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Former Ghost 15 user - Getting trapped in the SSR 2013 Trial

Created: 21 Marzo 2013 | 12 comments

A few days ago I had an issue with doing a system restore using Ghost 15.  I went to that forum for help and learned that Symantec was going to discontinue Ghost and recommended users "check out" SSR 2013 with its free trial.

I downloaded the free trial and eventually learned it would not install unless I first remove Ghost.  That wasn't from anything that I saw when the SSR installation failed; that happened without any additional information.  However, I did eventually find my way to this forum and a helpful Guru pointed out the issue and also that I could always re-install Ghost if I wasn't happy with SSR.

I uninstalled Ghost, installed SSR, and started backing stuff up.  Now, if one of the things you want to do is a full system restore (my primary interest) then you need a recovery disk.  SSR will make a recovery disk for you and all you need to do is provide an activation key which you don't get with the trial version. 

No problem, as all I need to do is install Ghost.  But I can't install Ghost until I uninstall SSR.  And SSR WILL NOT UNINSTALL.  Whenever I try to uninstall it there's an Error 2738 and something about a VBasic error.

So now I have a trial verision of a program that I can't use and a paid for program I can no longer load.

I guess it can all be fixed if I pay Symantec for an activation key for a program that I'm not sure I want in the hopes it will maybe allow me to upgrade to a latter version that can uninstall so I can install the program I uninstalled so I could evaluate the Free Trial.

To put it another way, I may have to pay Symantec to I can remove their free software and load back the software I paid them for as well.

And, even it it turns out there's a simple, and hopefully less expensive, way out of this I've still wasted a lot of time on what should be a free trial of a comercial product which appears to be more of an alpha test.

(If I sound upset, it's because I really am)

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el cuadro de los Chris Riley

SSR will make a recovery disk for you and all you need to do is provide an activation key which you don't get with the trial version.

Can you confirm at which point you are asked for an activation key?

The following is taken from the trialware download link and these are the only things that should require a key:

*The following features are unavailable with this FREE 60 day trial: Backing up My Computer and Virtual to Physical conversions from the Symantec System Recovery Disk.

el cuadro de los mgshn

Hi Chris,

Can you confirm at which point you are asked for an activation key? - I'm glad to help though shouldn't you or some other Symantec employee know this already?  When I generate a recovery disk .iso.  The option to create a recovery disk directly is still present but clicking on the checkbox does nothing.

Also, thank you for pointing out the disclaimer that you took from the trialware site.  there are several problems with that however. 

  1. As I recall, the link provided on your Norton site goes directly to the download. At least it was to a place where this rather significant shortfall was not prominently displayed. 
  2. You can't relieve yourself from a responsibility from a shortfall of this magnitude with a small disclaimer with a short and obscurely located statement.  It's kind of like putting up a postit that reads "Danger, bridge out, 10".
  3. It's incorrect.  The backup works fine.  What you can't do is restore from it.
  4. You are prevented for doing a restore EVER AGAIN until you pay Symantec money.  You can't do it with the SSR trial and since it can NEVER be restored you can't do it with Ghost either.  Some might call this extortion.

Regards,

Bob

el cuadro de los qweasd

"The backup works fine.  What you can't do is restore from it."

Geez you got further than i did dude...  I wasted time and ~800Mb of my tiny NextG DL allowance for the 2013 Recovery Disk option to find it won't even _create_ a cold B/U without a license.. let alone restore it.

Totally useless to me :\

el cuadro de los Chris Riley

Bob,

I'm trying to help you and some of this stuff is out of my control but I will do my best to help and also make the relevant people aware of some of these issues.

Let me go through your comments:

Can you confirm at which point you are asked for an activation key? - I'm glad to help though shouldn't you or some other Symantec employee know this already?

--> Yes, I do know how this works. However, I want to hear this from your point of view.

The option to create a recovery disk directly is still present but clicking on the checkbox does nothing.

--> Clicking on which checkbox? Maybe a screenshot will help here.

As I recall, the link provided on your Norton site goes directly to the download. At least it was to a place where this rather significant shortfall was not prominently displayed.

--> Can you provide details of the Norton comments/link so I can check this out myself. Bear in mind I'm not a Norton/Ghost person. I'm from the SSR team.

It's incorrect.  The backup works fine.  What you can't do is restore from it.

--> What exactly do you mean by this? Are you talking about restore anyware (restore to different hardware)?

el cuadro de los mgshn

Chris,

I understand and appreciate that you are trying to help me get SSR working. I'm well past that at this point and only want to get it uninstalled and Ghost back. 

I've been in touch with one of your support people who expects to get it resolved later today.

Bob

el cuadro de los DStain

This might be a silly question, bear in mind I haven't downloaded yet, but is the download an ISO that can be burn't to disk and use that to recover with or doesn't Symantec give you that option.

Deric

el cuadro de los mgshn

Deric,

It's not a silly question... you can download and burn the .ISO and that might work for some and will not work if you need to load additional drivers at the time of your restore.  For that you need to build a customrestore CD and for that you need an activation code.

It is made more interesting because once you load the Trial it is only good for 60 days.  After that it won't work.  During the trial there is no way to uninstall it and go back to Ghost that provided the full set of backup and restore services.  After the trial deactivates I expect that nothing will work, either the backup with SSR or uninstalling so I can go back to Ghost.

At this point loading the free trial mean, for me, that I will have to pay for the product before I can find out if it will even work (and may still not be able to remove it if it doesn't)

I've spent about four hours speaking with Sym tech support personnel (none of whom claim any knowledge of SSR) or sitting on hold waiting for those golden opportunities.

Bob

el cuadro de los DStain

Bob,

Did you try this Norton removal tool www.norton.com/nrt this will take out all norton products so make sure you have the key codes. You may need to run it twice.

Deric

el cuadro de los Chris Riley

It's not a silly question... you can download and burn the .ISO and that might work for some and will not work if you need to load additional drivers at the time of your restore.  For that you need to build a customrestore CD and for that you need an activation code.

Not strictly correct. You can still boot off the SRD and then use the load a driver option to load any additional drivers.

You also do NOT need an activation code to build a custom recovery disk. What makes you think this?

el cuadro de los the red baron

hi Chris,

i've been leaving posts concerning Ghost  replacement & SSR 2013 40% discount voucher / coupon, with no response from anyone with the REAL answer.

i contacted Norton Support and they said to call Symantec Support.  tried calling them, gave up after waiting on the phone for 1/2 hour.

since you are a Symantec employee, maybe you can find the real answer and post it. 

thus far, no issues with SSR 2013 trial. 

i don't want to wait until the 59th day of the SSR trial to go with SSR 2013. 

the voucher should have been included in the trial download procedure.  having the voucher does NOTHING unless SSR 2013 is actually purchased.

the ONLY item that bothered my was that i needed to use  NRT (Norton Removal Tool), as SSR 2013 cannot be installed with Ghost installed.  NRT uninstalled ALL Norton products, including NIS.  everytime there's a problem with any Norton product, NRT is usually the first step in solving the problem.  this forces a reinstall of the Norton products that have no problems.   

thx

el cuadro de los Chris Riley

I'm not passing the buck here but I am not a licensing expert. You need to contact our licensing team - they should be able to help:

http://www.symantec.com/support/assistance_care.jsp

el cuadro de los Geoff HH

Having only just been notified about the discontinuation of Norton Ghost 15, I am fascinated by this whole discussion thread. It appears that Symantec does not really care about current Ghost customers; perhaps there are too few to impact Symantec's worldwide profitability.

One would have expected that if Symantec was serious about retaining and transferring Ghost users to SSR, there would have been:

  1. an employee on this forum who could actually answer and take responsibility for clarifiying customers' Ghost to SSR issues
  2. a clear, official company statement about the ease (or otherwise) of moving from Ghost to SSR
  3. an Appendix in the SSR User's Guide about converting from Ghost to SSR.

Like us, most users of this forum probably have too little time to waste trying to get clear answers to our queries. If Symantec is not sufficiently concerned about this group of existing users, perhaps the time has come to switch to say Acronis True Image as a backup/restore solution; we have found this excellent even though the user interface is a little complex to start with. At least then, one would not have to uninstall Ghost first (although obviously not running the two programs at the same time!). Just as an aside, I would mention that we have found the traditionally "big" companies like McAfee and Symantec are becoming complacent about their customer base. As far as Internet Security products go, we are now recommending Bitdefender (read the comparative reviews).

Geoff