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jpc82
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 11:22 pm    Post subject: Norton Ghost replacement Reply with quote

Where I'm co-oping this summer we have a classroom that is used to train the staff in our building. Each PC has WindowsXP installed on a NTFS partition. One of my jobs this summer is to make maintaining that room easier. This summer we will be using the room almost every single day for training which means that getting it in working order fast, is very high prority.

My boss asked me to use Norton Ghost so that we could just create images of each computer, and then at the end of each day just ghost them all back.

My problem with this is that since Ghost uses NDIS drivers to communicate over TCP/IP and NDIS drivers can be a pain to find for some NIC's, so I wanted to use linux for this task.

My idea was to create a file server that would hold all the images, then I would use a Linux LiveCD like Gentoo's LiveCD or Knoppix to boot each computer and then copy the image over to that PC.

Is this possible and if so does anyone know of any websites that describe their success/failiars trying to do this?
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nero
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you really don't even need ghosting software. just use an nfs share and dd. :D

to create an image:
Code:

 dd if=/dev/hda of=/mnt/nfs/001.hda.img


to put it back:
Code:

 dd if=/mnt/nfs/001.hda.img of=/dev/hda

If you arent going to repartition, you can do each partition individually instead of the whole drive as I illustrated. However, if you need to put the images onto drives other than the one it was on originally, I don't think this will work.
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jpc82
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But does that work with an NTFS partition?
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nero
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, dd will copy the entire disk block for block, no matter what it contains.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any methods for compressing the image while it is being created?
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perry
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, I was just looking around for the same thing. We currently use an old version of Power Quest Drive Image that doesn't seem to like XP. My boss has been really dragging her feet on getting a newer version, and at the same time we're waiting for Computing Services to test and pass out copies of Norton Ghost. Today she decided that time was running out and I should start installing XP + everything else on our 100 + computers. No way.

So I started looking around for software to use and came across PartImage http://www.partimage.org/

Quote:

Description: Partition Image is a Linux/UNIX utility which saves partitions in many formats (see below) to an image file. The image file can be compressed in the GZIP/BZIP2 formats to save disk space, and split into multiple files to be copied on removable floppies (ZIP for example), .... The partition can be saved across the network since version 0.6.0


In the downloads section they even have a Gentoo LiveCD that has their software on it. Obviously haven't had a chance to try it, but I will. I may end up using Knoppix since it looks like it has PartImage and Samba on it (not sure if Gentoo's LiveCD does??), and I have to store my images on a windows server. May end up slightly customizing Knoppix or the LiveCD to make the process more automated for my braindead coworkers; that's actually why I came to the forums, to look for info on customizing the LiveCD.

And, yes, there is compression. Looks like it supports gzip, bzip2, and lzo. Looks like it even supports Macs... which is good for me. And there even appears to be a PartImage server.. may not have to use my Windows shares afterall, if I can obtain a box to put Linux on.
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antik
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Norton Ghost replacement Reply with quote

jpc82 wrote:

Is this possible and if so does anyone know of any websites that describe their success/failiars trying to do this?


g4u - Harddisk Image Cloning for PCs
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jpc82
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been looking into using partImage and gentoo, but as far as I know gentoo's livecd does not have samba like you said, which I also need. Which is why I am going to be looking at using knoppix.

Did you find in your work with partImage a server that can be used to broadcast to multiple pc at the same time?
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dcaltrans
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use Acronis TrueImage at our office. It boots and runs its own version of Linux from CD and supports ReiserFS, EXT2/3, SAMBA, CDR/DVDR, USB2 and FW. It can also image a Windows 2000/XP system without leaving Windows.

http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/

If you already own Norton Ghost it's only $10 US.

And no I don't work for them...they just have a cool, cheap application and it is Linux-based unlike Norton Ghost.

-Good Luck!
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perry
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpc82 wrote:
I have been looking into using partImage and gentoo, but as far as I know gentoo's livecd does not have samba like you said, which I also need. Which is why I am going to be looking at using knoppix.

Did you find in your work with partImage a server that can be used to broadcast to multiple pc at the same time?


I had a Knoppix CD that was a couple months old, so I was messing around with that today. I mounted the windows share and fired up partimage. Started the imaging, but it seems like the computer I was imaging locked up. Not real sure what happened, didn't get a progress screen to pop up, just a blue window with an error about /dev/hdc (the CD drive) at the top, and something about pressing Ctrl-Q to quit at the bottom. Perhaps my Knoppix CD is dieing.

I have a Gentoo LiveCD building at home right now. I'm including Samba and partimage.. hopefully I can get a working CD by Monday and play around some more :)

I saw TrueImage last night in a Google search. I think CNet recommended it above Power Quest Drive Image and Norton Ghost. Looks like neat software, but I'm trying to keep things free here. Besides, it gives me an excuse to play around with Linux in an otherwise 100% Microsoft shop! :wink:
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