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There is no valid source drive to choose (11032)

Created: 30 Nov 2012 | 15 comments

Currently trying to create a new Image of a HP EliteBook 6930p w/ Windows 7 Pro x64.

Our method here has always been to boot from a NetBootDisk USB and map the ghost share and launch GHOST (MSDOS).

There is no faster way to ghost than this, especially over a gigabit switch. We used to use Ghost 8 to image our XP machines, no problem (including this model Laptop). But now because of Windows 7, we have purchased Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 that comes with Ghost 11.5.

WinPE is too slow to boot.  So please, don't tell me to use WinPE instead of DOS.

Is it possible to insert SATA drivers into a MS-DOS Ghost build? 

I've tried running ghost with the switches mentioned in another similar post, but still unable to image.

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EdT's picture

Check whether the system bios offers a "Compatibility mode" for the hard disk in your system. If you can switch the hard disk so that it offers a PATA-like (IDE) interface then you may be able to image it with DOS.

Otherwise, you are going to have to move to WinPE. I'm sure many people thought horses were faster than cars, but things changed, and we have to change with them.  DOS has NO support for SATA, and there are other limitations due to the way it addresses hard disks (CHS) whereas nowadays the method is LBA. CHS based on the DOS use of 32 bit only supports around 132 Gb. While Ghost did have some workarounds for the limitations of DOS, including the ability to read NTFS file systems, it cannot do the impossible.

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

crizchun's picture

We've Ghosted plenty of SATA drive PCs in the near past using Ghost 8 DOS. Netbootdisk and Ghost was the best way to image out machines, it would take on average 10 minutes or less to image a 20 gig image over a gigabit network. You may be correct about the size limitations, but that is an issue i'm willing to accept. 

I'm succesfully able to see my laptops SATA drive using our old GHOST.exe, but windows 7 is not compatible with that versiion of gjhost.

New version of ghost doesn't see the hard drive...  wierd right?

EdT's picture

Which "new" version of Ghost are you using?

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

EdT's picture

I may be missing something here, but since the NTFS file system is basically unchanged from XP to Win 7, I don't quite understand why you should not be able to image a Win 7 machine with the older version. You do, however, have to take account of the fact that a standard Win 7 installation consists of two partitions and both are needed for a valid image to be created. In addition, you need to retain the relationship in partition numbering between source and target, so any vendor partitions need to be retained as well, or you need to build a source machine to the configuration you want to use for all your targets.

Ghost 11.5.1. at build 2266 offers both DOS and WinPE as boot environments. Whereas DOS boots quicker than WinPE as it is about 1% of the size, many users have reported imaging speeds as higher under WinPE due to its ability to use more than "base" memory for caching. In addition, you have the ability to add drivers to support modern hardware for both NIC and SATA chipsets. The version of WinPE provided in GSS is V2, which is based on the Vista 32 bit kernel. Thus when adding drivers, you need to use Vista 32 bit drivers, which appears counter-intuitive to some, but is the correct way to go.

Give it a try and come back if you have any questions.

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

crizchun's picture

So in the end, you're still just saying to use WinPE. :( 

EdT's picture

Your machine, the HP EliteBook 6930p w/ Windows 7 Pro x64, if I understand you correctly, you are able to see the SATA hard disk on this machine when you boot from your NetBootDisk USB stick.

Are you able to see both the main partition that is the C: drive as well as the hidden "system" partition of around 100Mb at the start of the drive, before the main partition?

Does the Elitebook use an "advanced partition" hard disk?  (These use 4K sector sizes, and I've not seen this below 2Tb drive capacity, but sooner or later I suspect is is going to go down onto smaller drives) Advanced partitions do not prevent Ghosting but do normally require you to set partition boundaries explicitly.

Again, with Windows 7, the file systems are essentially unchanged, and you can read a Win 7 disk on an XP system without issues, so Ghost should be able to image a Win 7 partition unless there are other technical stumbling blocks that you need to overcome. Have you actually tried imaging your Win 7 machine and if so, what errors did you get that prompted you to upgrade?

I understand your reluctance in switching to WinPE as there is no escaping the fact that it does take a bit longer to load. However, it solves many of the problems caused by DOS limitations, and the trends in hardware development increasingly make DOS an unviable boot environment. You may well find that the longer boot time is offset by a shorter imaging time, so no reason not to give it a decent try. There is a lot that can be done to optimise WinPE if you have the time to devote to it.

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

crizchun's picture

Currently i'm adding NIC drivers to the WinPE image using Ghost Boot Wizard. Though reluctant, I am willing to give it a decent try, like you said.

I'll let you know how it goes.

EdT's picture

Don't forget to select the drivers you have added with GBW, before recompiling the boot image.

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

crizchun's picture

Ok, i'm probably adding these drivers wrong. When i get to the Windows PE drivers dialogue... i click on add new driver... and i poing to the .ini file in the folder that contains the driver i want, right???

and then i named it whatever, and made sure it was checked before i clicked OK and continued with the build of the boot disk. Oh, and i also made sure "Inclue Deploy Anywhere Driver Database with the image" was checked too.

I enter the username password, and share mapping into the Network Client Configuration dialogue and mapped it to drive letter "Z:"

now when i boot to WinPE Ghost, i don't see Z: as a possible drive. and when i run ipconfig i get nothing. 

So wrong driver? am i doing something wrong?

EdT's picture

I can see a number of issues here.

1. You need to point to the .INF file of the driver set, not the INI file. As a minimum, you need an INF CAT and SYS file, although some drivers also include various DLL files.

2. You don't mention whether you have used Vista 32 bit drivers for this, but that is what is needed.

3. Are you actually planning to use Deploy Anywhere?  The DA driver database has nothing whatsoever to do with the WinPE boot process, it is there in case you are creating sysprepped images and want to inject drivers into the images to support different PC models. The DA driver library therefore has to contain drivers appropriate for the operating system image you are deploying, and not WinPE vista drivers. Including the DA  driver database is just going to make your boot environment much bigger than it needs to be for the purposes of creating an image of an existing build.

4. Inability to get an IP address still means that you don't have a valid NIC driver loaded. If your NIC chipset happens to be the Intel 82579, please search this forum on the string "82579" as this particular chipset seems to present more problems than the rest put together, but there are now several threads where sources of the correct drivers are mentioned.

I would also point you to this technote:  which describes how to use the WinPE command line utility DRVLOAD to test load candidate drivers from the WinPE command line to see if they load and function correctly. This is a quick way to check drivers you have downloaded and make sure they work with your hardware before you go through another WinPE boot image rebuild.  It is also prudent to deselect drivers you know you are not going to be using, as the driver library in WinPE is some years old now, and there could be older drivers in there supporting the same device ID that your NIC or SATA devices use, but with a very old driver that does not quite support your modern hardware.

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

crizchun's picture

It's alot of work, but I think i'm getting there....currently working on downloading all NIC drivers that are needed. So far there are 3 different models in our office that are not working right away with WinPE... *sigh*

Dude, thanks so much for you support... I really think it'll be ok with WinPE....i'll keep ya posted.yes

EdT's picture

I should have pointed you at the following links before now. Too easily distracted......

There is a lot of information stored in the Articles forum on Connect - it is always worth searching if you need an answer...

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

crizchun's picture

So Everything seems to be working fine getting Ghost to boot and detect NIC and storage.

I've done a fresh Windows 7 x64 Pro install on the EliteBook 6930p, ran sysprep (no generalize) and shutdown. 

Created an image using Disk to Image option.

Grab a second EliteBook 6930p to test the image on...Disk from Image completes with no errors.

The problem that i'm having now is it blue screens right at the welcome screen. After a little digging, i can see that the system reserve partition is now the C: drive and the OS drive is now the D: drive.   Looking through the forum for this topic...any help would be awesome.

EdT's picture

Have a look at the partition settings, as it sounds like the system reserve partition is not hidden after imaging. Are you wiping the existing hard disk before re-imaging ?  Was the source machine wiped before creating the base image?  My reason for asking is that vendors often use small partitions for BIOS utilities and image restore, and if the source and target partition numbering is not identical, other issues will arise such as failure to boot.

WinPE has a utility called DISKPART which can be used to wipe disks, create partitions, etc,etc, and if you are unfamiliar with its use, you can review the use in this article:

Diskpart can be scripted and included in the imaging process.

By the way, if you feel suitably creative, WinPE can display a GUI written as an HTA file, and you can also use WMI under WinPE to discover what machine you are booting from, and choose the right image automagically.

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