Ghost imaging, using ghosting software, is a method of converting the contents of a hard drive -- including its configuration settings and applications -- into an image, and then storing the image on a server or burning it onto a CD.
When contents of the hard drive are needed again, ghosting software converts the image back to original form.
Companies use ghost imaging when they want to create identical configurations and install the same software on numerous machines. For instance, if a company needs to dole out 100 laptops to its employees, then instead of manually setting configurations, and installing applications on each machine, ghosting software (usually contained on a floppy ) will retrieve the ghost image from the server, convert it into its original form, and copy it onto the laptop.
Now the laptop is ready for use.