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Create a Bootable Backup Image to USB Flash Drive

Created: 16 Jan 2013 | 4 comments
MKH's picture

Hello:

I am trying to create a bootable backup image to a USB flash drive. To do this I select Disk then To Image in Boot Wizard. When I do this I am prompted to select the source then destination. If I select my DVD/CD burner as the destination and back my hard drive up to DVDs or CDs Ghost creates GHO files that boot starting the Ghost Boot Wizard. It does not matter if DOS or WinPE is used the GHO files boot from DVDs or CDs. However if I repeat the process only this time select my USB flash drive as the destination Ghost creates a GHO file but it will not boot. The only way I have found to get a USB flash drive to boot with a GHO file on it is to create a bootable USB flash drive using the Boot Wizard then copy the GHO file to it. When I do this I am able to boot from the USB flash drive then backup or restore from the drive.I consider my method to be a work around and not the preferred way to create a bootable GHO file to a USB flash drive. Your assistance in helping me create a GHO to a USB flash drive that will boot would be appreciated.

 

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EdT's picture

If you actually examine the structures of a bootable CD or DVD, you will find that there is a boot environment which loads DOS or WinPE and mounts an appropriate driver for the optical device, and then restores the Ghost image from what is effectively a separate partition. Ghost files in themselves are not bootable.

Your solution in creating a bootable USB flash drive and then placing a Ghost image on it is the way that everyone else does it, as far as I am aware.  Unlike CD or DVD, usb devices are read write and are treated differently by the operating system, hence the solution has to be different also.

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

MKH's picture

Thanks for your help!

The only problem I have creating a bootable USB drive using Ghost Boot Wizard then putting a Ghost image file on it is Ghost formats the USB drive FAT and I am not sure if FAT will support 10 to 15 GB files. When I first copied the Ghost boot information to a USB flash drive formatted NTFS I initially got it to work and I successfully backed up to it 4 times then when I deleted one of the older image files it became corrupt and when I tried to recopy the Ghost boot information to the USB flash drive I have not been able to get it to work. The only way I have able to use Ghost is boot on one USB flash drive and backup to another. 

EdT's picture

It is perfectly possible to format a USB flash drive as NTFS and therefore save files greater than 2Gb, which is the FAT limit.  What you have to bear in mind, and also one reason why flash drives are not routinely formatted as NTFS, is that NTFS is a journalling file system which means that there are read-write operations going on all the time, even if there is no new data being written. Since flash memory has a limited number of read-write cycles, leaving a USB key inserted when it is not actually being used to transfer data, can wear it out .  

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

MKH's picture

It would be nice if Ghost formated exfat and booted. The problem I am running into I think is if the boot surface is not FAT or is FAT but becomes corrupt Ghost will not boot.