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How to Create a System Backup Using Ghost

This article describes how to create your system backup using symantec ghost in DOS mode manually, before starting, you must have a DOS boot disk such as a U-disk or bootable CD, and must build-in the sysmantec ghost. If you have a winpe boot disk, you can accomplish the same effect in your winpe environment, but not in DOS mode.


You have a bootable U disk or CD that can bring you to the DOS mode.

You must have the sysmantec ghost that can run in DOS mode, other backup softwares are not demonstrated in this article.


A wrong operation or a mistake may broken your system, or make your data lost, you must accept all your actions in your own risk.

Step 1: Start Ghost

1. Reboot your computer from the boot disk, and then the system will enter the DOS prompt.

How to Change the Boot Sequence in BIOS

run ghost.exe, screenshot shown below:

run ghost.exe in DOS mode

2. This is Ghost running interface, if your boot disk has built-in mouse support. you can operate here easily, if not, you must use TAB key and UP/DOWN arrow KEY to locate the menu items. Press OK to continue.

ghost welcome


3. Here you can carry all the operations in ghost, such as backup or restore your partition. backup or restore your disk. Operations between Disks are normally used in entire disk backup.

Step 2: Backup your partition to a imaging file

1. Locate your selections to Local -> Partition -> To Image, menu selection screenshot shown this.

 locate to partition operation menu

Ghost will Pop-up a window as follow:

 select the right drive

This window prompts the user to select the source drive (disk) that will be backup, In the screenshot, the first disk is my 32M bootable U-disk, so there are two drives. You can select the actual disk according to their volume size, and press OK.

2. Here we will select the source partition from the selected drive, if your disk has a hidden partition, the system driver number may not be in the first position. There is a good method to identify these drivers by their volumen label if they exist. Using UP/DOWN arrow key to locate to the destination drive and press TAB key to focus on the OK button, and press enter.

select the right partition

3. Now, before backup is beginning, you must select a proper disk space to save the destination imaging file, usually it is a .gho file, Ghost 11 has identified NTFS partition already. If your ghost does not support mouse operation, you can use TAB key to remove the active region. You can identify the directory or drive number by their volume label or partition format. When selected OK, pleaser input a filename in the edit box just like the screenshot as below. Press enter in the Save button as the beginning of ghost backup.

select the saving directory

4. After the save directory and file names have been set correctly. Press Save button, Then ghost will tip you the following screen, asks us if ghost will compress image file, usually select Fast. different selections may affect the size of destination image, you can generally choose Fast, if there are much images in your drive, you can also choose High, high compression will affect backup time slightly.

image compress

5. The last confirm window is like this. To confirm whether to continue with the following partition image creation, click Yes, and then wait for creation complete, actual time spent rely on your partition's size, for windows xp system partition, it is about 3 minutes, or more.

confirm to process

6. When the backup finished, ghost will be prompted to "Image creation completed successfully.", Enter, and select the menu "quit" to exit.  Remove the boot disk, use the CTRL + ALT + DEL can restart the machine, you can find the backup imaging file in your drive you have set.

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Posted by: Chad| /01/15/14 | 14:03 pm |
I did this but when I get to the point of trying to run ghost it says,"This program cannot be run in DOS mode." ??? Help, please
Posted by: Zachary| /11/07/13 | 11:03 am |
we delopying Windows 7 Entp.
We have Ghost
Need to reImage that can be blown weekly and NOT eat up License!!!!
we did base image but after 30 days we get " not genuine"
used up rearam... !!!HELP!!!

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