Ghosting to network drive?
I've decided to replace my Windows system drive with a larger, faster drive, but I've hit a snag. What I'd like to do is use whatever software to create an image on a network fileserver (FTP, SMB, whatever), swap the old drive for the larger drive, and install the image on the new drive from the remote server. In the end, I should end up with a bootable larger drive that's functionally identical to my original drive- no need to reinstall software, dork with the registry, etc.
Is this possible? If so, which software product allows it? I've been reading a lot of horrible reviews of both Acronis and Norton products and I'm not sure which, if either, is a good solution for this.
Any help is appreciated.
I've used Acronis True Image on many occasions to create a drive image and save it to a network share without issue, then re-image PC's from that network shared image. I'd recommend it.
Edit: I'd still suggest just temporarily attaching the new drive, either via USB2 or as an internal slave. It's just faster, unless you've got a full gigabit LAN.
Drive Image 7 lets you make a backup to a network drive; I've never tried to image a drive from network, though. Also, since Symantec bought PowerQuest, I'm not sure you can still find DI7.
Amusingly, I just did this today. However, I did it with linux systems.
If you want to restore the image to the new drive while it's in place, how do you plan to boot the PC up and get it access to the network? Leave the old drive in as a boot drive temporarily?
I did this today with a bootable linux CD and netcat, which would work for you, but might have a steep learning curve if you aren't *nix savvy.
I don't know why any review would talk shit about Acronis, it's the greatest thing ever. Takes about 8 hours to backup 120 gigs across a 100mb network link.
What'd I'd recommend for this case:
* Make the bootable acronis recovery cd.
* Shutdown and plug both hard drives in.
* Boot to the recovery cd. Copy the old hard drive to the new.
* Remove the old, boot with the new - ta da!
World's End Supernova
Meanwhile I've also restored a complete Vista boot partition with Acronis True Image, and it worked perfectly. Never had a problem with that software.
By the way, the restore was necessary because I had accidentally deleted some registry keys related to Windows Defender and then discovered that Vista doesn't have a "repair installation" option! You have to go back either to an automatic restore point or to some other backup, made with True Image or the like.
I was planning to create a boot CD or USB drive and use that. At some point in my Google marathon I read that Norton supports this.
Originally Posted by Nick Walter
I can handle Linux, so I'll take a look at netcat. I'm curious though- is restoring the image to a larger drive pretty much a solved problem at this point? No need to create another partition, I can just dump everything into one large partition?
FYI, if you do go w/ a commercial product, the Acronis boot CD is a customized Linux boot disk. So you boot off the CD, and can browse for SMB shares or an FTP server to push or pull your image.
You don't have to partition the drive before applying the backup image. One partition is fine, and will be created on the fly during the imaging process.
Unfortunately I have no idea how that all works in the windows world. In linux I just dumped the image onto the drive, booted up, and then edited the partition table with fdisk to grow the root partition (it's a sandbox system, so everything goes in /) and then resized the filesystem with resize2fs to fit the now enlarged partition. I'm grognardy enough to get a feeling of warm satisfaction from doing it all manually but there are probably tools to simplify all this for those less conformtable tinkering with the partition table manually.
Originally Posted by Mike O'Malley
I think what you want is a BartPE disk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BartPE. You'll need to craft the CD to include the Ghost exes (I use Symantec all the time for just this task) and suitable nic drivers, etc. but it sounds like you're up to it. Good luck.