Possible? Use portable hard drive to emulate cdrom and/or boot directly off ISO?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by dhahlen, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. dhahlen

    dhahlen [H]ard|Gawd

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    I am trying to boot directly off and ISO from a hard drive. This is the situation:

    I have serveral iso's on a hard drive for our office. We have an MSDN license so we generally download most of our iso's and have them sitting on the file server for use when we need them. We'll burn a cd or dvd and then someone will lose it, take it home, or whatever. I am trying to eliminate the use of cd's/dvd's and put all of the iso images on a portable hard drive.

    I want to be able to throw all the cd's in ISO format, or maybe just copy/paste from the cd, and have a program which will boot off the hard drive and then give you the option to select which ISO you want to boot off of. It doesn't even have to boot off the hard drive, if i had a master CD to boot off of, which could then give me the option of booting off an ISO located on the USB hard drive, that would also work well.

    The idea is to have all our operating systems and software located on a single portable media in which we can boot directly off of vs burning another cd.

    Is this possible?

    Thanks,
    Darren
     
  2. Demon10000

    Demon10000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't think it's happening. I'm assuming you're talking specifically about Operating System Installation discs....

    My thoughts are that it would be MUCH cheaper to replace those lost CD/DVD copies than it would be to replace that hard drive when they "loose" it! :)

    There might be other things you could do... like install WindowsPE to the hard drive and then extract the installation files into different directories. Then you could create a menu that launched the setup for the installations....

    I don't think lilo/grub has the functionality to mount and then boot off an ISO, does it? I'd be very surprised if it did, but it would be worth checking into.
     
  3. dhahlen

    dhahlen [H]ard|Gawd

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    For us, it would be worthwhile. I'd be more conscious about keeping hold of a portable hard drive us a 2 cent cd. It's not really losing the cd more so that having to make sure you burn all the stuff you need before you head somewhere. A cd binder would be just as useful, but I like the idea of having all the isos on a hard drive.

    It's not really a huge problem - it would just be nice to have one media source that could take place of 100 cds.

    I would also be curious on how it would know when to mount the 2nd or 3rd iso if it were a multi disk installation vs single disk.

    It doesn't have to be ISO either, I could simply extract the cd to a folder and title it accordingly.
     
  4. Demon10000

    Demon10000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What type of software are you installing? OS, Applications, etc?
     
  5. dhahlen

    dhahlen [H]ard|Gawd

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    Mainly microsoft products....the boot loader would be needed for OS install, we'll often use the HP smart start disk but that's not required either.

    Server 2008, SBS, Vista, etc... however, occasionally use linux for asterisk etc.

    The other isos such as exchange, office, etc... i can just put onto an iso and use a loader to run them from inside the OS.