Norton Ghost 2003 review: Norton Ghost 2003

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Supports FireWire and USB external drives; supports removable drives, such as recordable CD and DVD drives.

The Bad Reboots the operating system into DOS to perform most functions; lacks automatic scheduling; no free phone support.

The Bottom Line This venerable disk-imaging utility offers an improved interface and features, but its DOS-heavy operation makes it a dinosaur.

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Over the years, Norton Ghost has maintained a well-deserved reputation as a powerful and reliable disk-imaging application. The latest version, Ghost 2003 ($69.95, $49.95 for upgrade), maintains that tradition, adding an improved interface and more storage options. Unfortunately, Ghost still clings to its DOS-based roots, even in an all-Windows world. With competitors such as PowerQuest Drive Image 2002 and Acronis True Image offering much better Windows integration, Ghost 2003 is a dinosaur. Until Ghost can run completely in Windows, go elsewhere. Over the years, Norton Ghost has maintained a well-deserved reputation as a powerful and reliable disk-imaging application. The latest version, Ghost 2003 ($69.95, $49.95 for upgrade), maintains that tradition, adding an improved interface and more storage options. Unfortunately, Ghost still clings to its DOS-based roots, even in an all-Windows world. With competitors such as PowerQuest Drive Image 2002 and Acronis True Image offering much better Windows integration, Ghost 2003 is a dinosaur. Until Ghost can run completely in Windows, go elsewhere.

Installation
Norton Ghost installs painlessly, thanks to its familiar Windows interface with wizards that guide you through the process of creating and restoring a disk image. This front-end shell is deceptive, though: the Windows interface acts only as an intermediary between the user and the DOS application that does all the work. Unlike Drive Image and True Image, almost all of Ghost's functions require it to reboot into DOS--the command-line operating system that preceded Windows--which may take time, depending on which Windows OS you're running.

Features
Thankfully, Ghost 2003 has kept pace with the competition in other arenas. This version can copy an exact image of a hard disk or a partition onto an internal hard disk, a network drive, an external USB 1.1/2.0 drive, or a FireWire drive. It also supports removable media, such as recordable CD and DVD drives, and can clone a hard drive onto another system via a network, USB, or parallel connection. Plus, the Ghost Explorer utility, which looks like Windows Explorer, lets you view the contents of an image--both the folders and the files contained within--and extract a single folder or file. The only key feature that's missing is the ability to conveniently schedule backups for a specific time, something that Drive Image 2002 makes easy.

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Where to Buy

Norton Ghost 2003

Part Number: 10024696

MSRP: $69.95

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category utilities
  • Compatibility PC