Norton Ghost Question:

I put a Norton Ghost image of my computer on an External hard drive and now my computer won’t boot from it.
Laptop

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First up I’ll explain what Norton Ghost is.

Norton Ghost is a programme from Symantec that makes a single file back up of all the files on your hard drive so if you ever want to have your computer go back to the state it was in at a certain time you can. This includes all settings and data you had at the time of the "ghosting" of back up.

This is a very good piece of software that I myself use as well due to the large amount of programmes I have to test. Ghost allows me to reset my computer, completely, back to what it was prior to installing any new software on it.

When you make a Ghost of your hard drive you have to store it on a separate disk, due to the size and use of the file it should go on an external USB hard disk for easy access. The ghost is not a bootable file, it is just 2 files with data inside them that Ghost can read.

Older versions of Norton Ghost do not work on Windows Vista due to the operating system being so different and this is where the problem starts.

If your ghost is of a Windows XP or older hard drive and you have recently installed Vista on your computer, you could buy a new version of Norton Ghost to use or you can use the boot disk you got with your copy of Norton Ghost.

When you start your computer and the first collection of white text appears on the screen it will tell you to press a button to enter setup, sometimes F1, F12, Esc, Del, it depends on your computer. Once you are inside the set up, you will have to change the "Boot Sequence" to have the first device the computer looks at be the drive you will put the Norton Ghost boot disk in.

Exit out of the system’s setup settings and save your changes. Make sure the disk is in the drive and start the computer again. 

Once your computer has loaded up the Ghost boot programme, tell it where you saved the Ghost image and let it install it.

Be Warned: Norton Ghost might install the old version of Windows over your installed copy of Vista losing all the data you had.

After you have finished take out the Norton Ghost Boot disk, and restart your computer.

While Norton Ghost is a good programme to save you a lot of time reinstalling Windows, it is not recommended to use a back up programme. If you want to back up your data, I recommend doing it manually each week or month so you know what has been backed up and you can easily get access to it should you need it. Only Norton Ghost can read Norton Ghost files.

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