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How to use Ghost in Altiris Linux Preboot Environment

Created: 15 Aug 2011 • Updated: 22 Sep 2011 | 1 comment
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FalconV's picture
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Prologue:
I ran into a problem today. I needed to image a Windows 7 client, but for the life of me couldn't get the Mass Storage Device drivers working in WinPE. I decided to use Linux instead, which worked fine with the included drivers. Unfortunately the only supported method for imaging in Linux is RDeploy, which does not support imaging Windows 7 without running scripts. More unfortunately, said scripts would require being executed in WinPE, and if the drivers aren't working, that route isn't possible. I tried changing the BIOS option for the Mass Storage Device to Legacy IDE mode hoping that would nullify the need for additional drivers, but for some reason that didn't work. I even tried to add the chipset drivers, no luck.

Getting Ghost to work in LinuxPE:
First off, if anyone can figure out how to get this to work in ImagingTools.ini please leave a comment telling me what you did. I tried to get this to work in ImagingTools.ini so I could use Create/Distribute Disk Image tasks, but it wasn't working for me. Instead, I resorted to using Run Script tasks.

Steps:

  1. Create a new job
  2. Create a new Run Script task within the job
  3. place the following in the body of the script:
    # Create disk image using Ghost in Linux
    /mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost -clone,MODE=create,SRC=1,DST="/mnt/ds/Images/path-to-image/image.gho" -sure -Blind > /dev/console
    or for a deploy
    # Deploy disk image using Ghost in Linux
    /mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost -clone,MODE=restore,SRC="/mnt/ds/Images/path-to-image/image.gho",DST=1 -sure -Blind > /dev/console
  4. Change what OS to run in to Linux
  5. Click Next
  6. Change to Automation, verify automation environment is set to Linux - out of precaution I change mine to Linux Managed (Auto-detect)
  7. Click Finish
  8. Schedule the job

Here's a quick breakdown of the command so you can customize it as necessary:
/mnt/ds --> path to the eXpress share. This can be found in the Boot Disk Creator
/mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost --> path to the Linux ghost executable
-clone,MODE=<create/restore>,SRC=<1/"path to image file">,DST=<1/"path to image file"> -sure --> command-line parameters found in Create or Distribute Disk Image task when using Ghost for Windows
-Blind --> command-line parameter which allows Ghost to work in Linux with no GUI, such as the Altiris LinuxPE
> /dev/console --> displays Ghost on the screen. Without this the image process will work fine, but if you look at the client it will appear to be sitting at a prompt because Ghost will be working in the background.

Epilogue:
While this is unsupported by Symantec, I hope this article proves to be of use to anybody hoping to image Windows 7 clients and either really want to use Linux, or must due to circumstances beyond their control. Good luck admins!

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b3tts32's picture

Wow this is great! I'm planning to start upgrading clients to Windows 7 from XP but will be taking hot backups using ghost first. If I were to restorer the hot backup I would've needed winpe to deploy the .gho image but this isn't necessary with your article. I can stick with trusty LinuxPE. Thanks for the info!

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