How to Create a Ghost Image or Backup of a Hard Drive

By Lysis

Symantec Ghost is a software application that takes a complete snapshot of your hard drive and stores it in a separate location in case of failure. It's a handy way to take a backup of all programs and documentation. Without Ghost, a user needs to format and install the operating system. Then, documents need to be restored, as well as the software. This can be an all-day task, so creating a Ghost image saves recovery time when a hard drive fails. A Ghost image is a complete copy of everything on the hard drive, so when it fails, Ghost is used to copy the image back to the computer without losing any information.

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button and select "All Programs." Click the Symantec Ghost icon. This starts the software to create the image.

Step 2

Click the "Tools" menu and select "Back Up Drive." Click the "Next" button on the opening screen.

Step 3

Select the drive letter that you want to back up and create an image. For most users, this is the "C:" drive. Once selected, click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Click the location of where to store the Ghost image. This can be a place on the local computer, or you can save the image on a network drive. Ghost images can be large, depending on the size of the hard drive being backed up. Ensure that the location where you save has enough space to hold the data.

Step 5

Enter a name for the Ghost image and click the "Next" button.

Step 6

Select the amount of compression. The more compression used, the less space the file will take up on the storage device. Choose from the following compression types:NoneStandardMediumHigh

Step 7

Select "Verify backup image file after creation" to check the file after Ghost has created the image. Enter a description for the backup and click the "Next" button.

Step 8

Click the "Next" button at the summary screen and Ghost creates the image. This may take several minutes or even hours if the image is saved to a network location.