Each lab is "Ghosted" weekly between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM
Lab Ghosting Schedule

The schedule changes from semester to semester and can be turned off depending on events or other maintenance going on at the time.

No more than 2 labs are done in one morning. Occasionally a lab will take longer to image due to system errors or networking problems; these problems are anticipated with our schedule for the semester and the lab should be up and running before its next scheduled event.

Non-instructional labs or open labs may be imaged or shut down at ANY time.

If a lab you are currently using is selected for imaging:
Users will receive a warning message that they have 300 seconds (5 minutes) to save their work before Ghosting takes over. They are then automatically logged off after 5 minutes if they haven't already done so.

What is "Ghosting"?

Ghost is a program from Symantec to clone (copy) disk images. ECC uses Ghost to install the Windows operating system and applications on PCs and maintain the PCs in a usable state in our shared use environment.

Ghost facts:
- The process of copying disk images is referred to as Ghosting, Re-Imaging, and Cloning.
- Currently ECC is using one computer image for all labs.
- Since one image is used in ALL ECC labs, the image is very large and uses a combination of AI Packs, Profile Tweaks and Scripts to automatically configure each lab.
- The current lab image (2006) when loaded on a computer takes approximately 18GB of hard disk space. When compressed for deployment it takes up 8-10GB.
- AI Packs are applications which have been re-packaged by ECC to be installed with no user intervention across the network automatically. Due to limitations with the AI Pack building software, these are very hard to maintain.
- Depending on the update, an image may take as little as 4 hours to build and test but could take up to a few weeks.
- Major applications such as I-deas or AutoCAD tend to need extensive customization and testing.
- Severe network load occurs during the ghosting process. The 8-10 GB Ghost image file must be transferred across the network
- Every time a new software version is released a new image or AI Pack must be built to deploy it to the labs.