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GSS 2.5 Client Console from WinPE

Created: 12 Jul 2013 | 5 comments

I am new to GSS and I am running the Ghost Client Console from within WinPE booted from a USB disk.  I have no problems getting the client to start, connect to the server and communicate.  When I attempt to start a task, however, the client system receives a shutdown command and restarts the computer without processing the command.  Am I missing a step or is it even possible to run tasks from within the WinPE environment without having installed the ghost console client directly onto the client computer?  

All documentation I have seen points to the client being installed on the client OS before running the commands and this is not the case in my situation.  While I could install the client (I have more than enough licenses), this will just increase my deployment time and I have a very limited window in which to make my changes to the client systems.  

Thanks for any input, I appreciate the assistance!

Operating Systems:

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EdT's picture

If you want to run tasks from the console then you need to have the client installed.

If you just want to image to a server share, then make sure you have the Ghost executable on the WinPE boot stick, use WinPE to map to a server share, and then run Ghost locally and save the image to the share. You will find that the image will be written in 2Gb chunks but this method avoids having to have a client installed.

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

ATIS-TECH226's picture

Yes, you can connect into the Ghost Console directly from a USB boot media (or PXE Boot) with out any OS or Ghost Console Client installed on the HDD (Bare Metal).  Then you can send Clone/Capture task from the Ghost Console.  There is only a few limitations, like refresh inventory, very useful for the initial “Bare Metal Installation”.

Also there is no need to have the Ghost Client ever been installed and running on an OS, prior using WinPE to boot directly to the Ghost Console.

I use the following setting when I “build” the USB boot key in Ghost Boot Wizard:


My deployment system is setup to use the Ghost Console as a Zero Touch deployment solution.

I hope this will help you:

 1.         I noticed that “unexpected restart behaviour” you describe when I connected a PC/Laptop that was never connected to the console when using WinPE as a boot method.  The device icon will appear in the default folder of the Ghost Console, but the device restart and boot back normally to the HDD on is own after a few minute with out any request send from the Console.

 Solution:  I Boot the media again using the same method, the 2nd attempt always resolve the problem.

 2.         In almost every case, the Ghost Console sends an expected “restart CMD” to the device, so it can boot under the Pre-OS virtual boot partition from the local HDD. 

Make sure when “that” restarts happen, the BIOS first boot is set to the HDD.  I saw some of the guy’s working for me, setting the BIOS first boot to the USB Key, and boot WinPE to the Console.  Then they send the “Clone Task” to image the PC, and it go into a re-boot back into the USB Stick.  Once a guy’s did that 10 time before telling me the “Ghost Server” was out of service….not the case. 

Once you boot from a USB key to connect directly to the Ghost Console, you can safely remove the key as soon as you see a series of 4 consecutive Acknowledged/Reply between the Ghost Agent and Ghost Console in the CMD windows of the local device.  Removing the USB key avoid an accidental re-boot away from the “Ghost Virtual Pre-OS Boot” on the local HDD.

 3.         Make sure that in the Ghost Console, your Pre-OS is “set” to use the same WinPE as the one you install on your USB Stick using the Ghost Boot Wizard.  You might encounter situation where you need a different Pre-OS, but to deploy Windows OS's using WinPE is usually ok.


4.        Look for error code that could indicate a missing Mass Storage HDD Controller driver in the WinPE package.  Basically, WinPE as no communication with the local HDD.  Injecting the proper Window Vista driver for the HDD controller will be necessary.

 5.         Make sure you are using the Ghost Console version: (AKA and you are not in trial mode for the Ghost Console. You should have registered your license in the Console software.



Swinster's picture

Hi Atis,

Is there any chance you could repost the images (especially the first one - or add the start.bat command lines as text). I see thumbnails but no large images so cannot read them.



Dpak D's picture

IMHO steps 3 & 4 are not relevant when connecting to the console using a WINPE USB.The machine is already under WINPE and the template you select does not matter and so the drivers missing error,which you get often with the client installed.

To make it simple ,when client is installed it is called the Virtual partition method and the rest, boot partition method.

Please post the task scenario for further inputs.

Swinster's picture

Ner mind,

I simply rem'ed out the "start ghost32" line and added "start ngctw32 -console" into the 'Start.bat' file in the final step of the Ghost boot wizard.

Now I can use the ISO for machines that use the Intel vPro/AMT technology and redirect the CDROM to the built ISO. A similar idea to PXE, but slightly different - we don't/can't use PXE.

The only problem I have now is that some machines the boot from the re-directed CD ROM ISO seem to have a very slow data transfer when when transferring an image - 60MB/sec !!!!. It takes over 8 hours to transfer an image! Booting from an identical ISO but put onto a USB or real CD, the data transfer is as expected - more than 10 time faster!

I have posted a question on the Intel vPro forum, but no answer as yet.