New Ghost 6.0 duplicates drive images onto multiple PCs

New Ghost 6.0 duplicates drive images onto multiple PCs

Symantec's utility doesn't guarantee trouble-free installations, but the tool promises big savings

By John McCormick

Special to GCN

Symantec's Norton Ghost 6.0 clones client drives from a master disk image and can handle up to 2T worth of files.

Ghost 6.0 is a new tool that can manage a large group of computers as well as copy new software, data and operating system files from a master disk to all the others.

Symantec Corp.'s utility does all of the above and manages the operating environment by altering configuration files and even the OS. Ghost, which supports drives as large as 2T, duplicates a drive image complete with system and hidden files onto multiple PCs.

The Cupertino, Calif., company released its first Norton-branded version, 6.0, after acquiring Ghost 5.0 from a New Zealand company, Binary Research Inc.

The utility does not guarantee trouble-free installations across all hardware configurations, but its ability to duplicate a single setup across an entire department's systems is a timesaver even if some individual machines need modification.

Ghost also can reset all clients to a base configuration to simplify maintenance in cases where there is heavy user turnover or where systems are routinely modified, such as during training.

Ghost operates on token-ring networks and can multicast disk contents across TCP/IP networks or intranets. A cloned disk image also can be stored on removable media, even across several volumes. An included tool creates a unique Microsoft Windows NT security identifier.

In addition to multicasting across an entire network, Ghost can clone or restore disk images in a peer-to-peer configuration using NetBIOS or direct parallel port connections. It can clone disks from a Zip drive from Iomega Corp. of Roy, Utah, connected to the parallel port, and it also works with CD-recordable and CD-rewritable drives.

The utility recognizes MS-DOS, Novell NetWare, IBM OS/2, Unix and Windows disk partitions, including those of Windows 2000 and the Linux EXT2 file system.

Norton Ghost 6.0 Standard includes Ghost, MultiCast Server/MultiCast Assist Wizard, Ghost Walker, Ghost Explorer and G-Disk. The Enterprise version includes Ghost Console and Console Client for remote management and post-cloning modification.

On resellers' General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contracts, Norton Ghost Enterprise sells for about $32,000 for 2,000 seats, and the Standard edition costs about $26,000 for 2,000 seats. More information is available on the Web at

Contact Symantec at 408-253-9600.

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