue.
  7. Finish. When done, follow the prompts on screen to shutdown or restart and remove the external backup drive.

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Document History. This document was first published on 20080328at1407. It was revised on 20100720tu1404 with the addition of an accompanying video.

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About Gregory Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer in Iowa City and also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. He also manages IowaCityWebDesignArtist.com and many other topic specific websites.

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