How to perform a disk-to-disk clone

Article:TECH107698  |  Created: 2001-01-29  |  Updated: 2007-01-31  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution



You want to use Ghost to copy one disk to another disk on the same computer. You plan to use the second drive in one of the following ways:
- As the primary drive on the computer.
- As the primary drive on a different computer.
- As a backup of the first drive. You plan to remove the second drive from the computer and keep it in storage.


Ghost refers to this function as a Disk to Disk clone. The disk you copy from is called the source disk, and the disk you copy to is called the destination disk or target disk. The entire contents of the source disk, including partitions and unpartitioned space, overwrite the entire contents of the destination disk.

WARNING: Do not start the computer after cloning until the instructions say to do so. Booting a computer from the hard drive when the computer has two hard drives with Primary Active partitions can damage program installations and trigger configuration changes on both source and destination that you might not be able to reverse without restoring from backups.

To perform a Disk to Disk clone
  1. Create a Ghost bootable floppy disk. See the document How to create a DOS system disk for Ghost.
  2. Boot the computer using the Ghost bootable floppy disk. This automatically starts Ghost.
  3. Click OK when the Ghost screen appears.
  4. On the Ghost main menu, do one of the following:
    • Local: Click Local > Disk > To Disk.
    • Peer-to-peer connection: Click Peer to peer > Disk > To Disk.
  5. In the Source Drive dialog box, select the source disk.
    The Source Drive dialog box shows the details of every disk that Ghost.exe finds on the local computer.
  6. In the Destination Drive dialog box, select the destination disk.
    Choose carefully as this is the disk that will be overwritten.
    If a peer-to-peer connection method is used, the destination disk can be any of the slave computer's disks. However, if this is a local disk-to-disk copy, then the source disk is unavailable for selection.
  7. Click OK.
  8. When the "Proceed with disk clone?" prompt appears, do one of the following:
    • Click Yes to proceed with the disk cloning.
      The system performs an integrity check of the file structure on the source disk, and then copies the source disk to the destination. If you need to abort the process press Ctrl+C, but be aware that this leaves the destination disk in an unknown state.
      Ghost now copies the source disk to the destination disk. When done, Ghost displays a window that indicates the process has finished.
    • Click No to return to the menu.

      WARNING: Only click Yes if you are sure that you want to proceed. The destination disk is overwritten with no chance of recovering any data.
  9. Click OK. This returns Ghost to the Ghost main menu.
  10. Click Quit.

    WARNING: Do not shut down or restart the computer at this time.
  11. Remove the floppy disk and turn off the computer.
  12. Physically remove the source or destination drive from the computer, and then restart the computer. The hard drive that was removed can then be installed on another computer, as long as the other computer does not already have another hard drive installed as the Primary Active drive.
  13. Restart the second computer and ensure that the second hard drive boots up correctly.

How To Differentiate Between Drives During a Disk-to-Disk Procedure

Introduction to GDisk
Switches: GDisk
Ghost compatibility

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