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Ghost compatibility with dynamic partitions

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Article ID: 151707

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Updated On:

Products

Ghost Solution Suite

Issue/Introduction

This document addresses the use of Ghost with Windows dynamic disks.
 

Resolution

Symantec Ghost solution suite  3.x can clone basic disks, and dynamic disks that have simple volumes or mirrored volumes with some limitations. 

  • Ghost does not support dynamic disks having spanned, striped, or RAID-5 volumes.
  • Ghost does not support the use of a Ghost Virtual Boot Partition or automation folders on a computer that has a dynamic disk, regardless of whether the dynamic disk is the boot disk.  A PXE server could be used to deliver the automation environment or a automation boot disk can be used to connect to the Ghost console or use Ghost Multicast sever to perform imageing. 
  • Also in GSS 3.0 and GSS 3.1 support for dynamic disk imaging is limited and is only able to be performed on the first partition.  On a drive with more than one partition the remaining partition images can't be created properly and won't be able to be restored properly.   This limitation has been addressed in 3.2 RU4 and later.  See the ghost release notes for more information on 3.2 RU4 http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC10694


To clone a basic disk
"Basic disk" is the term used in Windows  to indicate that the disk is not a dynamic disk. That is, a basic disk does not include simple, mirrored, spanned, striped, or RAID-5 volumes. To clone a basic disk, run Ghost as usual.

To clone a dynamic disk
The best way to use Ghost to clone a dynamic disk is to perform a single partition-to-image cloning operation and not a disk-to-image cloning operation. To clone the entire disk, perform a partition-to-image operation and select all partitions on the source disk.

Partition-to-Image
Ghost supports creating a partition image of a dynamic disk for both simple volumes and mirrored volumes and restoring that partition to a basic disk. Ghost does not support restoring a partition to a dynamic disk .

To clone a simple or mirrored volume, run Ghost normally. Ghost will detect the simple and mirrored volumes and will save the contents of the volume as a non-dynamic partition. After restoring the image to a basic disk, use the Windows Disk Management MMC utility to convert the partition to a simple or mirrored volume.


Note: Because Ghost cannot restore a partition image to a dynamic disk, you cannot use this process to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk. If you want to restore a partition image to a dynamic disk, you must first convert the disk to a basic disk.


Disk-to-Image

Because you can select all partitions on the source disk when performing a partition-to-image cloning operation, a disk-to-image clone is necessary only in unusual circumstances, and is only applicable for backup purposes.  To access the dynamic disk on the restored disk, the image must be restored to a drive with exactly the same geometry. In practice, this means the image can only be restored back to the same disk.

Use a disk-to-image operation only as a last resort. Note that the process is considerably slower than a partition-to-image process, and that the resulting image file will usually be much larger.

To perform a disk-to-image cloning operation on a dynamic disk, run Ghost with the -IA switch on the Ghost command line, such as
Ghost.exe -ia

Ghost supports creating a disk image of a dynamic disk only when using the -IA switch on the Ghost command line.

Partition-to-Partition
Ghost supports cloning a partition from a dynamic disk to a basic disk for both simple volumes and mirrored volumes. Ghost does not support cloning a partition to a dynamic disk.

After cloning simple volume or mirrored volume to a basic disk, use the Windows Disk Management MMC utility to convert the destination partition to a simple or mirrored volume.

 

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Symantec has acknowledged that the above-mentioned limitations is present in the current version(s) of the product(s) mentioned at the end of this article. Symantec is committed to product quality and satisfied customers.

There are currently no plans to address this issue by way of a patch or hotfix in the current or previous versions of the software at the present time. This issue may be resolved in a future major revision of the software at a later time. However, this particular issue is not currently scheduled for any release.  If you feel this issue has a direct business impact for you and your continued use of the product, please contact your Symantec Sales representative or the Symantec Sales group to discuss these concerns.  For information on how to contact Symantec Sales, please refer to the following Web site:

http://www.symantec.com/business/index.jsp

Please be sure to refer back to this document periodically as any changes to the status of the issue will be reflected here.
 

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