I've found Norton Ghost to be very useful for backing up systems. The program will allow you to back up an exact image of a drive or partition. It will work with FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ext2, and some versions will even allow you to backup ext3 partitions.
A problem I've encountered is that the program only allows you to generate bootable diskettes. Some newer sysems don't have a floppy drive. A boot CD is needed for those systems. For those systems, generate a bootable floppy diskette of the type you want, e.g. with USB and Firewire support or for a network backup. Then use a CD writing program to generate a bootable CD. Many newer CD burning programs allow you to generate bootable CDs from a bootable floppy.
The procedure I've listed below is for Roxio's Easy CD and DVD Creator 6, but you should be able to use a similar procedure with another program, e.g. Nero.
- Start Creator Classic
- Click on File
- Click on New Project
- Select Bootable Disc
- Make sure Bootable Disc Type is set to Floppy Disk Emulation (1.44 MB) and Emulation Option is set to Generate Image from Floppy. You can uncheck Retain Boot Image File unless you want to generate more bootable discs in the future without reinserting the floppy (see Figure 1). You can leave the Advanced options set to the default of 0x7c0 for Load Segment and 1 for Sector Count
- Click on OK
- Click on the orange "burn" button at the lower right-hand side of the Creator Classic window
- A Record Setup window then appears. Unless you need to change any settings, just click on OK
- You will see a Burn Disc Progress window appear. When the process reaches 100%, you will see a message that "You new disc is complete." Unless you want to use Creator Classic to create a label, click on Close then OK.
- When the message appears asking whether you want to save project changes, you can click on No unless you want to generate more CDs exactly like the one you just generated.
- You can now close Creator Classic and use the boot CD you just created to boot a system into Norton Ghost.
If the system isn't configured to try booting from a bootable CD before attempting to boot from the hard disk, you will need to enter the BIOS setup routine, which you can do after you power the system on, by hitting the appropriate key, e.g. Del (Dell) or F1 (Gateway). Or many newer systems will allow you to hit a key at startup time to specify what device you want to boot from, e.g. F12 (Dell) or F10 (Gateway).