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I need to run a server 2003 VM from server 2008 on VirtualBox. I only have access to a network share containing the windows server 2003 installation files, but unfortunately no iso or physical disk. Any ideas on how to perform the install?

I was able to install 2003 on a physical box by creating a bootable usb installer using a freeware utility called wintoflash. However, VirtualBox will not boot a VM from USB, so I can't use it in this instance.

The setup files are in a share that I can only access while being joined to the domain. Since I have no OS running in the VM, I can't join the domain. I've copied the share locally, but I can't access the setup files from the VM without sharing the folder using guest additions. So once again the lack of an OS on the VM precludes me from accessing the setup files.

I'm out of ideas :)

update

thanks for the iso creation software suggestions. i'll check them out and if i can get one to work i'll mark this as answered.

update2

Unfortunately all of the programs for making iso's mentioned below either won't make bootable isos, or won't do so without purchase. I need something free. It's for my job, and I won't pay for this just on principle. The particular company I work for... well... let's just say that there's really no reason there should not be an easier way to install server 2003 from inside their domain and leave it at that :)

I may have found my own solution with BartPE. I was able to create a bootable ISO by pointing it at the installation files, however I haven't read the documentation so I'm not sure yet how to use it to install 2003.

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4 Answers 4

You can use the files to make a bootable ISO, then use it on VirtualBox. You should check the mkisofs man page in order to make the ISO image, there's a parameter to flag it as bootable.

Also you can also make it with nero, create a new CD/DVD Bootable disc project, add the files and write it to an standard iso image, then move it to you linux system and use it with virutalbox. sorry for not answering in time, out of the city for work and had no time to check this

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1  
that's exactly what I've been wanting to do. How do I do that? –  Robert S Ciaccio Jul 28 '10 at 18:58
    
Could you please elaborate on this one @jgemedina? –  Ivo Flipse Jul 29 '10 at 7:16
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You should check the mkisofs man page in order to make the ISO image, there's a parameter to flag it as bootable. –  jgemedina Jul 31 '10 at 18:17
    
You can also make it with nero, create a new CD/DVD Bootable disc project, add the files and write it to an standard iso image, then move it to you linux system and use it with virutalbox. sorry for not answering in time, out of the city for work and had no time to check this. –  jgemedina Jul 31 '10 at 18:19
    
i think the mkisofs suggestion is great... i was already looking into that. There's also a gui wrapper for it whose name currently escapes me, but once it get one of these things working I'll post an updated solution. By the way jgemedina, why don't you edit your answer directly with this info so I can remove the -1 I flagged on your post :) –  Robert S Ciaccio Jul 31 '10 at 21:54

Make an .Iso with the installation files then use Daemon Tools

DAEMON Tools is an advanced application for Microsoft Windows which provides one of the best optical media emulation in the industry.

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Yhea... misspelled Daemon... Thanks! –  r0ca Jul 28 '10 at 19:14
    
well daemon tools would be great if i just wanted to mount an iso i already had. But virtualbox will mount the ISO for me if i had one in the first place. How do I make the iso out of the installation files? –  Robert S Ciaccio Jul 28 '10 at 19:15
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Download MagicISO or ISOMaker. These software will create an .iso with the installation files. –  r0ca Jul 28 '10 at 19:18
    
MagicISO wouldn't let me make a bootable image with over 300MB without purchasing the full version, and ISOMaker doesn't have a bootable option. Thanks for the suggestions though, I think MagicIso would work if I was willing to pay :) –  Robert S Ciaccio Jul 30 '10 at 5:12
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Yhea you are right, you need to pay to have the full functionalities. That's sad! You can try some other Iso maker apps but I'm not that sure there's a lot free. Check this OpenSource one, hope this fits your needs: opensource.ebswift.com/DoISO –  r0ca Jul 30 '10 at 12:36

Folder2Iso is a no install iso creator that works awesome.

Folder2ISO

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pretty cool but it doesn't have an option to make it bootable... –  Robert S Ciaccio Jul 30 '10 at 4:32
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I finally found a tool that I was able to make work without having to buy software. nLite. It allowed me to very easily create a bootable 2003 iso and I got it installed in virtual box in no time flat. Highly recommended if you ever need to make a Windows installer iso. Thanks for all the help!

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