How To Recover Files From Old Norton Ghost

Years ago, Norton Ghost was my imaging software until Windows 7 came along. The version I had was no longer compatible. That’s when I started using Macrium. I came across an old backup, a Norton Ghost image of a Windows XP system. I was going to throw it away but I wanted to make sure there was nothing of value on it first. I started looking to see if there was some kind of independent viewer online but found none. So I had to devise an overly complicated scheme to read these files.

It just so happens that I have an old tower named Acer Aspire AST135-U-S3302, originally a Windows XP computer. I just put in an unused hard drive that I had and was going to try to restore the Norton Image to this system.

I knew the Norton backups where bootable, so I put in the first DVD (there were two) and kept tapping the F12 key to get into the boot menu.


The DVD booted up, and I clicked OK to get past the About Norton Ghost screen.

The mouse didn’t work so I used the arrow keys on my keyboard. I clicked on Local, then Disk, and then From Image. I accepted all the prompts after that and got Norton to restore this image to my system. Eventually, I had to place in Disk 2 that finished the restore and then rebooted the system.


I did not expect the system to boot up– a different backup for a different system. I was right. It booted to a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). This is when part two of my plan came into motion. This involves using a boot CD– Hiren’s.

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The version I was using is based on Windows XP.

I’m using an older 32-bit computer so I stuck with it. I booted up to the boot menu and selected Mini Windows XP.


When the Windows XP desktop got loaded, it was just a matter of using Windows Explorer to navigate the drive. The computer was not bootable but the file structure was intact and that is what I was counting on.

There was nothing there worth salvaging, so I took the DVDs and smashed them to bits and threw them away. It was still worth it.

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