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Product Overview

Symantec Ghost™ Solution Suite is an industry leading and award winning solution for imaging and deploying desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers.

From a single management console, you can quickly and easily migrate to the latest operating systems, inventory machines, deploy software, and perform custom configurations across multiple hardware platforms and OS types including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

What’s new in version 3.1

  • WinPE 10 support
  • Multiple versions of WinPE support – Ghost Solution Suite now supports creating boot disks using different versions of WinPE.
  • Surface Pro 4 support
  • Updated LinPE kernel

Features and Benefits

  • Best-of-breed disk imaging capture and deployment
  • Intelligent driver-to-device mapping
  • Remote task execution and sequencing
  • Bare-metal deployment
  • Windows, Mac and Linux support
  • Scripted operating systems installations
  • PC user and application settings migration

Key Benefits

  • Reduces costs associated with operating systems migration, deployment and provisioning of desktops, laptops and servers throughout the organization
  • Saves time and reduces human error when compared to traditional PC deployments
  • Reduces end-user downtime by automating the operating systems deployment process
  • Increases IT efficiency through automated, repeatable deployment tasks
  • Provides tools for zero-touch operating systems migrations, to reduce costs associated with moving to a new operating system

Easy to use Management Console With Ghost Solution Suite 3.1 you can do everything you need to manage your systems, all within a single console, and all without leaving your desk.

Reduce deployment costs, complexity, and time You can build a reference system using the unattended OS installation wizard, including adding core software and required configuration. Once your reference system has been built you can automatically take an image and mass-deploy to your new and existing systems, fully hardware independent and in any remote locations around the world.

Simplified inventory, software and configuration management Once a computer is in day-to-day usage ongoing tasks like inventory, software management and basic asset management are also important areas that must be addressed. Ghost Solution Suite 3.1 makes it fast and easy to deploy, configure, and upgrade software on managed devices including being able to group machines based on application versions for easy targeting.

System Requirements

Ghost Solution Suite Server: Symantec recommends running server components on a modern, dedicated server with a 1-GHz or faster processor with 1 GB RAM or more. At an absolute minimum, this server should have a PIII-compatible 600-MHz or newer processor with 1 GB RAM.

Notes: If the database will be hosted on the same computer as your Ghost Solution Suite Server, a minimum of 1 GB memory, with an additional 1 GB, is recommended. Computers hosting additional PXE servers and file shares should meet the requirements of the operating system hosting these components.

Automation Requirements: Microsoft recommends 512 MB of memory for computers booting WinPE. At a minimum, you should have 384 MB to avoid boot errors.

Note: If the SQL Server Express database is installed from within the Ghost Solution Suite 3 installer, then .NET Framework 3.5 or above is also a prerequisite.    

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How to Get Started in Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 with Boot Disks and the Ghostcast Server 

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The purpose of this article is to get a basic understanding of how to get started using Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 with boot disks, and the Ghostcast server. Ghost is a powerful program, and can do much more than what is described here; consult your manual or the knowledge base (http://www.symantec.com/business/support/overview.jsp?pid=52023) for further program exploration.

Getting started

Installation:

  • Insert your Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 CD, or run the downloaded Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 executable.
  • Select Install Symantec Ghost.
  • Select Install Ghost Console and Ghost Standard Tools.
  • Install the product.

Update Ghost Solution Suite to the latest version:

  • Open either Ghost Console or Ghost Explorer
  • Click the Help menu in the top menu bar.
  • Select LiveUpdate. After the first update is downloaded and installed, run LiveUpdate again as many times as necessary to get Ghost Solution Suite up to version *11.5.0.2165.
  • *To check the version number, open the Ghost Explorer. Go to Help > About.
  • NOTE: Only the Ghost Explorer will report the product version to be 11.5.0.2165.

Open the Ghost Boot Wizard. You can do this by either starting the program from the Start > Programs > Symantec Ghost program menu, or in the Ghost Console by clicking 'Run Ghost Boot Wizard' from the menu bar at the top.

How to choose what type of boot disk to create:

Your options include:

  • Windows PE (Default)

The two most common and compatible choices, are PC-DOS and Windows PE, based on their availability and purpose. It is recommended you try both of these before choosing one of the other Pre-OS options.

Advantages of PC-DOS:

  • Loads quickly into the Pre-Operating system environment.
  • Compatible with many types of hard drives (and does not require added drivers for hard drives).
  • Adding NIC drivers are fast and easy.
  • Small size (good for systems with less than 512MB of RAM)

Disadvantages of PC-DOS:

  • Does not work with all SATA or auxiliary drives (cannot detect).
  • Newer NIC drivers are not always easy to find, or may not exist.
  • IRQ conflicts with the network card can occur.
  • Older, and sometimes slower protocol (based on network configuration).

In contrast, Windows PE is the latest Pre-OS available in the Ghost Solution Suite 2.5, and is based on the Windows Vista operating system.

NOTE : This does not mean the required client operating system be Windows Vista (most any contemporary operating system is supported).

Advantages of Windows PE:

  • Driver capacity (able to create a single universal boot disk that contains all necessary NIC and storage device drivers).
  • SATA and auxiliary drive recognition.
  • No IRQ conflicts.
  • Potentially faster transfer rates (this is dependent on network capacity and configuration).
  • Greater compatibility with newer hardware.

Disadvantages of Windows PE:

  • Loads slowly into the Pre-Operating system environment.
  • Slower driver compilation time.
  • Requires storage device driver.
  • Driver database can sometimes become corrupt during driver compilation.
  • A higher RAM capacity is required (minimum recommended: 512 MB).

Building a boot disk

After deciding what type of boot disk to create, the following documents detail how to build either a PC-DOS boot disk or a Windows PE boot disk. A "boot disk" is a universal term for any type of boot media (floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, one-click virtual partitions).

Windows PE:

  • Building the boot disk
  • Title: 'How to make a Windows PE boot package with the Ghost Boot Wizard.'
  • Document ID: 2008050911464460
  • Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2008050911464460?Open&seg=ent

Adding drivers:

  • Title: 'How to add drivers to DeployAnywhere or WinPE.'
  • Document ID: 2008050916132860
  • Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2008050916132860?Open&seg=ent
  • Building the boot disk:
  • Title: 'How to make a Network Boot Disk with Ghost.'
  • Document ID: 2001031614102125
  • Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2001031614102125?Open&seg=ent
  • Title: 'Adding or modifying DOS NIC templates in the Ghost Boot Wizard'
  • Document ID: 2000011211551725
  • Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2000011211551725?Open&seg=ent

Connecting your client machine to your Ghostcast Server

Once a boot disk is created, it is necessary to set up a Ghostcast Server session, and boot the client machine into the Pre-Operating system in order to establish a ghostcasting session.

How to join a GhostCast server session using a network boot disk

  • Applies to all types of boot disks
  • Title: 'How to join a GhostCast server session using a network boot disk'
  • Document ID: 2007100410483160
  • Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2007100410483160?Open&seg=ent

Common Issues

The following is a list of common issues that occur when creating or restoring images using a boot disk and the Ghostcast server.

"Ghostcast" option is greyed out when the client machine is booted into the Pre-OS This occurs because the boot disk does not contain a useable network driver, for use with the client machines network card. To resolve this, go to the manufacturer's website of the network card and download the latest driver for the Pre-OS being used (NDIS2 driver for PC-DOS, and Windows Vista 32/Server 2008 for Windows PE), and follow the above documents for Adding drivers.

When trying to establish a session with the Ghostcast server, error 10030 occurs This also occurs most often due to the boot disk does not contain a useable network driver, for use with the client machines network card. To resolve this, go to the manufacturer's website of the network card and download the latest driver for the Pre-OS being used (NDIS2 driver for PC-DOS, and Windows Vista 32/Server 2008 for Windows PE), and follow the above documents for Adding drivers. If this does not resolve it, see the following document:

Title: 'How to troubleshoot the 10030 error message.' Document ID: 2008070710304860 Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2008070710304860?Open&seg=ent

When booting a PC-DOS boot disk, it hangs at "Loading PC-DOS...", a blank screen, or freezes after clicking "OK" on the Ghost welcome screen Drives (SATA drives, USB drives, CD/DVD drives, etc) are not being detected Most commonly this is due to an IRQ conflict. To resolve this, either use Windows PE, or create your PC-DOS boot disk with the following switches:

-FNI -FFX -NOIDE -NOUSB

Switches are to be added in the Parameters section of the boot wizard: NOTE : LiveUpdates must be applied before the parameters field is useable.

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Migration User Aug 12, 2009 11:47 AM

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  1. Accelerate and simply the deployment of laptops, desktops, and servers

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  3. GHOST Solution Suite Product Brief

    Summary. Symantec GHOST Solution Suite is an industry-leading and award-winning solution for deploying and managing desktops, laptops, and servers. From a single management console, you can quickly and easily migrate to the latest operating systems, inventory machines, deploy software, and perform custom configurations across multiple hardware ...

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  8. Managing from the Ghost Solution Suite Console

    Ghost Solution Suite provides a Windows console to deploy and manage computer devices across local or wide area networks. It also provides a Thin Client view of the Ghost Solution Suite Console. As an IT administrator, you can manage all computer devices from one of these Ghost Solution Suite Consoles:

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