07-20-2012 08:46 AM
I am working with a Samsung notebook running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, single Sata HDD. Ghost 15 was purchased online and downloaded as an ISO file which was then used to install Ghost. Backups are done as Independent Recovery Points (full backup) and stored on a Seagate USB 3.0-connected HDD.
I created a Recovery CD from the installed Ghost system. USB drive was connected at the time. When I try to boot with the Recovery CD (or with the original installation CD for that matter) it goes through the "Loading Files" process, but then the screen goes black and nothing else will happen. I have let it go as much as 6 hours.
I believe this is a problem related to the Windows PE environment on the recovery CD not having the correct drivers to recognize the notebook's Sata storage system. I thought Ghost was smart enough to include the necessary drivers from the machine it was created on. Is this a problem because it's a 64-bit system and the recovery CD runs in 32-bit? I have tried and failed to figure out what drivers to add manually when I create a recovery CD. The Notebook has an Intel 5 Series 4-port Sata AHCI controller.
I have tried disabling AHCI in the BIOS. This is the only option in the BIOS setup. There is no other Sata Mode setting, for instance, to tell it to run the Sata drive in IDE mode.
The only other possibility I can think of is that maybe this is a display problem(??), like at the point the screen goes black is the point where the CD-based "Windows" takes over.
I am out of ideas. if anyone has one, I would appreciate it.
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07-20-2012 11:59 AM
It shouldn't be a driver problem. If the correct drivers are not present it should still boot, you just wouldn't be able to access the drive. It may be your USB 3 drive. USB 3 is not supported, you will have to plug the drive into a USB 2 port for the recovery disk to be able to acess it.
Try unplugging any and all USB devices and boot the laptop with the disk again and see if it continues to load the version of windows on it.
You also may want to test the disk on another system so you will see the process and how long it normally takes.
07-23-2012 07:28 AM
Thanks Dave for your suggestion. I had my user (I'm supporting him remotely) disconnect the USB 3.0 drive, and for good measure, all other USB devices (mouse, printer). Same result - It starts by showing the message "Windows is loading files..." along with the progress bar. The progress bar fills left-to-right, and then the screen goes black and stays that way. We've waited as much a 6 hours.
Booting the recovery disk on a different machine, when the Loading Files part finishes, it goes right to another screen with a different-looking progress bar - the one with the green dashes repeatedly moving across it and the Microsoft Corporation trademark. It then continues into the license agreement.
I did have possession of this notebook for a while before I had to get it back to the user. I tried using the Recovery CD, the Ghost installation CD that the user created when he downloaded the product, a Recovery CD that I downloaded from Symantec's web site, and an original factory Ghost 15 installation CD. All gave the same result.
I have asked him to plug his USB stuff back in, except connect the external drive to a USB 2.0 port.
Also, on the chance that it may be a display problem, I've asked him to - if he gets the black screen again - wait several minutes. Then, assuming it has gotten to the license agreement screen, press the right arrow key once to move control the the "I Decline" button on the license agreement, and then press Exit. This would cause it to Exit and restart the system.
I'll post the results here when I get them. In the meantime, any other thoughts?
07-23-2012 01:44 PM
Is your user trying to restore the system for a reason? Is it possible the problem the user is having could be hardware related rather than software related?
The reason why I ask is because Windows PE is basically what is used by the windows installation. All video cards must provide support for a standard VGA driver because windows has never provided a way to even load graphic drivers.
One that first screen when it is loading files, what it's actually doing is copying the windows pe files into a temporary RAM drive.
Then the system "boots" the files on the RAM drive and the screen you see with the green squares moving from left to right is the progress indicator of windows Vista loading windows and enumerating the hardware. It isn't until after that happens that Ghost even starts to load and SATA drivers should not matter because Ghost lets you load drivers manually and your user hasn't even got to that point yet.
07-25-2012 07:09 AM
The user initially installed Ghost, and his full backup failed due to a disk read error. We determined that his notebook's HDD was bad, or at least had one or more bad blocks. I had him tell Ghost to ignore disk errors and he was able to complete a backup. He put a new drive in the notebook (that I had partitioned and formatted NTFS for him) and that's when we discovered the problem booting with the recovery CD.
I had to install his new drive into one of my PC's and boot with the same recovery CD (it worked fine) to restore his backup to the drive. I put the new, restored drive in his notebook and it's working fine.
***What I want to do now is make sure he has a working recovery CD in case it's needed in the future.***
I have occasionally had a similar problem booting a Sata-based machine with the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, which works off an XP-based Windows PE. The recommended fix for this was to install the necessary drivers for the Sata disk system onto the UBCD4Win disk (which were not included by default). However, I did not do this step, choosing instead to pull the drive and put in into another machine that I could boot to, so I cannot vouch for this solution. That is what pointed me in this direction though.
Keep in mind, I don't' think the problem is that you can't boot any Sata-based machine with a Ghost CD. I believe the issue here may be due to the specific Sata controller in this notebook - a Samsung model RF710. That's why I think it may be a specific driver that's needed.
The speculation about a display problem was just a hunch that we have since ruled out.
I have given the user several things to try, the first being to run the Ghost driver validation utility. I should have done that right away - DOH! I hope that tells me I need a storage driver and which one that is.
Along those lines, any known problems running the recovery CD, which is 32-bit, from a 64-bit Windows 7 machine?
07-25-2012 01:58 PM
I wonder if it would boot from the SRD if there were no HDD attached. I still don't think it is getting far enough to load any drivers. How would a Windows install disc work? It is also based on WinPE.
I have restored Win 7 64-bit with a 32-bit SRD. No problem.
07-26-2012 03:26 PM
I did try booting with no External HDD attached. No go. I also did successfully boot this notebook with my UBCD4Win disk, which again is WinPE using XP. it may be worth it to test with a 32-bit Vista install disk to see if it boots. Vista is what the SRD runs on, correct? Even though it was created on a Windows 7 machine?
I haven't heard from the user in a couple days. I gave him a list of things to try including running Driver Validation. Something that just occurred to me now would be to try creating another SRD with the External HDD connected to a USB 2.0 port instead of 3.0. Or maybe create one with the HDD not connected at all, just to determine it that's the problem.
I will report back any progress or lack thereof. In the meantime, all ideas are welcome.
07-26-2012 05:27 PM
I meant boot it with NO hardrive external or interal connected.
Yes, Ghost 15's SRD is based on Vista.
If you want, you can build the SRD on WinPE 3.1 (Windows 7 SP1)... http://community.norton.com/t5/Other-Norton-Produc
08-04-2012 09:24 AM
Here is the latest lack-of-progress report:
We tried booting with the SRD with the USB drive disconnected and the internal HDD removed. No change.
We ran the Ghost Driver Validation utility. The only drivers it reported needing were all network adapter drivers. Nothing about missing storage drivers.
We tried creating another SRD, this time without the external drive connected. No change.
We tried booting with a straight Bart's PE 3.1 disk that I had. It would not boot. (I should have noted exactly what happened, but I didn't.)
**Remember, I was able to boot with a Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, which uses an XP based Bart's PE. - ???
We were able to boot his other notebook (an ASUS) with the SRD as well as with the Ghost installation CD.
I will keep at this and report back when (not if) I figure it out.