Home Print Show Topic URL Previous Next
IT Management Suite
Client Management Suite
Server Management Suite
Deployment Solution
Asset Management Suite

About command-line switches

Deployment Solution

Table: Ghost command line switches

Command-line switch


-align = chs

-align = 1mb

Lets you override the way in which the partitions are aligned when an individual partition or disk full of partitions is restored. This switch aligns the partition to the boundary as follows:

  1. CHS: Aligns to a track or cylinder boundary

  2. 1MB: Aligns with a boundary of 1 MB

By default, a partition is aligned on the destination computer as it was on the source computer.

The 1MB alignment option supports Windows Vista.


Handles bad FAT clusters when writing to disk. If this switch is set and the target partition is FAT, Symantec Ghost checks for and works around bad sectors, and all free sectors are verified.

This option may slow Symantec Ghost operation substantially.


Reverts the naming of spanned files to the system used by versions of Symantec Ghost prior to Symantec Ghost 6.5. If this switch is not used, then the naming of spanned files conforms to Microsoft application guidelines. You do not need to use this switch when reading an existing file. Use this switch when the first five characters in a file name must be unique.

Symantec Ghost supports long file names.


Preserves the signature bytes on the destination disk when performing a disk-to-disk or image-to-disk cloning operation


Clears the signature bytes on the destination disk. This is the default for disk-to-disk and image-to-disk operations.


Uses all available disk space when creating partitions. By default, Symantec Ghost often leaves a small amount of free space at the end of the disk. Because partitions must be aligned to cylinder boundaries, Symantec Ghost may leave up to 8 MB free even when -fis is specified.


Forces the disk to restore to a MBR-based disk.


Forces Symantec Ghost to continue cloning even if the source contains bad clusters


The image all switch forces Symantec Ghost to perform a sector-by-sector copy of all partitions. By default, when copying a partition from a disk to an image file or to another disk, Symantec Ghost examines the source partition and decides whether to copy just the files and directory structure or to do a sector-by-sector copy. If it understands the internal format of the partition, it defaults to copying the files and directory structure. Generally, this is the best option. However, if a disk has been set up with special hidden security files that are in specific positions on the partition, the only way to reproduce them accurately on the target partition is through a sector-by-sector copy. If you use this switch to create an image of a dynamic disk, then the image must be restored to a disk with identical geometry.


Forces a sector-by-sector copy of Linux partitions. Other partitions are copied normally


The image boot switch copies the entire boot track, including the boot sector, when creating a disk image file or copying disk-to-disk. Use this switch when installed applications, such as boot-time utilities, use the boot track to store information. By default, Symantec Ghost copies only the boot sector and does not copy the remainder of the boot track. You cannot perform partition-to-partition or partition-to-image functions with the -ib switch


The image disk switch is similar to -ia (image all), but also copies the boot track, as in -ib (image boot), extended partition tables, and unpartitioned space on the disk. When looking at an image with -id, you see the unpartitioned space and extended partitions in the list of partitions. The -id switch is primarily used by law enforcement agencies that require forensic images.


The image raw switch copies the entire disk, ignoring the partition table. This is useful when a disk does not contain a partition table in the standard PC format, or you do not want partitions to be realigned to track boundaries on the destination disk. Some operating systems may not be able to access unaligned partitions. Partitions cannot be resized during restore and you need an identical or larger disk


Limits the Linux swap space to 2GB.

-locktype= Type

Lets you lock an image file for use with a specific set of computers defined by the type chosen and the source computer. For example, ghost -locktype=P creates an image that can be used only on systems that have the same product name type as the source computer. On computers with multiple processors, the processorID bios lock option does not work as intended when running Ghost32.exe. In this situation, do not create or restore images with the -locktype parameter set to I. Other -locktype values work as intended.


Prevents Symantec Ghost from creating an index when creating an image file. This slightly reduces the size of the image file and saves memory, but Ghost Explorer is much slower in reading the image file. This switch is useful if you are saving an image file from a large disk with very little memory.


Prevents Ghost from updating the OS after a restore. By default, Ghost passes information about the restore to Windows, which then makes updates. This switch disables that function and preserves the disk exactly as restored


Disables NTFS contiguous run allocation.


Sets the CHKDSK bit set on a copied NTFS volume. This causes Windows NT to check the integrity of the volume when it is started.


Attempts to arrange the restored NTFS volume in the same way as the source volume.


Specifies that the master boot record of the destination disk is to be preserved when performing a disk-to-disk or image-to-disk operation.


Preserves the specified files if they exist. The task does not fail if the specified files do not exist. To preserve files or directories other than the image file, the syntax is as follows: -preserveifexists=filepath[=newpath] [,filepath[=newpath]...] Each filepath can refer to an individual file or a directory. All files and subdirectories of a specified directory are preserved. If a file does not exist, then the restore fails. After a Clone step in a task, all preserved files are added back to the destination specified by the -preservedest=n switch, renaming them to newpath where specified. You must use the -preserveifexists switch with -preservedest.

-pwd and -pwd=x

Specifies that password protection be used when creating an image file. Use of a password does not securely encrypt the contents of the image. x indicates the password for the image file. If no password is given in the switch, Symantec Ghost prompts for one. You can enter a maximum of 10 alphanumeric characters.


Splits image file into x MB spans. Use this switch to create a forced-size volume set. For example, if you want to force smaller image files from a 1024-MB drive, you could specify 200-MB segments. For example: ghost.exe -split=200 This divides the image into 200-MB segments. If this switch is not used then an image is split at 2 GB in the following operations: • GhostCast • Peer-to-peer • Creating an image on a mapped-network drive If the operation runs locally on a FAT partition, then the image splits at 4 GB.


Sets the size for the destination partitions for either a disk restore or disk copy operation. When numbering partitions in the -sze switch, do not include the hidden Ghost partition. This switch is intended to be used in the Additional command line in the Console. All functionality of -sze switches is supported.


Forces Symantec Ghost to keep the sizes of all destination partitions the same size as in the source partition (no resizing). This switch can be used with or without the -clone switch.


Forces Symantec Ghost to keep the sizes of all destination partitions, except for the first one, the same size as in the source partition. The first partition uses the remaining disk space. This switch can be used with or without the -clone switch.


Forces Symantec Ghost to keep the sizes of all destination partitions, except for the last one, the same size as in the source partition. The last partition uses the remaining disk space. This switch can be used with or without the -clone switch.


Runs compression when saving a disk or partition to an image file. The greater the compression, the slower the transmission, as follows: • -z or -z1: Low compression (fast transmission) • -z2: High compression (medium transmission) • -z3 through -z9: Higher compression (slower transmission)

Table: Command line switches with or without -cns


Without -CNS

Filename .gho

Filename .gho.

Filename .001


Filename .002