First a big thank you to Symantec for providing Norton Ghost 10.0 for this Review.
As drive space continues to grow the need to be able to backup that data also grows. I can’t even imagine having a 200 gig hard drive all loaded up with data and then the drive goes bad and i don’t have any way to replace that data.
If you happened to have a program like Norton Ghost 10.0 on your machine and it keeps regular backups of all your data then a hard drive/system crash won’t be as bad since you have a up to date backup to restore the system with.
I have more then once had systems go bad and never had any backup of the data and that can take days to get all your programs and settings back in action.
I started using Norton Ghost around version 7 and thats all i have used because it does what its supposed to and its really simple to use. After Using version 7 for so long i decided i would take a look at the newest version 10.0.
The biggest difference i can see with Norton Ghost v10.0 is you can do your backups while inside of windows where as v7.0 you had to reboot and load a floppy disk or CD and then back up your files from that.
Norton Ghost 10.0 has some nice features to it for example it can backup software in a few different ways. You can tell Ghost 10.0 to backup based on a time of day or a certain day of the week or you can tell it to watch your system and do backups only when you install new software to the system. You can also skip all that and choose to do the backups whenever you want as well.
Norton Ghost 10.0 can also do backups over network and you have options there as well, for example you can set it up to only use so much bandwidth when doing the backup over the network so it don’t bring your network speeds down to much. You also have the option of telling the program how much CPU you want to devote to the backup process. The more CPU you give the program the faster the backups will be created or restored. You may not want to give the program to much CPU if for example you still want to use the computer while the backup is being made. The good thing is the choice is yours and you can set the settings the way you want.
Another interesting option you have is sending any messages regarding the backup to either a log file or have it e-mail to you. This would come in handy if you had a computer doing backups and you were not there to see if the backup was successful or not.
With Norton ghost 10.0 you can backup your system as you add stuff to it by making recovery points. You also have the option of making a drive image so if for example you wanted to take all the contents off your main drive and put them onto a new drive then you would use the drive image aka “Copy My Hard Drive” section of the program.
Norton Ghost 10.0 also give you the option of compressing the backups, this is something i never use because using it would only slow down both the making of the backups and the restoring of them. It should also be noted that you can password protect your backups as well. You have varying options you can use for password length to make it difficult to crack as well. While on the topic of the password it should be noted the only encryption used in Norton Ghost 10.0 is for the password it self. This means the actual backups are not encrypted with any type of encryption.
The other part to Norton Ghost 10.0 is the recovery CD and this is used should you ever have to do a recovery and can’t use windows for whatever reason.
I was pretty impressed with recovery CD unlike Ghost v7.0 the recovery disk is loaded with all sorts of Utility’s that you may find use full. The only problem i found with the recovery disk is it took 6 minutes to load up. I think the 6 minute load time is a bit much and i would like to see this dramatically reduced in the future.
While on the topic of the recovery disk i didn’t see anyway to make a backup of it should something happen to the disk. I did get in contact with Symantec about this and they said they would replace the CD for a nominal fee should it get damaged or lost. The fact there is no supported way to make a recovery disk of your own, means you better hope nothing happens to that disk or your screwed. I think they should have made the software so it could create the restore CD such as they did with Norton Ghost 7. Getting Symantec to send a replacement CD might not seem like a bad idea but how many people want to wait for weeks for a CD to be sent to get the system back up again after a crash…
The one thing that got on my nerves the most though was all the extra services added to the machine after the install of Norton Ghost 10.0. I found 8 separate services running after the install of the software and needless to say i wasn’t to impressed. What made this worse is the fact that when you install Norton Ghost 10.0 it also uses the .net framework and after that is installed your system now wants you to select a user each and every time you reboot the machine. I contacted Symantec about this as well and their response to me was i should get a hold Microsoft to find out how to get rid of this multi-user log on screen.
Over the years the one thing i have noticed is the fact that a lot of big software companies keep adding tons of bloat ware to their software and this clearly is the case here. In my mind there is no reason for 8 separate services to be loaded onto my machine for a single program to work. If they wanted to add one service or maybe even 2 i could live with that but 8 just seems way to much.
In the box the product came in i got a 152 page manual and 2 CD’s. The one CD contains Norton Ghost 2003 and you would use this if your running something like windows 98. The other CD in the box is the Norton Ghost 10.0 CD and thats used with windows XP.
Norton ghost 10.0 also supports the following file systems..
FAT16, FAT16X, FAT32, FAT32X, NTFS, DYNAMIC DISKS, LINUX EXT2/3 AND LINUX SWAP PARTITIONS.
Here is also the hard drives and removable media supported by Norton Ghost 10.0..
CDR/RW and DVD+-R/RW drives, USB and FireWire (IEEE 1394) Devices, Iomega Jaz and Zip drives..
To run Norton Ghost 10.0 you need the following.
300 Mhz or Higher Processor
384 Megs of Ram or better
160 Megs of Hard Drive space
In conclusion the software over all functions as it should and if you don’t mind the 8 services being loaded up and the slow boot time on the recovery CD then it would be the perfect addition to any system. For people like myself who don’t want to have all kinds of stuff hooked into their machines to use a program, we will have to look else where for a backup program. At the time of this article you could purchase Norton Ghost 10.0 for about $70 U.S.
Below are some Screen Shots of Norton Ghost 10.0
This is the Norton Ghost 10.0 box contents..
Main Backup options under Norton Ghost 10.0
Main Recovery options under Norton Ghost 10.0
Status check option for backup under Norton Ghost 10.0
Backup and Recovery status under Norton Ghost 10.0
Next up are some Screen Shots of the Recovery CD in action.
Home tab of the Recovery CD Norton Ghost 10.0
Recover tab of the Recovery CD Norton Ghost 10.0
Analyze tab of the Recovery CD Norton Ghost 10.0
Network tab of the Recovery CD Norton Ghost 10.0
Utilities tab of the Recovery CD Norton Ghost 10.0