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I want to install applications from my Mac OS X install disc, or be able to archive-install from it, but it's back at my house outside my current LAN. Is there a way I can remotely access my OS X install disc on my home Windows XP computer from my Snow Leopard? In my help manual it says I can do remote installs, or use another computer's disc drive remotely, but it has to be with another computer on the LAN.

Is there a way to combine my mac's LAN and my windows' LAN? I think it has something to do with making a VPN; is there a way to do that which will work between Snow Leopard and XP, doesn't require additional hardware, and is preferably free?

Thanks a lot!

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Please add some more information about your network setup.

If your Mac is on and remote login is enabled (SSH) then you should be able to remotely login to it, access the CD drive, and retrieve a disk image over the wire. It would be pretty slow, but it could be done in a pinch.

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Hey, sorry I'm not great at computers, what network info do you need? I'm pretty sure I can figure out the mac side, but I dunno what needs to be done Windows-side, which is the one i'll be remotely controlling and CD-reading from. – Brett Johnson Apr 29 '10 at 21:33

Remotely installing the OS itself probably isn't possible from off-subnet, as the EFI bootROM in your Mac probably doesn't have a way to find and connect to an Optical Disc Sharing server on another subnet; it probably expects to be able to find one locally via Bonjour or a simpler multicast- or broadcast-based discovery protocol, and it probably doesn't provide a UI for specifying an arbitrary IP address and port to connect to.

But if you just needed to mount a remote disc, you could do it, but it would take a little work.

  1. Have your housemate pop in the disc into the Windows box that has Apple's Optical Disc Sharing software installed.
  2. Have your housemate could run a tool like Bonjour Browser to look at what IP address and port is being advertised for the _odisk._tcp service on that Windows machine. Note that this port is selected dynamically, so you'll need to redo this step (and the next step) every time.
  3. You or your housemate would probably need to change the configuration of your home gateway to enable port forwarding between an external port of your home gateway and the internal IP address and port of the Optical Disc Sharing service on your home Windows box. You might be able to make things similar by making your home Windows box the "DMZ" (a.k.a. "Bastion Host", a.k.a. "Default Host") on your home network.
  4. From your Mac at work, open Terminal and type:

    hdiutil attach http://$HomeGWPubIPAddr:$PubPort/

...where $HomeGWPubIPAddr is the public IP address of your home gateway and $PubPort is the public port you defined in the port forwarding/mapping in step 3.

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A downvote with no comment? If you have a suggestion for how my answer could be improved, please share it. – Spiff Apr 29 '10 at 2:57
Hmm, I'll have to look into this. Quick question, would this also work if, instead of remote accessing the disc drive, I wanted to remote access a USB External Hard Drive? – Brett Johnson Apr 29 '10 at 22:43

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