Try To Recover Ghost Files Without Hiring Professionals

You may have noticed lots of people’s demand for Ghost data recovery, but you merely know little about Ghost. What is it? Why we need to perform Ghost? How could it damage our files? After figuring out those questions, you’ll be able to understand why a large number of users need to find ways to recover Ghost files from hard drive.

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This is a post we found at Tom’s Hardware Forum. As you can see from the title, the user has finished Ghost, but suddenly realized that the Norton Ghost has erased the wrong drive. That is to say, all his useful data saved on that drive are now lost. Hence, he would like to find a way to achieve Norton data recovery.


Though Norton recovery seems very difficult to some users, it is actually not an impossible task. Here in this article, our main purpose is to show users what Norton Ghost is, how it works and how we can recover Ghosted hard drive after finding it has been performed to the wrong place on hard drive.


link This is all you need for hard drive recovery.

What Is Ghost Exactly

Norton Ghost, generally known as Ghost, is actually a program used widely to copy, backup and restore the entire hard disk/a single partition completely and quickly. The full name of Ghost is General Hardware Oriented System Transfer.

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After finishing the installation of OS (operating system) and a variety of drivers, we’ll often choose to further assemble some commonly used software, such as antivirus software, media player and Microsoft Office, to the drive where operating system is installed. Then, we’ll be busy installing various upgrade patches needed by the OS and software. The last step is often optimizing the system.

When this series of operations are completed, we can finally start cloning & making backup for system disk under DOS. Please remember that the size of backup disk can’t be smaller than that of system disk.

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note Note:
It’s ok if you finally remember to clone & backup system after you have used it for some time already. In such case, you’d better clear junk files from system disk and registry at first; then, perform system disk fragmentation. After that, you can carry out backup as you want.


Classification of Ghost Based on OS

There’re two kinds of Ghost depending on the operating system: Norton Ghost for Dos and Norton Ghost for Windows. Now, we’ll introduce them briefly.

ghost Norton Ghost for Dos: Apart from the famous hard disk partition backup and restore feature, Ghost can also achieve the formatting of disk to get partitions in a variety of formats: FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, OS2, etc. As you know, Microsoft Windows operating systems are well-known and chosen by the vast majority of computer users. However, in order to avoid the time-consuming OS installation process or the troublesome drivers and applications re-installation process after OS re-installation, users tend to rely on Ghost for a fast and clean backup & restore.

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Therefore, in a narrow sense, Ghost is considered as the backup files which can be used to recover system quickly. Ghost supports the direct backup of partition/hard disk into a file with the extension of ".gho" (It is also called image file by Symantec. Thus, lots of posts on the internet are asking how to recover Ghost image file); in the meantime, it also supports backing up directly to another partition/hard disk.

note Note:
Ghost backup and restore is carried out by sectors, so users must be very careful when operating in order to avoid choosing wrong target partition/hard disk (which will lead to serious data loss).

ghost Norton Ghost for Windows: as you know, though Ghost 2003 can run under Windows environment, its core work – backup and recovery – should still be done under DOS. So Ghost 2003 can’t be considered as a Windows cloning tool in the real sense. Yet, the more convenient Ghost 8.5 and later versions have been introduced successively after Symantec acquisition of PowerQuest in 2003. Now, the newest version of Ghost is Ghost 15.0 and the recent Windows Ghost versions have completely abandoned the original kernel based on DOS environment.

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The hot image technology allows users to perform hot backup on system partition directly in Windows environment, without shutting down the OS. Besides, the new incremental backup feature allows users to add recent changes to the original disk backup image file, helping to avoid performing entire disk backup repeatedly. Moreover, it allows users to complete recovery through CD-ROM boot, without starting Windows.

In short, the biggest advantage of Windows Ghost is full support for NTFS; it can not only recognize NTFS partitions, but also read backup file in NTFS partition directory. In this way, the problem of Windows 98 startup disk failing to recognize NTFS partition has been solved effectively.


What Can Ghost Exactly Do

During backup and restore process, Ghost can do a lot of things.

1.Be able to format large partitions quickly: with the capacity of hard disk is increasing, it often takes a lot of time each time when we need to format a large partition. At this time, we can resort to Ghost to achieve fast formatting.

2.Be capable of defrag: when we use Ghost to backup hard drive partition, it will automatically skip blank portions of the partition to only write the data into the GHO image file. Thus, when we need to recover partition with Ghost, it will write GHO file content into partition continuously, without leaving blank area.

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In this way, the fragmented files in source partition will disappear from the new partition naturally.

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3.Be able to clone more than one PC at the same time: Ghost versions before Ghost 8.0 only allow us to clone one PC at one time. However, the latter versions are improved to support simultaneous cloning of multiple computers.

4.Be capable of fix errors arising from PQ partitioning: when the intention to use PQ for partitioning is failed and leading to files disappearing, you shouldn’t get into anxious. Instead, please stay calm and do the following things: enter Ghost, select "Local/Check/Disk" and press "Enter" to start detection.

Ghost Backup Restore

Maybe you have heard of Ghost and its main functions. But, most of the common users don’t know what is exactly going on.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the backup and restore of Ghost. After reading the following content, you’ll have a clear understanding of why Ghost image recovery is necessary and why Norton recovery tool is needed.


Comparison of Ghost Backup Restore and Virtual System

Share in common: they both have the ability to backup and restore data.

Differences:
a). Ghost backs up and restores data in the way of mirroring system partition/folders, while the virtual system realizes the backup and restore of data and settings by separating operating system and applications.

b). Ghost can only restore the earlier backup data due to its design features; it can’t help to restore to the current system status. However, virtual system realizes the real-time data and application settings saving since it has achieved separation of OS & applications and the redirection of the path of operating system & data accessing.

Reasons for Implementing Backup Restore

A lot of users will choose to rely on Ghost backup restore when encountering following problems:

reason OS running slow: this problem is often caused by the frequent installation and uninstallation of software or the system disorder resulted from mistaken deletion of important files.

reason1 OS crashes: this problem always happens out of sudden due to many reasons, such as wrong operations and virus attacks. When OS is really crashed and users have no way to fix it, they’ll unwillingly choose to restore from backup.

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reason2 Virus infection: computer getting attacked by virus is a very common problem. However, in some cases, the virus can be cleared easily while in other situations where the virus can hardly be killed, users will choose to restore from OS backup or reinstall the OS.

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reason3 Choose backup restore over defragment: sometimes, if you haven’t done defragment for a very long time, but don’t want to spend half an hour or longer time to do that, you can also turn to backup restore, which works way better than simple defragment.

reason4 Deletion of important files: if users are not careful enough when using computer, they tend to delete files responsible for OS booting/running or important programs. After that, some of them may choose to recover deleted files from disk image.

Easy Approach to Recover Ghost Files

Though Ghost helps us a lot in backing up and restoring partition/hard disk, it also brings some troublesome problems.

Problems Caused by Ghost


After Ghost, all the data previously saved on the target drive that is to receive the Ghost image file will be removed completely. That is to say, when the process is over, nothing is left. What’s more, not only the data, but also the original file system and root directory structure will be destroyed if the destination is a hard disk, not a partition.

Besides, if any problems (wrong operations or choosing the wrong direction) happened during Ghost process, the process will certainly fail. And it will lead to unexpected program termination, system crash, data loss and other serious problems.

Reading here, you must be aware of the necessity of Ghost image recovery software. Therefore, we will now focus on showing you how to recover Ghost files all by yourself.

How to Recover Files after Ghost

The first thing we should work with is how to acquire hard drive recovery service after wrong Ghost. In fact, there’re mainly three approaches: sending the hard drive to professional recovery company, hiring data recovery technicians to check and fix problems for us and choosing reliable Ghost image recovery software for Norton data recovery.

Obviously, the last one is the easiest and safest way to recover data from hard drive without privacy leakage. Yet, the problem lies in which is the suitable software for Norton data recovery.


To help users with that, we’d like to introduce MiniTool Power Data Recovery – a powerful tool which provides quality hard drive recovery service and removable disk recovery service.

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Now, we’re going to show you the steps to recover data from Ghosted hard drive.

module Download the free edition to have a try: check out whether the software can help you find the data you need. Now, install your free edition to anyplace you want it to be (except for the drive in which lost data are included) and run it right after installation.

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module Choose suitable module from main interface: when running the software, you’ll immediately find the software is provided with five functional modules, which are useful in different situations. Now, put cursor onto them and choose the one best suitable for your case.

module Scan the target drive under corresponding module: after clicking on the certain module, you will enter corresponding operating interface. Now, please select the drive from which you’d like to recover data and press "Scan" or "Full Scan" to start.

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module Recover the needed files from scan result: wait for the scan patiently since it may last for a relatively long time (that depends on the usage status of selected drive). When the scan finishes, you’ll need to look through the found files and pick out your needed ones. Then, click on "Save" button and set a storage path for the files waiting to be recovered.

note Note:
If the size of current selected files is large than the free recovery limit – 1GB, you’ll need to purchase a license to upgrade the software from free edition.

Precautions for Ghost

  • The size of a single backup file should not exceed 2GB during Ghost backup.

  • You’d better remove useless files before Ghost to reduce the size of Ghost image file.

  • Please organize the target & source disk in advanced to speed up the backup.

  • It is best to check the target & source disk before backup/restore in order to correct possible disk errors.

  • You’re advised to check twice whether there’re still useful files on the target drive. Once Ghost is done, all of them will be lost.

  • You’d better not choose the highest compression ratio since it is time-consuming and has no significant improvement in compression effect.

  • It is best to re-create the image file after the installation of new software & hardware. Otherwise, some inexplicable errors may appear.

  • During system backup restore, the computer power supply interruption must be avoided especially in the case of the absence of optical driver. Otherwise, not only the restore will be failed, but also the backup file will be lost or damaged.

Common problems related to partition recovery and our solutions: