Create Ghost Bootable SD Card or USB Flash Drive

It’s a good practice to create an image of your hard drive before you start using it. Especially when you had to build that computer from scratch and spent hours installing the operating system and all of your favorite apps…

As Symantec Ghost becomes more user friendly, people start to recognize this idea. The idea also works well when you need to clean your PC from viruses. In case anything goes wrong with the operating system, you just need to restore the image using the Symantec bootable CD.

However, the problem comes when we deal with the new version of those small laptops: The netbooks! which usually don’t come with a built-in CD-ROM drive to bootup the PC.
The most simple solution would be buying an external CD-ROM drive, which costs you money. And in some cases, you just want to bootup the Symantec Ghost…. with whatever available!



The good news: Almost every recent laptop/netbook comes with a card reader, and even if you wasn’t lucky enough, your laptop/netbook should have a USB port!

This guide will tell you how to create a bootable SD card or a USB flash drive with Symantec Norton Ghost.
This task can be done with several different versions of Symantec Ghost; however, the steps from this articles are based on Symantec Ghost 14.



What you need?
  • Symantec Ghost 14 bootable CD. (Some other versions might also work)
  • A PC with bootable CD/DVD drive.
  • An SD card (either SD or SDHC), or a USB thumb drive. The size can be as minimum as 1 GB. You can also pick a large SD card if you want to store your hard drive image to the card as well.
  • An SD slot or a card reader (for SD card) or a USB slot (for thumb drive)


Follow the steps in order. Use this guide at your own risks.


  1. First, check to make sure your CD/DVD drive is bootable. (See your BIOS manual or PC user guide for details since this is out of the scope of this article).
  2. – For SD card: Make sure the SD slot or the card reader is available. if it’s a card reader, connect it to the PC. Also insert the card.
    – For USB thumb drive: Make sure the drive is inserted into one of the USB slots.
  3. Bootup the computer using the Symantec Ghost CD (Details vary on different computers). On Windows XP, during the startup, you should see the prompt “Press any key to boot from CD…“.
  4. Once the Symantec Recovery startup is complete, you should see the main screen of Symantec Ghost 14 Recovery similar to this image:

  5. Select “Analyze” from the left menu.

  6. Then click on “Open Command Shell Window“. A command prompt window will display.
  7. At this command prompt window, type: “diskpart” (one word, without quotes) and hit enter. The prompt now changed to “DISKPART>
  8. Now type “list disk” and hit enter. You should now see a list of all available disks. Base on the size of each disk listed, find the one that matching your SD card (or thumb drive) and note its disk number under “Disk ###“. If you don’t see your SD card (or flash drive) listed, verify if it is inserted or plugged in (you might need to restart the computer and try again).
  9. Type “select disk ” (replace with the disk # noted from the previous step) then hit enter.
    Important!! Besure to select the correct disk (your SD card or thumb drive) as you will be erasing the drive.
    Sample image with a 4-GB SD selected:


  10. Create a primary partition for the the disk by executing the following sequence of commands:
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
  11. Set the primary partition active, type: “active” and hit enter
  12. Perform a quick format with the following command:
    format fs=fat32 quick
  13. Then type:
    assign
    exit
  14. Your SD card (or the flash drive) is now bootable and will act similar to a local hard drive. In order to boot this card with Symantect Ghost Recovery, copy all contents from the Symantec Ghost disc to the SD card (or the flash drive). Besure to copy everything including any hidden files/folders.

    The SD card or flash drive is now bootable and will boot your laptop/netbook to Symantec Ghost Recovery utilities exactly the same way as of the CD (To boot with the card on your laptop/netbook, don’t forget to set your bios to search for the SD card or USB external devices in the boot sequence).


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