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Building a Custom Boot Disk to Use Ghost

Symantec Ghost has been the longstanding champion for disk image–based deployments in the PC world. Like most such tools, it requires booting from an alternate startup disk, running the Ghost application, and deploying an image from a local drive or from a network share point. Ghost would be an ideal companion to ASR or NetInstall for deploying dual-boot Macs if it weren’t for one problem: The boot disks (floppies or CDs) created using Ghost are DOS- instead of Windows-based, which means that they cannot be used as an alternate boot disk for an Intel Mac.

A way around this problem is to create a Windows PE boot disk for a Mac. Windows PE is a very stripped-down version of Windows XP that can be stored on a CD. Using Bart PE you can create a custom CD that will boot an Intel Mac. This custom CD can include the Windows version of the Ghost application, making it possible to use Ghost to deploy a complete Windows configuration (including the Mac drivers from the Boot Camp CD). When doing this, you also need to locate and include the appropriate network card drivers if you want to be able to use the multicast Ghost server, which is an ideal choice for deploying a large number of workstations.

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