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Full Version: Is it possible to boot any (bootable) .iso file off the network
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nameless_one
Hi, is it possible to do something like this with tftpd32?

Place all my bootable .iso files (for example, win xp, 2000, vista, osx86, linux distros, etc) in some folder on the tftp server and then have tftpd32 point to the particular .iso file depending on what OS I want to install, so that when the client boots off of PXE (or something similar) it would immediately boot this ISO file as if it was locally booted off a cd-rom?

I understand this can be done if you want to install Windows in particular, but I'm wondering if it's possible for any random bootable ISO file?

Thanks.
jaclaz
Maybe "random" is a "large" term.

As far as I know it is possible to PXE boot / RIS install with:
DOS and Windows 9x/Me
Windows NT/2K/XP/2003
Linux
OS/2

Of course each OS has slightly different ways, so it is not just a matter of "tossing any .ISO" into a directory on server and choose one at boot, there is some work and troubleshoot to be done for each of them.

jaclaz
nameless_one
QUOTE(jaclaz @ Aug 25 2007, 04:16 AM) *
Maybe "random" is a "large" term.

As far as I know it is possible to PXE boot / RIS install with:
DOS and Windows 9x/Me
Windows NT/2K/XP/2003
Linux
OS/2

Of course each OS has slightly different ways, so it is not just a matter of "tossing any .ISO" into a directory on server and choose one at boot, there is some work and troubleshoot to be done for each of them.

jaclaz



When I mentioned random, I meant things like Acronis or some diagnostic software rescue discs, etc.. (i.e not just iso files that contain only OSes).

I understand we can use the programs like UDA to boot the major OS iso files like the ones you mentioned.


I'm a newbie when it comes to this, but when I said 'placing your iso files on the tftp server and booting them through tftpd32', I was thinking more along the lines of..

Why isn't it possible to emulate a "bios booting a pc" scenario through the network. I mean the iso file could be mounted on a virtual cd rom drive and the emulation program could make this (simulated) bios think it's booting from an actual cd rom drive.. or something like that? unsure.gif
jaclaz
Again, since different OS use different drivers, rely in different ways on information supplied by BIOS, access hardware in different ways there is NO "one-size-fits-all" solution, but several different "families" of solutions (one for each OS), that in most cases need to be individually adapted to the particular .ISO.

jaclaz
n0rm4l

Is it possible to boot any (bootable) .iso file off the network?
maybe iSCSI or AoE ?
iSCSI boot os over network.
it is simulate SCSI disk or ATA disk. why not able to simulate a ATA cdrom or scsi cdrom.
just simulate int13. It is the same bios int13.
jaclaz
QUOTE
Is it possible to boot any (bootable) .iso file off the network?
maybe iSCSI or AoE ?
iSCSI boot os over network.
it is simulate SCSI disk or ATA disk. why not able to simulate a ATA cdrom or scsi cdrom.
just simulate int13. It is the same bios int13.


Are those questions or statements? confused1.gif

If the latter, this won't work for NT based systems, as the int13h supplied by BIOS is only used in first part of booting, in later stage, if the device is not positively detected or a NT driver is missing, you will get a 0x0000007b error - inaccessible boot device.

As far as I know, as said, there is NO "one-size-fits-all" solution.

jaclaz
marley75
Hi,

im new in this forum, but this thread sounds pretty interesting as i am actually looking for such a solution too. What i mean is, booting different ISO-images via PXE and pxelinux. I got Windows PE booting from PXE running, but now i also want to boot other different ISO-images (like BIOS-Updates, HP Firmware CD etc) via PXE (no Operating Systems, but all bootable ISO-images).

Any help or links to fitting tutorial is appreciated.

Regards, marley
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