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Boot disk for windows 7 professional 64bit

Created: 25 Oct 2012 • Updated: 26 Oct 2012 | 13 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I've been using ghost for a while and never had any problems, but the new version 2.5 seems to be causing problems.  I've read articles on all the options, but can't find any documentation that explains what you need if you have this or that. 

Not doing anything fancy I just want to create a simply boot disk, create an image and deploy it to about 12 users.  I tried the PE and it doesn't seem to get a network connection.  I tried PC dos and when I try and boot it says it can't be supported.

Does anyone have any documentation on what I should us for Win 7 pro 64bit?

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ICHCB's picture

Your PE boot disk doesn't have the correct NIC drivers or doesn't have new enough drivers is most likely the issue.

If you exit the Ghost program while booted up can you type

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

If you get an error for either of these commands that no device is in a state permissable then this proves that the cable is unplugged or the Network driver isn't correct or new enough.   (the one on the boot disk)

Please see the following article for how to create and updated a boot disk to include the later drivers.

If you do get a valid IP when you run the

ipconfig /renew command then you can relaunch ghost32 and use it.    The issue then is that the DHCP server or the switch that the system is connected to is not reponding quick enough and windows PE is moving on to the next steps and doesn't try to again ask for an ip.


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ICHCB's picture

Oh also try the suggestions here.   If you put a cd in each of your cd drives and it then opens you have to contact support to get the update specificly for the cd drive issue.


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capabel1's picture

Thanks for the tip I did re-make my disk after noticing that I didn't get an IP from DHCP so I installed ALL the broadcom drivers they had available AND installed a specific NIC driver and re-created the disk.  I tried it again and still no luck. I can't do an IPCONFIG / release renew because it doesn't find any adapters. 

The problem is I'm not even sure if i'm selecting the correct options for this and for the life of me can't find any documentation that tells you the suggested configuration for my OS.

I tried win the PE option clicked advaanced select the one that reads 512 since I have 4gb of ram and added the specific nic and selected all the other adapters.  Based on those settings is it even the correct choices or should I be using something else?

capabel1's picture

10 disk later and still no luck, I've added ALL the drivers built in and ALL the drivers new and old that I could find for the nic and I still can't get it to load the nic and get an IP.  Does anyone have any other ghosting options?  I'm about done with ghost and i'm thinking about returning the product since it doesn't even come with support and clearly is way to complex to be useful in my simply enivornment.

EdT's picture

What I see is missing in this thread is the information that you need to add VISTA 32 bit drivers to your WinPE image, as the version of WinPE shipped with Ghost, is based on the Vista 32 bit kernel. Vista drivers are required regardless of the operating system you are trying to image, as your target O/S is not booted when WinPE is running.

Also, for full Windows 7 support, you need to run LiveUpdate after installing 2.5 to get you up to build 2266 which is the last released build. 2.5 is actually a very old product which has not been updated for some years due to the development team all getting laid off.

You don't actually need to keep burning disks to test drivers. This article:   describes how to use the DRVLOAD utility in WinPE to dynamically load candidate drivers from the WinPE command line. Since WinPE can mount a USB stick, you can stick a load of drivers on a stick and then try loading them in turn until you find a working combination.

Please bear in mind that when you add drivers to Ghost Boot Wizard, you also need to make sure the added drivers are selected before you burn a new boot image.

WinPE is also used in other imaging tools, such as Paragon Partition Manager, so some familiarity with WinPE helps you to make progress. If you want to explore this tool independently of Ghost then the following article will give you a starting point:

You also need to bear in mind that modern hardware now uses SATA hard disks and optical drives almost exclusively. As a consequence, you may need to add the appropriate Vista 32 bit SATA drivers for your PC hardware if you find that WinPE cannot access your hard disk.

Finally, with Windows 7, you should be aware that a standard installation comprises two partitions, as there is a small (100Mb) system partition that is also required for Win 7 to be able to boot. Imaging to a different machine (even if the same model) will also require you to re-activate Windows 7 as its anti piracy code detects a different machine by parameters such as the MAC address and the bios serial number, and will deactivate the O/S automatically.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

capabel1's picture

Edt, thanks for that helpful post. I wasn't aware I needed "Vista" drives.

I've already done the live update and didn't find anything.  I don't have windows Vista Drivers as the pc is new and the bios is dated 8-10-12 so it seems it hasn't been sitting on the shelf long.  The pc is a HP 4300 pro sff and HP doesn't have vista drivers so I'll see if I can find one on broadcoms website directly.  I stopped burning didk and just formatted a usb drive, but I'll just use the drvload utility since that's going to save a lot of time.  I'm still debating on returning the product and all 50 licenses since I was told it works with windows 7 right out of the box which isn't the case becuase I now have to go back in time to try and find an OLD vista driver!!  The fact that they laid off development and sold me a product that hasn't been updated to support latest drivers and technology doesn't sit well. 

EdT's picture

In fairness to Symantec, the basic Ghost code is pretty solid, and if you search on past postings by Nigel Bree (one of the ghost developers), you can see what he has to say about what went into the code.

Ghost does a number of things, including working with builds that are being sysprepped and with the DeployAnywhere technology, enables you to handle the different driver requirements of the machine inventory you find in the average company.

Microsoft release a new version of WinPE alongside new operating system releases, so V2, the version in Ghost, was the version released for Vista, and WinPE V3 was released along with Windows 7 and Windows 2008R2 server.  There is a significant difference in the way WinPE V2 and V3 function, and although work had been started to implement WinPE V3 for Ghost 3, that work was shelved when the development team was laid off. Having said that, the Ghost product manager has posted that a new version of Ghost may appear in the next few months, so hopefully it will be updated to cover Win 8 as well as updating the version of WinPE being used (and it will be interesting to see if WinPE V4 appears anytime soon now that Windows 8 has shipped to the end user market.)

With manufacturers continually bringing out new chipsets both for network support and for SATA drive support, it would be a challenge for any vendor to keep the driver library up to date. The strategy adopted by many of the ghost users in this forum, is to identify the chipset being used in any new hardware, and then seek the appropriate drivers from the chipset vendor's website. It is worth searching this forum on the chipset number as users often post links to drivers they have found which work with WinPE V2. An example is the Intel 82579 chipset which has proved particularly challenging to find working drivers for, but our members have posted more than one link to working sources.

There are also many articles on Connect which can help you with various aspects of setting up and using Ghost. This remains an enterprise-strength product with many capabilities so it does require a little more work than the average "retail" product which is not intended for doing more than backing up one or two machines.

On a separate note, are you aware that Microsoft offer the "Windows Automated Installation Kit" or WAIK, for Windows 7, which is their toolset for creating scripted Windows 7 installs. The WAIK includes the source for WinPE, and the articles I referenced in my previous posting points you at the appropriate WAIK downloads for V2 and V3. WinPE also comes with "ImageX" which creates WIM images, rather than GHO images, but they are not unlike Ghost in offering you imaging solutions, albeit free of charge. The downside is that the integration of drivers and creation of build scripts is something you have to do for yourself, and it is quite a steep learning curve.

Do come back and ask us if you have any further questions, as Win 7 imaging creates a few more challenges than older operating systems such as XP.  If you are unfamiliar with BCDEDIT, you may want to research this with Google as this utility is important if you change the partition structure of your target systems. Win XP used boot.ini to identify the boot partitions and to provide support for dual boot systems, but this method is no longer used with Win 7 and has been replaced with the BCD editor.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

capabel1's picture

Edt: thanks again for the reply, but consultants like myself don't really care about a vendors "challenges" nor have the time to read hundreds of post regarding chipsets or drivers or the history of an application.  I've been using ghost since it's inception and have never had the type of problems i've had with this release. 

I would have to sum it up to bad documentation as I couldn't find anything that said I have to use Vista 32bit NIC drivers although I a Win 7 64bit machine.

Time is money and my time is expensive and clients don't want to spend money for me to do hours of research.  Your simple tip that said I MUST use a 32bit VISTA driver is all I needed to know as I was able to quickly find an older driver test it and get it to work.  Why wasn't that in the documentation is what drives me crazy and as a result I'm going to have to return my 50 pack of license.  I typically only charge the client for each machine I ghost, but having to find old and outdated drivers for a new machine is just a waste of time.  I'm going to go back and search for a vendor that supports Win 7 imaging out of the box.

So much for ghost.

EdT's picture

As a long time consultant myself, I work on the principal of adding value through my services, and treat the process of learning about products that I am unfamiliar with as a necessary overhead that my business has to bear. If you offer imaging services, then IMHO you should be aware of what products are available, and their shortcomings. However, that's just my personal opinion, which has served me well since 1975.

If you find any equivalent products to Ghost, please come back and share with us, but in the meantime, you may want to evaluate Acronis TrueImage and Paragon Partition Manager 2012 - the latter being very low cost and is also based on WinPE.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

ICHCB's picture

In the KB that I linked at the first post in the instructions it notes vista 32bit as the OS that is used for the PE disk and in the driver section it notes at section 7, D:  it notes to choose vista from the list of OS's for what it is worth.  

Agreed that the driver database that is shipping with ghost hasn't kept up with modern hardware and I look forward to the day that a live update comes out that brings the drivers up to 2012 versions and maybe even supports a pe 3.0 solution.


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capabel1's picture

IC it actually doesn't it reads

"New in the Ghost Solution Suite version 2.5 is the capability of creating a Windows PE disk. The benefit is that the Ghost created Windows PE disk contains a 32-bit operating system with a lite version of Windows Vista. Since the Windows PE disk does not depend on DOS, it is compatible with newer hardware including Network Interface Cards (NIC) and Hard drives. The Windows PE disk is also useful because it does not rely on DOS NIC drivers."

This simply tells me that it uses a 32bit operating system with a lite version of Windows?  However the ghost documenation says to use the nic driver based on your OS??? 

The problem is the nic drivers for broadcom are already installed in the PE image so I didn't think I would have to go out download 32 bit OLD VISTA drivers and them so I never got to the point of added drivers manaully and even then it doesn't say to add 32bit Vista or 64bit drivers?  Again I have a 64 bit machine so I never thought to add 32 bit drivers.  The problem is the documentation is not clear and concise as to what you need for a specific sceniero and if they do in fact have live update why would they just add all the appropriate drivers?  Again they have dropped the ball and made what should have been an out of the box solution very time consuming task by forcing users to research and find drivers just to get it to work. 

Check the Applicable Operating System. For Windows PE drivers, this should be VISTA only.

EdT's picture

If I can just clarify in case you run up against WinPE in the future....

WinPE is an operating system in its own right, and during its lifespan, it has been based on the XP, Vista and Windows 7 kernels as it has been updated to support deployment of these operating systems.

When you have booted WinPE, it runs entirely from memory. If the correct SATA drivers are available, it has access to the hard disk, and as far as WinPE is concerned, that hard disk is nothing more than a bunch of sectors containing data. The fact that those sectors may contain a 32 bit or a 64 bit operating system is totally irrelevant, as they are just sectors to be backed up into an image. Since WinPE is the operating system in control, any drivers you add have to be compatible with the version of WinPE you are running. Equally, 32 bit WinPE is perfectly adequate for imaging any currently available hard disk, as it supports both standard and GUID partitions. (ie partitions > 2Tb).

At the time this version of WinPE was added to Ghost, it was the only version in town, and since documentation is the last chore that developers get to do, it often misses out the facts that seem obvious to the developers. I have yet to encounter a product with adequate documentation even though I have been working in IT since 1975.  

Consultancy is all about adding value, and therefore there is a point of view that we make our money by filling in the gaps that vendors leave in their products and documentation. After all, if anyone could make it work without any problems then no one would need our services and we would have to get a proper job!!

By the way, if you find an equivalent product that does the same as Ghost and is bang up to date, let me know. My favourite imaging tools at the moment are imagex from the WinPE toolkit and Paragon Partition Manager which does a good job and is very low cost.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

funguy's picture

Creating your own Live Win7 PE3 with Symantec Ghost:
What I also  added was a FIX_7HDC tool to fix BSODs and NEWEST driverpacks...ENJOY!

REQUIREMENTS: Win7 machine with 7zip ( and WAIK installed before you begin

1) Download the latest 32bit & 64bit driverpacks from to empty folder (c:\temp): DP_Chipset_wnt6-x64_1206.7z, DP_Chipset_wnt6-x86_1206.7z, DP_LAN_wnt6-x64_1208.7z, DP_LAN_wnt6-x86_1208.7z, DP_MassStorage_wnt5_x86-32_1203.7z,DP_MassStorage_wnt6-x64_1208.7z, DP_MassStorage_wnt6-x86_1208.7z
2) Download: Make_PE3_42.exe (or newer) and Make_PE3_plugins.exe. Save them into c:\temp (Official Site) (downloads)
3) Download the latest Betas of: PENetwork.7z, PENetwork_x64.7z and save into c:\temp\fixes (Official Site) (downloads)
3) Download: written by cdob and save into c:\temp (Official Site) (download)
4) Right-click on and "extract all" to folder "c:\temp\FIX_7HDC"
  Put my fix_7hdc.bat in that folder to use correct driverpacks automatically. (see attached zip)
5) Create Sky.jpg, wallpaper.jpg, winpe.jpg (the image files are whatever you want for wallpaper with recommended dimensions = 1440 x 1080. Create one and copy/rename to make other two.) Save them in "c:\temp\Fixes"
6) Extract startnet.cmd using 7zip from Make_PE3_42.exe. Right-click on Make_PE3_42.exe and select 7zip-->open archive. Browse into \Make_PE3\PE3_mod\PE3_add\amd64\Windows\SysWOW64\startnet.cmd and extract to c:\temp\Fixes.  Edit c:\temp\Fixes\startnet.cmd (64-bit version) to startup driver plugin by default and switch wallpaper.  Repeat with Make_PE3_42.exe\Make_PE3\PE3_mod\PE3_add\x86\Windows\System32\startnet.cmd and save to c:\temp\Fixes\x86\.  (see attached zip)
7) Create folder c:\temp\ghost and add files from c:\program files (x86)\symantec\ghost folder off your ghost server.
FILES INCLUDE: Ghost Boot Wizard.chm, Ghost Boot Wizard.exe, Ghost Client.lnk, Ghost Server.lnk, ghost.exe, GHOST.INI, ghost32.exe, Ghost64.exe, GhostCast.chm, Ghostexp.chm, Ghostexp.exe, GhostImageFile.dll, GhostSrv.exe, ghreboot.bat, ghstwalk.exe, GhWalk32.exe, readme.txt, wattcp.cfg, win32ui.dll
8) Run my custom install batch "setup_with_ghost_and_drivers.bat" (see attached zip)
9) Copy contents of entire win7 32bit dvd to c:\win7_32bit_source\
10) Run "C:\Make_PE3\Make_PE3.exe" using the following options:
 -Click Browse and c:\win7_32bit_source\
 -Select Get Win7 files and use WAIk
 -uncheck EXP
 -uncheck Adobe
 -uncheck NetFrame
 -Select Yes to Reduce size
 -click "Go"
11) Burn C:\winpe3_x86\PE3_x86_E.iso to a cd.
12) Insert burned CD into another machine and boot it
13) Now create desktop shortcuts you want on you PE3 desktop...Copy them to usb before you shutdown PE3. (or see attached zip)
14) Return to builder machine and copy all shortcuts to c:\temp\links. In my case: Fix_7HDC.lnk, Ghost Local (32bit).lnk, and GhostSrv.lnk (or see attached zip)
15) Repeat steps 8,10, and 11 to create new PE3 iso with shortcuts on desktop
16) Test new PE3 CD.

The boot.wim is PXE bootable but that is another tutorial :-)

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