Ghost’ing an SBS Server

This information comes from Les!


I’ve yet to see ghost fail, and I’ve tested various scenarios with SBS. I suspect other imaging solutions will have similar success, but haven’t used anything other than ghost.

disk (scsi) to tape (dds)
disk (scis) to usb (1.1 and 2.0)
disk to disk (scsi to IDE)
disk to disk (scsi to scsi)

and done restores of each – both to the original hardware, and to drastically different hardware (which is the true test of complete disaster recovery, where the original server is gone).

There are a few issues, and they’ll vary by circumstance. For example:

a) sometimes Ghost has trouble picking up the tape drive, but persistence in trying a few different options on boot disks ususally results in success. Once you get a boot disk that works the way you want, duplicate and protect
it ;-).

b) usb 1.1 is a pita. It’s just way too slow, unless you can’t find another option. Using a usb 2.0 pci card is an option in some cases, but some servers (some dell’s for example) will not boot with a usb 2.0 pci card installed. Go figure. Dell says that’s the way it is, live with it. Ghost may not work with your usb 2.0 card – in some cases you have to disable the on-board usb 1.1 in order for ghost boot disk to find the 2.0 card.

c) You must be using the most recent ghost bits, or your Maxtor One-Touch USB drive will not be recognized. This info and the bits you need are on the symantec site.

d) When ghosting to different hardware, know how to handle the network configuration. If it’s a planned OS move, use the loop-back adapters (see http://www.smallbizserver.net/Default.aspx?tabid=99 for some tips). If it’s
not a planned move, as in disaster recovery, be prepared to deal with some nic issues, but they are resolveable. Just know that the issues will be there, and that help is available here.

e) In a move to different hardware, it is possible (perhaps even likely) that your box won’t boot to windows after the ghost restore. You can recover from this by booting from the SBS CD1, and when Setup determines that an OS
install exists – take the option to repair it. The setup is truly magic, I’ve not seen it fail.

f) even an out-dated ghost image is extremely handy; once the OS is recovered, you can restore newer files from your backup.

Symantec KB is not bad when it comes to resolving ghost issues.
If you’re new to Ghost, keep this link handy – http://ghost.radified.com/
truly a great resource for ghosters.


Les Connor
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SBS Rocks !

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