Introduction to creating a Ghost Network Boot Disk

Article:TECH107162  |  Created: 2000-01-07  |  Updated: 2008-01-09  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH107162
Article Type
Technical Solution

Product(s)

Environment

Issue



You want to create a Ghost Network Boot Disk or a Ghost Peer-to-Peer Network Boot Disk.


Solution



Ghost uses the Ghost Network Boot Disk, also called the Ghost Multicast Client Boot Disk or the Ghost Peer-to-Peer Network Boot Disk, to start a computer into DOS and communicate over a TCP/IP connection (that is, through a network interface card) with another computer. This document provides information for creating the Ghost Network Boot Disk.

When to use the Network Boot Disk

Ghost requires the Network Boot Disk only for Ghost features that use TCP/IP connections. These features are Ghost Console, Ghost Multicast Server, GhostCast Server, and the TCP/IP option for peer-to-peer connections in Ghost.exe and Ghostpe.exe.

The Ghost Console does not require a Network Boot Disk when using a Ghost Virtual Boot Partition. Norton Ghost 2003 does not require a Network Boot Disk when using a Ghost Virtual Boot Partition.

The following table shows which Ghost versions support these features:
Ghost Version
Supports Ghost Console?
Supports Ghost Multicast Server or GhostCast Server?
Supports TCP/IP Peer-to-Peer?
Supports a Ghost Virtual Boot Partition?
Symantec Ghost 8.x
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Symantec Ghost 7.5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Symantec Ghost 7.0
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
The Ghost version included in some versions of Norton SystemWorks
No
No
No
No
Norton Ghost 2003
No
No
Yes
Yes


When using the feature Ghost Console, Ghost Multicast, or GhostCast, run the feature at the Ghost Server computer, and start the Ghost client computers from the Network Boot Disk. Note that when Ghost.exe is used with Ghost Console, Multicast, or GhostCast, Ghost.exe is sometimes referred to as the Ghost Multicast Client.

When using the TCP/IP option, start both computers (the Master computer and the Slave computer) from the Network Boot Disk. See the document How to clone or save an image file over a TCP/IP peer to peer connection.

For a more thorough discussion of when to use each type of Ghost boot disk, see the document How to choose a type of boot disk or boot image.


Note: In the enterprise versions of Ghost, specific Ghost features require licensing to function. Ghost requires two types of licensing, depending on the Ghost version: Console licensing for Symantec Ghost 7.0, 7.5, and 8.x, and Multicast licensing for all Ghost versions that support Multicast Server or GhostCast Server.
  • Console licensing defines how many client computers can be controlled by the Ghost Console. See the document Introduction to Symantec Ghost licensing.
  • Multicast licensing is required in two circumstances: For GhstWalk.exe to function; and for Ghost.exe to work with Ghost Console, Ghost Multicast Server, and GhostCast Server. Without proper Multicast licensing these features do not work. In recent Ghost versions, however, appropriate Multicast licensing is completed automatically during Ghost installation, and further action is not required. Ghost requires that you to take steps to enable the Multicast licensing in only two situations. One situation is when you copy Ghost.exe or GhstWalk.exe from the Ghost installation CD rather than from the hard disk or Ghost bootable floppy disk. The other situation is when you manually (rather than through LiveUpdate) replace Ghost.exe or GhstWalk.exe with an updated version of the file. See the document How to customize Ghost for individual users.



What the boot disk does

When you start a computer from the Network Boot Disk, the boot disk performs the following functions:
  • Loads and runs DOS.
  • Loads the drivers for the Network Interface Card (NIC).
  • Loads and starts Ghost. Note that Ghost does not have to be loaded during system startup. Ghost can be started from the Autoexec.bat file during system startup, or from a DOS command prompt after the computer has booted into DOS.

Whether to use the automatic method or the manual method to create the boot disk

You can create the Network Boot Disk either automatically using Ghost Boot Wizard or Ghost Multicast Assist, or manually by copying the necessary files to a system floppy disk. The contents of the boot disk are the same, regardless of which method you use. If you have Ghost 7.0 or later, or Norton Ghost 2003 or later, use the automatic method, because it will be much easier and faster.

Automatic method: Ghost Boot Wizard or Ghost Multicast Assist Wizard
Ghost Boot Wizard and Ghost Multicast Assist Wizard format the boot disk and copy the files to it that are appropriate for your system.

Manual method: copying files to a system disk
You can manually create the boot disks by creating a DOS system disk (formatting a floppy disk as a boot disk), and then copying the necessary files to it. See the document How to manually create a Ghost Network Boot Disk.


Introduction to NIC drivers

The Network Boot Disk loads the drivers for the Network Interface Card (NIC) into memory. Regardless of whether you create the boot disk automatically or manually, the floppy disk must contain properly configured NIC drivers. NIC drivers are available as either packet drivers or NDIS drivers.


Note: Regardless of whether you use the automatic or manual method to create the boot disk, the boot disk must use either the NDIS drivers or Packet drivers, but not both. Loading both NDIS drivers and packet drivers into memory will cause memory conflicts and will prevent Ghost from functioning properly.


Although the automatic method (Ghost Boot Wizard or Ghost Multicast Assist Wizard) copies the necessary NIC drivers for you, it uses a standard configuration which may or may not be appropriate for your computer. In addition, newer drivers might be available (from the NIC manufacturer) for your NIC.

If Ghost cannot make a connection with the Ghost Server after booting from the Network Boot Disk, configuring the NIC drivers specifically for your computer is likely to resolve the problem for you. For troubleshooting connection problems, see the document How to troubleshoot a Ghost Network Boot Disk or network connection problem.
    Packet drivers
    Packet drivers are written for specific models of NICs and are available from your NIC manufacturer. Here is some important information to note before using these drivers:
    • Some NICs do not use packet drivers, and must use the NDIS drivers instead.
    • Although packet drivers are written for specific NICs, they often need to be configured. This means adding the proper switches to the command line that loads the drivers. Which switches to use are determined by the NIC model used on the computer that the boot disk will be used on, and by the network configuration. See the section "Driver configuration support."
    • Ghost Boot Wizard and Ghost Multicast Assist maintain a library of packet drivers for some of the most common NICs that use packet drivers. If the drivers included in the Ghost library are out of date, or the library does not include the drivers for your NIC, you can obtain the drivers from the NIC manufacturer, then add these to the Ghost library. See the document Adding or modifying NIC templates in the Ghost Boot Wizard.

    NDIS drivers
    Although it is easier to manually create a Network Boot Disk with packet drivers than with NDIS drivers, the NDIS drivers are more likely to provide a good network connection in unusual configuration situations. NDIS drivers consist of a NIC driver that is specific to the NIC, and the Microsoft NDIS support files:
    • As with packet drivers, NIC drivers for use with NDIS are written for specific models of NICs and are available from your NIC manufacturer.
    • Microsoft's NDIS support files, Protman.exe, Protman.dos, and Netbind.com, are included in the set of files called the Microsoft Client.
    • Ghost works with NDIS version 1.2.
    • If you run Ghost Boot Wizard or Ghost Multicast Assist to create the Network Boot Disk, Ghost will provide an option for downloading the files from the Microsoft FTP site. If you do not run the Boot Wizard or Multicast Assist, you can obtain the files by downloading them from the Microsoft Web site. For instructions on how to create a Microsoft Client boot disk, see the document How to create a Microsoft Client boot disk.

    Microsoft's NDIS support files are generic to many types of NICs. If you cannot find packet drivers for your NIC, in most cases you can obtain a NIC driver that works with NDIS version 1.2 and configure the NDIS files for your NIC. For configuration information, follow the instructions in the file Readme.now (supplied by Microsoft at the previous ftp link) or contact your NIC manufacturer. See the section "Driver configuration support."

    Driver configuration support
    Symantec does not provide technical support for configuring your NIC. Proper NIC configuration is dependent on the specific NIC model and on your network's configuration. For configuration information, contact your NIC manufacturer. NIC manufacturers often maintain web sites that include configuration information. Configuration information is sometimes also available in a Readme.txt file included with the NIC drivers. For more information in this Knowledge Base, see the document Tips for configuring NDIS drivers.





    References
    Using Boot Wizard and Multicast Assist

    Adding or modifying NIC templates in the Ghost boot wizard

    Other information
    How to manually create a Ghost Network Boot Disk
    List of files on the Ghost Network Boot Disk
    Tips for configuring NDIS drivers
    How Ghost Multicasting communicates over the network
    How to troubleshoot a Ghost Network Boot Disk or network connection problem
    How to expand files from floppy disk or CD




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