07-05-2006, 10:58 PM
I have Norton Ghost Version 2003.793 - Buy.com has version 10 free after 2 rebates (one rebate is a competative rebate). Is it worth upgrading? In version 10 better? I know it's a free upgrade, but my time is worth something and I don't want to bother for a minor upgrade. Thank you
07-06-2006, 08:02 AM
I still have 2003 myself; I don't like a lot of the things I've heard about 9 and 10 (even though some of our fellow G|A'ers like Dark Fury have 10 and say it works fine).
Norton Ghost v10.0
New version: 13.sept.2005 - Symantec announces the release of Ghost v10.0. The short version: Ghost 10 = Ghost 9 + encryption (ability to encrypt your back-up images).
With version 10, Symantec continues to make Ghost easier to use, automating still more decisions you previously had to make yourself. Their aim is to bring the power of back-up imaging to the masses.
While applauding their efforts, I feel the need to caution users that each additional feature tends to sacrifice RELIABILITY. For example, if you encrypt your image file, you will, at some point, need to de-crypt it, before it can be restored .. which is one more place where something can go wrong.
For me, RELIABILITY is my #1 priority. I need to feel confident I can restore my back-up image should anything go wrong with my operating system or hard drive.
The good thing is that Symantec includes a copy of Ghost 2003 in the Ghost 10 retail box. And I *know* Ghost 2003 is reliable, because I've used it to restore dozens of images.
All the caveats about Ghost 9 & hot-imaging still apply to version 10, since they are basically the same program. So I suggest to familiarize yourself with the way Ghost 9 works. See here:> Ghost 9 & hot-imaging. (http://ghost.radified.com/norton_ghost_90.htm)
There is an on-going thread is the forums about Ghost 10. See here:> Symantec Norton Ghost 10, where I share my share my thoughts on version 10. There's also a blog entry posted here: Symantec Releases Version 10 of Norton Ghost.
There's a whole lot of information to be read on this site (if you want), but here's a nice chunk to give you an idea of what you get (and the potential problems) with Ghost 9/10.
Continued from the introductory page:> Radified Guide to Norton Ghost
New version: 02.august.2004 - Symantec announces the release of Ghost v9.0. Ghost 9 is controversial, because it's not really Ghost. It's actually Drive Image, a similar imaging/cloning product originally developed by PowerQuest, a company Symantec purchased on 05.dec.2003.
The reason Ghost 9 (Drive Image in disguise) is controversial is because it supports a feature Symantec calls 'Hot Imaging', which allows you to to create images of/from a 'LIVE' operating system, while files are able to change.
Hot imaging might sound attractive to the casual user, but it comes with hidden risks that concern many veterans of the program.
••• continued from introductory page •••
NOTE: For version 10, Symantec removed the words "hot-imaging" from its list of features, and replaced them with the words: Makes backups on the fly, without restarting your system .. which is the same thing. It does this from Windows.
Like Ghost 9, Ghost 2003 (the most recent version of real Ghost) also offers a Windows-based interface, but automatically reboots ("drops down") to DOS before creating or restoring the image.
Ghost 9 however, doesn't do this. It images Windows *from* Windows, while the operating system is "live". This is similar to an active sports model taking pictures of herself.
And Symantec designed Ghost 9 so it doesn't allow you to *create* images with/from the Recovery CD, which contains a stripped-down version of Windows, similar to operating in Safe mode, which would offer less chance of conflicting with other programs running concurrently.
The Recovery CD only allows you to *restore* images (rendering a copied CD useless, so you can't "share" it with your friends). In other words, the environment in which you *create* the image is different from the one used to restore it. Anybody see an opportunity for a problem here?
It would be like a football team practicing all year on real grass, then playing the SuperBowl on artificial turf. The change in environment can precipitate unexpected problems. When it really counts (when you need to restore an image), you don't want to encounter any unexpected problems.
Update 29.august.2005 - Learned that you can use a BartPE bootable CD/DVD to *create* and restore images with Ghost9. See this thread titled:> Ghost and BartPE (2002 or 9). For info on how to create and use a BartPE CD/DVD, see this thread (compliments of Brian), titled:> Using Bart's PE Bootable CD/DVD with Ghost9.
Another concern is that Symantec is unable to update the version of Ghost contained on the Restore CD (the ghost.exe executable). What happens if a bug is discovered? Prior to v9.0, the ghost.exe executable was updated periodically via Symantec's Live Update feature. But this is not possible with the Restore CD (because the disc is closed).
Unlike Ghost 2003, you have to *install* Drive Image, uh, I mean Ghost 9 (to Windows) in order to use the program .. which (not surprisingly) precipitates problems like this. As a side note, notice how the fix Symantec specifies involves modifying a system file from a DOS prompt.
Also unlike Ghost 2003, Ghost 9 requires product activation (within 30 days, or the program quits working), just like Windows XP.
I'm sure Symantec has their reasons, but many (including myself) feel that imaging a live operating system (*from* a live operating system) introduces risks that are better avoided by using the original Ghost product (v2003), which works from DOS, when Windows is shut down, when it's unable to modify any of its files (such as the registry hive).
Admittedly, the risk is small. But if you have a problem with the restore, the results can be tragic. Personally, I prefer to avoid *any* unnecessary risk, which is why I still use Ghost v2003: the latest version of "true" Ghost (originally developed by Binary Research), which operates from DOS.
I feel Ghost v2003 is more reliable than Ghost 9. Some disagree. I admit I'm superstitious when it comes to (creating & restoring) images, because I know how distressing it can be to lose everything on your hard drive, and have to start over from scratch.
But I've never had a problem with Ghost, either. Not one. And I've created hundreds of images, and restored dozens. Hot imaging also runs the risk of conflicting with other programs running concurrently in Windows, something Ghost 2003 can never do, since it runs from DOS.
Life can become unpleasant if you're unable to restore an image. All my trust has been built in Ghost, not Drive Image. From past experience, I know Ghost works for me. I don't have this same confidence with Drive Image (Ghost 9), which requires you to install Microsoft's .Net bloatware, uh, I mean software.
If you think about imaging the same way a photographer does, you'll realize the clearest pictures result when everything remains still. That's why pro's use a tripod. It holds the camera steady, so the picture comes out sharp & clear. DOS is our tripod to keep Windows stationary so we can take a sharp picture of our sexy operating system with our Ghost camera.
Back before Symantec bought PowerQuest, when Drive Image was still called Drive Image, I received many letters from people who had unexplainable problems with it. They were looking for help. Some even asked me to write a Radified guide for it. Unfortunately, I've never used Drive Image. But I know people who have.
Ghost 9 may be easier to use, which might be why Symantec went that route. Or maybe the bean-counters just needed a new version to sell. I don't know. But I know I'm unwilling to sacrifice reliability for anything, even ease-of-use.
Ghost 9 also supports incremental and scheduled back-ups. Perhaps these new features appeal to you, but they do nothing for me. I'm interested primarily in reliability. I need to know I can restore my image & recover my system should the need arise.
Last time I mentioned it, DF said that he hasn't had problems with the "hot backup" feature of 9/10, and the incremental backups were nice. Maybe it's because I'm a purist, or...just plain nuts :heh:...but I'd rather keep using Ghost 2003 which I know makes the image from PC-DOS versus trying to do my backups from within the OS that I'm trying to backup.
07-06-2006, 08:09 AM
I've never done a buy.com rebate, so can't vouch for whether or not they'll come thru. But if you can get it for free, I'd say definitely do it. Version 10 is a good product.
07-06-2006, 12:03 PM
Here's my take on it...
I actually use both Ghost 2003 and Ghost 9.0 (I just bought SystemWorks 2006, so I'll have Ghost 10.0 in a few days)
Both versions have their merits... and honestly I'd advocate having both of them available.
I like having Ghost 2003 around mainly because it operates from DOS and can restore a 100% dead system (unless the HD is trashed... but even then if you have a backup on a separate disk, you can still restore that image as well to a new HD) However Ghost 2003's limitation was that there was no scheduling of incremental backups... a feature that Ghost 9.0 does have.
I have my PC back itself up every night around 4:00 a.m. (I have a BIOS timed startup programmed to turn my PC on at that time so that Ghost can back it up in the middle of the night, without me having to remember to leave the PC on.) Using this, I keep about 4 Grandfathered copies of my system on hand just in case some corruption doesn't get detected for a few days. To date, I have not had any problems with this system.
Pretty much, I still advocate using both versions and for FREE... well, what do you really have to lose? You still have your 2003 version just in case. :D
07-06-2006, 08:06 PM
For anyone interested in the link to Buy.com http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=201955877&adid=17051&dcaid=17051
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