By Lena / Last update October 20, 2022

About ghost disk utility

Today Windows users meet serious disk troubles from time to time. We will never know when the disaster will happen. A hard disk image backup can help restore computer to earlier date that works normally with all your applications and personal data. On the other hand, we can also choose to restore the disk image to new disk when we need to replace the old one. Then the ghost disk utility is needed.

Norton Ghost used to be the best free disk imaging software. It’s one disk cloning and backup tool developed by Murray Haszard in 1995 and it was acquired in 1998 by Symantec. The tool can help you backup your whole hard drive or selected folders to a partition, an external hard drive or a network drive.

However, Norton Ghost is no longer available for the Home user. It was discontinued by Symantec in 2013. Now you can still download the last Ghost (disk utility) - Norton Ghost 15. But you need to pay for it or you can get a 30-day free trial version.

Create disk image with Ghost disk utility

Here in this part, we will tell you how to use Norton Ghost to create disk image. First, download this ghost disk software from Symantec site. Or you can simply type “Norton Ghost 15 download” in the search box of your browser and search the download page.

It will run a step-by-step wizard the first time you open it. At last, you will access the Easy Setup interface where you can create a backup at once. Or you can click Cancel and set the backup task later in its Home interface.

On the Home screen, you can click Define Backup Wizard or Run or Manage Backups to create a backup task. Here we choose Run or Manage Backups.

Create Backup

The Easy Setup screen will appear again. You can click OK to accept the default settings or click a setting to modify it. Or you can click Custom... to create a backup as per your need.

You can choose to back up the whole computer or only selected files. Click Next to choose the drives/files you need to backup, the destination to save the backup and the backup time. Finally, click Finish to confirm.

Click Custom

If you want to perform a restore, just click Recover My Computer or Recover My Files to make it.
For anyone who wants to use Norton Ghost to clone hard drive may feel disappointed. Indeed you can find the Copy My Hard Drive option under Tools tab. However, when you click it, a pop-up window will appear and says that the feature is not enabled. You need to license the product to activate the feature. 

Don’t forget that you can only use Norton Ghost freely for 30 days. Then you have to purchase it at Symantec Global Store. Fortunately, besides Norton Ghost, there’s one alternative named AOMEI Backupper Standard that can help ghost disk to image as well as clone the hard drive to another. And it’s totally free of charge. Just keep reading to learn more info.

Best free Norton Ghost alternative

AOMEI Backupper Standard is one comprehensive backup & restore tool which is available in all Windows OS including Windows 11/10/8/7. It provides various functions related to backup, restore and clone. With its simple and easy-to-use GUI, anyone, even non-technical users, can protect all important data in minutes without seeking help from an expert. 

First, download AOMEI Backupper and then learn how to use this Norton Ghost alternative.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Ghost disk to image

It can help you create an image backup for your disk in only a few clicks with its disk backup feature. In addition, it not only supports ghosting a hard drive but also supports ghosting a particular partition like system drive or any other partition. It’s also possible to backup selected files/folders as you want.


You can create a custom schedule backup. Then it will automatically perform the backup daily/weekly/monthly. 
When you run a scheduled backup, the software selects the incremental backup method for you by default. Both incremental and differential backup methods can improve your backup efficiency, but incremental backup is more demanding to restore, you can upgrade now to the Pro version (5% off for one computer) to enjoy the differential backup method.
You can save the backup image on your hard drive or to the external hard drive, the USB flash drive, the network drive.

Clone hard drive

It allows you to directly clone hard drive to another one. All data on the disk including operating system, applications, configuration settings, and all partitions, etc. will be transferred to the destination. There is no problem cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD.


Note: It’s also possible to only clone system via AOMEI Backupper Professional.

In addition, you can create a bootable USB to boot your computer in case it ever fails. If you do not have a USB or CD/DVD, you can choose to create Recovery Environment on your current computer. You can then access this software directly in the Recovery Environment without the device the next time you boot the system.

Tools Recovery Environment

Restore hard drive

It’s also easy enough to perform a restore if you have created a backup with AOMEI Backupper in advance. You can completely restore entire hard disk drive, partition or volume to the point you ever backup. Just need to select the right backup and choose the destination. Then AOMEI Backupper will complete the job.

Home Restore


That’s all for how to create image backup with ghost disk utility. Norton Ghost is a tool worth to have a try, but you need to pay for it. Or you can also let AOMEI Backupper help you. It offers all-around backup options to protect your data. 

What’s more, it’s free to use. It will always keep your data safe and restore the files you need as soon as possible. Or you can also upgrade to higher version to enjoy more powerful functions.