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Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware
I am posting this for general information for all. The reason is because I have found (locked) threads which are indicating that you cannot use Ghost to restore your system drive (C) to a new computer with different hardware.
This is absolutely not true. You absolutely can use Ghost to restore to a computer with different hardware. I've done it several times and it absolutely does work. Therefore I am posting this to hopefully help dispel any confusion. My last restoral was to a different computer with radically different hardware including a much higher end mother board, going from single core CPU to multi-core and basically everything about this system was far different than my previous hardware.
Now it may be true that Symantec may not officially support it but it absolutely DOES work.
Allow me to explain the process in a bit more detail. If it helps let me mention that I am a software engineer and I have a good in depth knowledge of the Windows OS.
When you are restoring to a computer with different hardware it is likely that your new HD will also be much larger. So here's the process. Note that I am writing this procedure centric to single partition system drives. If you have multiple partitions this process might need a bit of tweaking.
When you boot from the Symantec Recovery CD (SRD), select "Recover my Computer" and then select the appropriate image to restore. Note that you need to select "Filename" from the drop down menu and NOT "Date". If you select "Date" the options below will probably not be presented. When you select FileName your recovery points will probably not be visible so simply hit "Browse" and browse to your recovery point file and select the appropriate image. Then select the target drive to restore your image to (your new HD) and click "Next".
Check the following options:
Verify recovery point before restore - optional and takes longer if checked but a good precaution.
Check for file system errors after recovery - again optional
Resize restored drive - not optional if you want to have the extra HD space available to you after the restore.
Partition type - primary.
Set drive active for booting
Restore original disk signature - see also Chapter 14 in Ghost user guide.
Restore MBR - many times optional but should be checked to ensure the MBR is correct. Likely mandatory in Vista.
After your recovery it is likely that your computer will NOT boot up due to the different hardware but this is easily solved in most cases. Note that if ONLY replacing your system hard drive (all other hardware is the same) then you may well not need to do the following procedure. Otherwise (or if problems are seen preventing you from booting) proceed as follows:
In most cases you can recover from this by simply doing what is referred to by Microsoft as an in place upgrade. To do this simply boot from your Windows CD and select the upgrade option. Make sure and specify upgrade and NOT new. Also make sure that the path to upgrade Windows into is your existing OS path (typically C:\Windows).
By booting from the Windows startup CD and doing the upgrade option, you will force Windows OS to go through hardware discovery process again. It will then recognize your new hardware and install all the appropriate device drviers and whatever else is needed. In most cases this will update your recovered OS to work with your new hardware.
The reason the Windows startup CD is required is because that is the only way to force Windows back to an early enough stage to properly re-discover and set up your new hardware.
This is the same thing that happens when you uprgrade your OS from say Windows XP to Windows Vista.
NOTE 1: after doing this you will most likely have to re-download and install all Windows Critical updates as this in place upgrade will most likely undo any previously installed critical updates.
NOTE 2: if you have Windows XP and your new HD is larger than (I believe) around 130GB, the default XP CD will probably not recognize all your new space. There is a way to burn another XP startup CD which includes XP SP2 which can recognize the larger HD's. If you have this situation let me know and I can find the link for you.
NOTE 3: Many times when recovering your OS onto all new hardware, you will probably have to re-activate Windows. Microsoft is pretty notorious for requiring this and they do it to minimize risk of piracy. So don't be surprised if after this you might have to call Microsoft to get re-activated. Sometimes you can do this on your own (online) but other times you have to call them whereupon they will ask you some questions to verify your OS is not priated and they will then give you the Activation key.
So there is a fair amount to the process to restore to a system with new hardware but for many this is still far easier than the alternative which is reinstalling your OS and all applications.
Let me know if you have questions on any of this.