Symantec Ghost trashed my HDD. and XP.. help!

By simtech ยท 11 replies
Jul 31, 2004
  1. Installed Ghost on P IV 3.6 system to make image of system partition. The program crashed after a few minutes.... and an error msg. "type ghreboot to return to Windows." did so.. nada.. nothing..

    System restore unaccessible..Now my "C partition" is the Norton one and made my original boot partition "G".. When I boot from the cd.. the original XP installation is an option.. but I get the msg."hal.dll corrupted or missing.. reinstall..etc" I did that extracting the original from the XP install disk... no joy.!
    When I access the Ghost directory in the "new" c partition..nothing happens...get a stack overflow error after a few minutes..Fixmbr and fixboot have been no help.. System repair does NOT come up as an option when booting from the install CD..It shows all of my partitions.. even Norton's virtual one... and the menu offers DELETE partition, INSTALL XP to new one or CANCEL.

    I've installed a new XP installation in a separate partition on the same HDD... but I need to recover the original installation if possible... Any ideas ?? Sorry for the long post.......newbie on the forum...Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions ...
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Welcome to TechSpot

    Why do you think they call it "Ghost"?
    (and did I mention somewhere that I hate anything Norton?)

    Your best bet(s) are probably hunting around for 2 utilities: "File Scavenger" and "Active@Partition Recover Pro".
    Between them you should be able to recover most, if not everything, from your original XP installation.
  3. simtech

    simtech TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, Realblackstuff.. I found the site and d/l the s/w.. I haven't a Floppy on that machine.. but will temp.. install one and check out Partition Recover Pro. .. will let the forum know the outcome..Thanks for the heads up..simtech
  4. simtech

    simtech TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Ran Active@Partition Recover Pro.. yes.. it sees the data.. What I would like to do is delete the "Virtual Partition" that Shost put in and make my original bootable.. this program doesn't seem to do that.. Is my goal impossible.. or do I just concede that I have to recover most of the data and reformat that entire drive ??
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    This "Virtual Partition" should just be a regular partition, correct? I mean, partition is a partition.. right? :) (Or at least I hope so).

    I am assuming the difficulty you are having is becuase the "virtual partition" is logically before the real partition, with your data.

    When you type fixmbr or fixboot (as you have), it makes the drive bootable again, but assumes XP is installed on the first partition.

    What you need to do is recover your partition using Active@Partition Recovery and run fixmbr / fixboot again. Afterwards, type bootcfg /rebuild. This will search for your Windows XP installations and tell the computer precisely where to look for your XP boot files.

    If you type in bootcfg /? you will get a few different options. There may be other switches you might want to tinker with if that doesn't work, like specifying where your XP install is manually.

    It also very possible your data is corrupted, even though you can view it with Active @ Partition Recovery. You should also run chkdsk /p to verify your file system integrity once you recover the partition data.
  6. simtech

    simtech TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thank you for the suggestions.. My computer is back up.. Here's how I had to deal with it..

    1. I used GDisk from Ghost to delete the "Virtual Partition" and activate the original that was designated "g" using the command line switches in the Norton Ghost FAQs.

    2. Used bootcfg to modify the boot file..and pointed to the correct partition..(remember, I had two installations of XP.. only one worked) I used fixmbr and fixboot.. but I did so BEFORE I reactivated the original XP installation partition.

    3. Used my original Installation CD per your instructions posted in the sticky at the top of this forum to overwrite the original installation. Most of my applications survived the overwrite without any problem. (Adobe Photoshop didn't.. I had to reinstall)

    4. I now have one extra partition that's left over from the second installation of XP.. I can delete that with either Active Partition Recovery Pro.. , Symantec's GDisk supplied with Ghost..or Partition Magic.

    BOTTOM LINE: Don't try to run GHOST if you don't have any floppy drives on your system unless you use the recommended command line switches as explained on the Symantec support site.

    Thanks to all for the help.. couldn't have done it without you.. God Speed...
  7. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 536

    You can make a ghost bootable CD so the machine thinks it's actually a floppy. To do so, you just have to create a standard bootable CD using an image of the ghost boot floppy
  8. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Actually.. this is a good example of why you don't put the image on the local machine- putting it on a network share or backup tape is best.

    I've had/used Ghost for many, many years. It's crashed on me. I've never had it trash a system while making an image.

    Now.. restoring an image, obviously, will do some damage. And that stinks badly (using some *slight* self censorship here.)

    Recently I came across Acronis TrueImage mentioned by Rick in another thread. So far, it's been a GREAT program, I'd recommend looking into it if you want an alternative backup program. At $50/license, it's not badly priced either. $500 for server options, which isn't the worst either.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I'm glad you like True Image. It's been an amazing program for me too and it also makes a bootable CD which would be terrific for simtech's needs.
  10. simtech

    simtech TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Rick, Goalie, Digitalex..

    Many thanks and kudos for the spendid comments and suggestions..I particularily liked the bootable CD feature in the Acronis' program . Indeed, It is worth it to avoid the hassle I have had to go through the last five days.. naturally I'm a little skittish about using Ghost again.. Thank you one and all.....God bless....
  11. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie

    ...flips Norton Ghost 2003 cd over to use for a new coaster...

    I'm glad I read this thread *before* I attempted to use it!
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Drive image has NEVER let me down.
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