To The Rescue

By Samir Makwana Published Date
01 - Jan - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2008
To The Rescue

Use Norton Ghost to keep your data safe from untoward incidents

Norton Ghost may cost a bit, but it’s a brilliant solution to take backups and images of your data. You can find the trial version on this month’s DVD.

The Basics

When you run the program for the first time, you’ll be asked to select a backup destination. Choose any healthy drive or partition except for C:, or better yet, an external hard disk. After setting the backup destination, define the source—choose Run or Manage Backups under the Tasks menu or the main screen. Ghost lets you back up selected files and folders, or entire drives. Drive backups are called Recovery Points, and are saved with the .v2i, .iv2i or .pqi extensions. The new version of Ghost lets you create drive images as well as file and folder backups (the older versions were only drive imaging utilities), so it’s a complete backup solution.

To define a backup, open the Tasks tab in Ghost and choose Run or Manage Backups. To back up everything on your computer, select Back Up My Computer. The Back Up My Documents option will allow back up your My Documents folder, in addition to file types like music, movies and so on. To change the drives you want to back up (or files in the latter case), click on the drive letter (or folder name) in the dialog.

The recovery points you create can be copied to CD DVD under Tools > Copy Recovery Point.
Browsing A Recovery Point

Once you’ve made a recovery point of a partition or on your hard drive, you can browse through the files as they were at the time of the backup, and even restore individual files instead of restoring the entire recovery point. Go to Tools > Recovery Point Browser and open the Recovery Point you want to browse through. To restore an old version of a file, right-click on it and choose Recover.

You can also browse the recovery point in Windows Explorer by mounting it as a separate drive. In the Recovery Point Browser, select the Recovery Point and click Mount. Alternatively, you can use Windows Explorer to browse to the Recovery Point, right-click on it and choose Mount. You’ll be asked to give it a drive letter, and you’ll be able to browse through it like you would any other partition on your PC. Any changes you make to the mounted image will go away once you un-mount the recovery point.

Unattended Backups And Restores

You can schedule incremental backups under the Status menu by editing the calendar. Right-click on the calendar and choose Define New Backup. To backup computers on the network, go to Computers > Add and add the IP address of the computer you want to back up. Once it’s connected, you can create recovery points, schedule, and even restore backups on the computers in the list.

Helpful Tools

Backups can be taxing on your system; you can set a default performance level for backups in Tasks > Options > Performance.
You can also set security options while setting up a backup under the Advanced tab.

You’ll get different encryption options to password-protect (the character limit depends on the encryption level) the backup files.


When you pay and obtain the full version of Ghost, you get the ability to convert recovery points to VMware virtual disks, and the ability to copy one hard disk to another. Existing recovery points can be converted to the VMWare virtual disk format for use as a virtual OS. Go to Tools > Convert to Virtual Disk. To make a copy of your hard drive, go to Tools > Copy My Hard Drive.

Samir MakwanaSamir Makwana