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print this documentDocument ID:2001092610013625
Last Modified:12/23/2003

Ghost compatibility with various file systems

Situation:This document discusses which file systems Ghost can clone as well as any important details to consider for your particular file system.

Solution:Ghost can clone most file systems by performing a sector-by-sector clone. Sector copies take longer to create than native cloning because sector copies are exact copies of all areas of the disk including unformatted space and formatted space that is not in use.

Native cloning is much faster because Ghost recognizes the file system and clones only the disk structure information and the files, rather than all sectors on the drive. In addition, on FAT partitions, native cloning saves the files contiguously. That is, when you write the image to the destination drive, the files are no longer fragmented.

Windows file systems
Ghost supports native cloning for the following file systems: FAT8, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, FAT64, NTFS.

Symantec Ghost 8.0 and Norton Ghost 2003 are the only versions of Ghost that are able to save images directly to local NTFS partitions. Though older versions of Ghost can clone NTFS partitions, they cannot save image files directly to NTFS partitions except when using a corporate version of Ghost to save images over a network connection that is not peer-to-peer.

For additional information, see the document Storing Ghost image files directly to NTFS partitions.

  • Ghost 2001 and later, and Ghost 6.0.3 and later, support the NTFS version that is included in Windows NT and Windows 2000. Only Norton Ghost 2002, Norton Ghost 2003, Symantec Ghost 7.5, and Symantec Ghost 8.0 support the NTFS version that is included in Windows XP.
  • Some FAT8 and FAT12 diagnostic partitions are nonstandard and Ghost may have problems cloning them unless you create a sector copy instead of a native copy.
  • Although Windows NT supports FAT 16 partitions larger than 2 GB, DOS cannot reliably access these drives, and Ghost does not support them. For more information, see article number Q127851, Problems Accessing FAT16 Drives Larger Than 2 GB, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Other file systems
Ghost partially supports the following file systems: HPFS, EXT2, and EXT3.

Ghost can clone HPFS partitions only to drives which have disk geometry that is identical to the source drive. In practice, this usually means that both the source and destination drives must be of the same make and model. Ghost can only create sector copies of HPFS partitions, not native copies. Use the -ID or -IR switch. See the section "Sector copies." Also see the document Ghost compatibility with HPFS.

EXT2 and EXT3
Ghost can clone EXT2 and EXT3 partitions that use a cluster size of 4 KB or less. Ghost can restore the images only to drives that are the same size as the source drive or larger than the source drive. Ghost supports both type 0 and type 1 Linux swap file systems (type 0x82).

Note: Only Symantec Ghost 8.0, Symantec Ghost 7.5, and Norton Ghost 2003 support the EXT3 file system.

Ghost supports cloning Linux computers that use LILO as their boot loader in the Master Boot Record (MBR) or in the active EXT2 or EXT3 partition with a few exceptions.
  • Ghost does not support references to a disk other than the first hard disk in the computer. In practice, this means that the /boot and /filesystems must be on the first hard disk. /boot can be a directory within the root file system. The first hard disk is /dev/hda or /dev/sda.
  • Please see the following documents for information on Linux support and switch usage. Ghost compatibility with Linux and Switches: Alphabetical list of switches.

Nonsupported file systems
The following unsupported file systems can usually be cloned with the sector-copy switches: ReiserFS, HFS, XFS, JFFS, SFS, JFS, GFS, UFS, OS/2, and Xenix.

Sector copies
Ghost can clone nearly any file system when you use a sector-copy switch or option.

Creating sector copies is significantly different to creating native copies:
  • Ghost can use a sector-copy method to create disk images but not to create partition images.The disk image includes all partitions and all unformatted space.
  • Ghost Explorer cannot read sector-copy images. Because Ghost Explorer cannot read the images, you cannot use Ghost Explorer to modify the images.
  • Creating a sector copy is significantly slower than creating a native copy.

For more information on the sector-copy switches and the uses and limitations of sector copies, read the document Switches: Sector copy.

    print this documentDocument ID:2001092610013625
    Last Modified:12/23/2003

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    Product(s): Norton Ghost 2003, Symantec Ghost 7.0, Symantec Ghost 7.5, Symantec Ghost 8.0
    Operating Systems(s): DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux, Novell NetWare, Windows Me
    Date Created: 09/26/2001

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