Customer Review

141 of 149 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Norton ghost 15 report card, December 4, 2009
This review is from: Norton Ghost 15.0 - 1 PC (Software)
Backups get A+:

1. Backing up over network, high compression, custom drivers loading is easy to do. You will backup in style

2. Superior and useful utilities.

3. Every imaginable problem from the legendary Ghost 2003 is fixed and improved.

4. No more .gho format anymore. The current format so far has handled some large partition backups for me. Full 30GB partitions to high compression is a breeze.

Restores get C-:

1. Right away after a partition recover, you will get the message "Please insert the Recovery disk". It will say "Error EA730002: Cannot find the driver database directory". How does this error stay in the product? It is one confusing message for a successful recovery. The recovery disk is really just the ghost CD.

2. Then there is the staged recovery mystery. With 2 identical machines of the same hardware, I can only restore to the machine where I initially did the cold backups. I don't understand. This is ruining my confidence in the product. We are talking same motherboards, same versions, everything.

3. What other kind of hardware replacement will prevent my restores? Should I buy another backup product just in case?
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2009 10:02:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2009 10:25:42 PM PST
Ghost 15 may be reading firmware serial numbers or other markings unique to that specific device. Similar to the way windows now recognizes the hardware it is installed on. Licensing agreements are now hard drive specific. Ex: In the Win EULA you agree not to install Win on additional drives. If your hard drive fails and you restore to a new drive, windows will shut down the same as if you bootlegged the OS onto another PC. Who knows if your problem is your OS or Ghost. If you only have a single user license for either or both products (Ghost and Your OS), restoring to another system (even if it's identical hardware) violates licensing agreements and may be gettting auto disabled. Know and Respect licenscing agreements and copyright laws.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2010 9:24:41 PM PST
davest says:
If your computer dies and you replace it (in whole or in part), you need to be able to restore from a backup. The reviewer, B. Wong, set up a test to simulate such a scenario, and apparently Norton Ghost 15 failed. I'm not advocating use of the software to back up more computers than the license allows, but you need to be able to restore onto new hardware after a hardware failure (and to test backups to ensure they can be restored if/when the need arises). If Symantec has become so overzealous about preventing software piracy that their license agreements and/or validation mechanisms prevent legitimate use of the software -- that you might not be able to restore from your backups -- that's something potential customers need to know. Thanks to B. Wong for the review.

Posted on May 9, 2010 11:18:17 PM PDT
The problem is Windows, not Ghost. I've had exactly this problem with ShadowProtect Desktop, another excellent backup utility that offers a uniquely valuable feature: Hardware Independent Restore. It allows you to restore to an entirely different hardware configuration (which sounds either impossible or a dream come true).

Well, it WAS able to do that, and Windows XP booted up just fine on the second computer. Then, Windows asked for its Product Key, which I entered, but which it would not accept. Period. End of story.

The reason for this rejection is most likely the same reason you couldn't restore to an apparently identical computer: Windows came pre-installed on my "source" computer, and the Product Key was uniquely keyed to the serial number "tattooed" into the Motherboard (a use of the word I'd not encountered before). Each motherboard from this manufacturer had its own unique serial number, and once an OEM version of Windows was installed on that computer, that copy of Windows would only work on that computer.

If Ghost refused to even install on your second computer, it probably knew how to check the tattoo and was just saving you the time & trouble of gong through a restore that was never going to work.

Now, if you were trying to restore a hard drive image that did NOT contain Windows, or a partition that did not contain Windows, and Ghost couldn't restore it, that's a different, and very serious matter, and you might want to ask Symantec about it. Despite what some others have said, I've had excellent results when asking Symantec for tech support.

BTW: I called the OEM manufacturer (a tiny company called H-P) to ask what would happen if my motherboard got fried. How could I retrieve all of my files, programs, and configurations if I couldn't do a Restore? The answer was that an authorized repair shop could install a new "identical" motherboard and then tattoo the old one's serial number into it. Clearly, "tattooing" in this context involves writing something into an EPROM, not digging out the needles, ink, and hammers.

Posted on May 17, 2011 1:17:50 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 4, 2011 12:53:57 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2011 7:44:33 PM PDT
Picky says:
Good review but conclusion that Symantec is guiltless is incorrect, in my opinion. The purpose is bullet-proof backup. If Symatec can't deliver in some important circumstances, it should advertise this fact front-and-center. At a minimum, failure error message should be accurate and clear.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2011 12:28:22 PM PDT
R. Ramsey says:
Perhaps Symantec *should* write in big bold letters what the limitations of Windows OEM is regarding restoring. Charlie Howard's post (above) spells this out. When Windows comes pre-installed on a PC, it's *tied* to THAT PC because the product code *knows* which PC it should be installed on. This was done, by Microsoft, because it gives a very substantial discount to the vendors who install the OEM versions. See for yourself by searching for Windows OEM and then Windows Retail. BIG Price difference. The consumer gets a break in price purchasing a PC with Windows already installed. Unfortunately, this means forever after that copy of Windows *must* stay on that machine with the original Motherboard. Changing machines or changing Motherboards on same machines causes problems for Windows. There's enough discussions of this on the Net that I won't go into all details here. === I agree that Symantec, at the very least, should give a better error message if this situation could be the cause of failure.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 10:26:11 AM PST
N. Werle says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 7:33:58 AM PDT
What about IT departments that have volume licenses and attempt to make a universal image? That's a major market sector for a product like this, and so far in my experience, it's relatively useless as such.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 3:25:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 3:27:58 PM PDT
IT departments would use Enterprise Level versions of Ghost--not this consumer edition.
...and as far as the Enterprise Edition goes (GSS 2.5- ghost solution suite), it's a pretty solid product with a lot of functionality.

Posted on Jul 22, 2012 6:49:12 AM PDT
I am looking for a product that will give me and actual noncompressed image of my computer so I can go in and read the files from this or another computer. I had Memeo which did a great job except for one fatal flaw, it was constantly running in the background and that feature could not be turned off. My computer slowed to a crawl. It seems that if that one thing were fixed such that back up was user determine as an option it would be great. I don't want compressed files as the lose data and I don't want unreadable files such as window's backup.While some have found Ghost usable there are enough neg reviews that I worry about using on 64 bit windows...suggestions?
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