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Windows 7 + Ghost not working.

Created: 13 Aug 2009 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 6 comments

Hi All

I am after some help getting Ghost to work with Windows 7.

I am using an older version of Ghost. Version 8 infact.
I currently use it in a Windows PE environment and works well for the systems we have.

When Vista came out I found that to create a succsesful image in ghost8 you needed to edit the boot file with bcdedit.

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot

I have tried the following commands in Win 7 (Pre image) but after deploying the image I end up with an error saying that the boot device is inacessible.
Same as if no commands are entered.

Does anyone have a fix for this ?

The installation is a vanilla install of Win 7 on a blank HDD.



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EdT's picture

Are you testing your ghost image on the same system it was generated on, or another system?
if another system, is the system using a SATA drive?  If so, do you have SATA drivers in your image? Does the bios need to be set to AHCI mode or Compatibility mode?

Finally, WinPE comes with Imagex - this creates WIM files rather than GHO files, but is more intelligent and also creates substantially smaller image files as it does not store swap files, and other unnecessary content. If you have WinPE, don't waste time on Ghost issues when you can use WIM and save yourself a lot of hassle.

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

f17th's picture

Hi EdT

The image is going back onto the same system it was taken from.

I dont think the copy of BartPE I built has WIM on there.
BartPE is built with XP or Server2003 disk.

If you use a copy of WinPE where did you get this from and also does it support networking ?

All of the images are stored on a Networked Server.

Thanks for taking the time to help.


EdT's picture

The Windows Automated Install Kit (WAIK) is a free download from Microsoft:

There is now also a version for Windows 7:

Have a look in the Articles forum for "Adventures with WinPE" to get additional information on how to set it up on various different media types.
And yes - you can add different drivers to the WinPE boot system, although if you choose to install WinPE on a USB drive and thus make it bootable, arguably you can have your images on there as well and not have to drag them over a network.  Therefore can make a useful tool for remote site working for your mobile technicians.

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

shiamak's picture

Using Windows PE , can you automate image deployment?

We release OS along with our software to manufacturing for installation on PCs being shipped to customers, hence the need for no interaction OS image loading. So far we have been using GHOST but I have been having the same issue as f17TH with restoring Win7 image .

Any comments? suggesations?

EdT's picture

The Windows Automated Installation Kit is indeed intended to provide an environment for image deployment.
I have just completed a project for a client where a single image (XP SP3) is supporting 20 different desktop and laptop machines, with three other images supporting tablet builds, 64 bit builds and a laptop build requiring a non standard HAL. Deployment is via a WinPE bootable USB device which autosenses the machine type using WMI, and then based on an HTA file allows the technician to do a full autobuild, or a partial autobuild (preserving the data partition). Image selection is automatic based on model type, except where specific models support both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems - in that case the technician has to select which o/s is installed.

The WIM file created after sysprep for each build type is stored on the USB device and is automatically deployed once the hard disk has been prepared (also automatic). Once the image deployment completes, the USB solution asks the technician to reboot the machine, and sysprep runs minisetup, then some final build scripts, all with no interaction, joining the machine to the domain and leaving the machine at a login prompt ready for the user to login.

Since the WIM images are created using imagex from the WAIK, there appear to be no issues with compatibility across the range of Windows operating systems, and from my experience, the image sizes are substantially smaller than those producted by Ghost 8, as non essentials like the swap file are automatically excluded. We also produce ghost images of the builds for an external vendor who images new machines and doesn't use WIM files at the moment, and a wim image of 4.5Gb equates to a ghost file of around 5.5Gb for the same content.

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

ZigZag's picture


Just to let you know I used to always swear by ghost due to the speed of being able to boot, load ghost and do a full drive backup in minutes, Windows 7 has been a challenge to do the same. After you had the bootmgr issue, so did I so tried all of the above with WinPE and other similar and although works fine was just too slow.

So after a few attempts it end up being quite simple. Using GHOST 11.5 to backup a 10gig OS drive (pre loaded with apps)

Ghost -split=2000

it does not work unless I split the image file but when I do its worked 100%, back to the old fast and faithful.

Hope this may help.