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After Ghost imaging, Windows won't boot.

by jon1200 / November 19, 2005 5:21 AM PST

Hello. I manage 50 computers, and I'm starting to use Ghost 2003 to ''rebuild'' them, when they need everything installed from scratch.

Hre's the method I'm using:
-I have all Dell Optiplexes, but different models. Everything is XP XP2 on NTFS.
-I made a good image file, stored on C: drive of computer ''X''.
-I'm not using Sysprep or any fancy tools. I'm aware that some drivers will need to be reinstalled on the imaged computers, since they are diff models.

-Computer ''Y'' needs a complete rebuild.
-I take Y's hard drive, pop it into X as a slave drive (drive F), and restore my Ghost image from X's C: to Y's drive. Then I put the drive back into Y, jumpering it for ''Master'' again. And then, on Y (the PC with the newly imaged HD)....

WINDOWS WON'T START. On EVERY computer, it does the same thing - windows boots into that mode ''WINDOWS COULD NOT START LAST TIME, WOULD YOU LIKE TO BOOT NORMAL, SAFE MODE, ETC''. No matter which I choose, safe or normal, the PC just freezes after that. Nothing happens. Won't even go into safe mode.

I found a workaround, but the amount of time the workaround takes sort of defeats the purpose of Ghost. If I perform a ''Repair'' reinstall of XP, everything works beautifully. Everything else in the image works great - al the programs, settings. Then I upgrade it to XP SP2, apply all patches, and all is well.... but I would have spend the same amount of time just reinstalling everything, without using GHost!

Does anyone know what may be causing this, or have any suggestions?

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That sounds normal
by Steven Haninger / November 19, 2005 6:35 AM PST

XP will recognize that it's in a new environment and will refuse to start because of this. The repair installation is the workaround plus you will have to reenter the ID code. The only way I have been able to clone XP in this way was to use a copy of XP designed for multiple computer use and, even then, the hardware needs to be the same. It seems to be tolerent of different hardware addresses some identical devices have. I do this for a school which purchases special copies of XP for this purpose and pays by the number of PCs it will be installed on.

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Ghost
by El Alquimista / November 19, 2005 5:40 PM PST
In reply to: That sounds normal

is intended primarily for generating images to be restored on that computer from which they came.

Steven is right -- you cannot, in general, use Ghost to transfer the OS of one computer to another computer. If you could, it would be an open invitation to piracy -- something Microsoft obviously guards against. If Windows is an OEM version that came with the machine, it is forever linked to that machine and that machine only, as stated here by Microsoft. So, if Windows came preinstalled on your systems, you cannot do what you wish -- you must ghost each system individually.

If you have a retail version of Windows, you can transfer it to another computer -- provided that you delete it from the first computer. If both machines have retail licenses, you could legally do what you wish, but as Steven said, you run into a problem if the two machines are not identical, and it probably would be simpler to use the XP disk.

We have a mix; Windows computers that we purchased have retail versions of the OS, and donated systems generally have OEM versions. This is what we do with our ten (networked) systems. The HDD on each computer is partitioned, one partition on each being designated for ghost images. We then ghost the OS partition of computer #1 to the ghost partition of computer #2, ghost the OS partition of computer #2 to the ghost partition of computer #3, and so on, with the OS partition of computer #10 being ghosted to computer #1. Whenever there is a significant shange to a system, such as new hardware requiring new drivers or the installation of new apps, we create a new ghost for that system. This allows for simple and rapid regeneration of any system.

However, it seems that what you may really be looking for is deployment of Windows, which can also be used for updates and repairs. This, as Steven said, requires that you have volume license(s), and is discussed here. Also, there are third-party packages to aid with such deployment.

BTW, physically moving hard drives from one system to another in order to copy seems to me to be the hard way. Transfer over a network, or even via CD/DVD would seem much easier. Or how about using an external hard drive as the transfer medium?

Hope this helps

Frank

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Save a Little Time
by brakewell / November 19, 2005 5:02 PM PST

Hi There I know this is not a complete solution to your problem but why don't you slipstream XP with XP SP2 at least then you only have to install it once. Try this link if you don't know how to do it.
http://www.theeldergeek.com/slipstreamed_xpsp2_cd.htm
Hope this helps.
Regards Tony B.

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