All the NESFA machines have CD-RW/DVD-ROMS. NESFA has an external Firewire / USB DVD burner. I've finally convinced people to stop borrowing it. But no one had ever been able to get the external DVD burner to work reliability with Ghost to make backups. Magically it worked on the last machine they bought (the treasury computer) but for example it wasn't working on the machine before that (the sales computer). These are the two machines most in need of backup because they both have special software installed and live data. I had previously backed up the mail server using a disk to disk copy. The other 4 “workstation” machines NESFA have could probably be reinstalled from scratch fairly easily. Both of the “server” machines are Dell Dimension 300s running Ghost 2003 on XP Pro SP2 with the same version of the BIOS. It was going to take like 24 CDs to back up the sales computer to CD. We eventually did that over dinner while we were plotting our options. Then we reinstalled all the Dell drivers from the treasury machine to the sales machine. No difference. At this point I went back to try the boot floppy on the treasury machine and found that Ghost didn't work there anymore with the external USB DVD burner. So, I tried the version of Ghost installed on the treasury computer (you can run Ghost either by installing it on a machine or using a boot floppy). I had successfully done that about a week ago and it worked again. At this point I carefully checked the version numbers of Ghost 2003. It turns out that the treasury computer had installed Ghost 2003 rev 6.01 build 57 (or something like that) while the sales computer had installed Ghost 2003 rev 6.00 build 50 (or something like that). Apparently the treasury computer was installed from a standalone Ghost 2003 CD while the sales computer was installed from Systemworks 2003. I remade the Ghost boot floppy on the treasury computer, took it over to the sales computer and it worked. So, it turns out Ghost 2003 is not necessarily Ghost 2003. Or something like that.
Which is funny, because guess where my job interview is tomorrow - Symantec in Waltham. (See next entry when I get to it.)