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Is it possible that I can have a physical cd rom device, which bios recognizes as a ide cd drive, but have it boot a iso/image file from flash storage ?

Its not feasible for me to have real cd drives , considering the cost of the project, and the power consumption as well.

Also, the bios of the boards am supposed to boot into, is locked into booting cdroms only. It can't boot a sata/usb device at all.

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I already tried using a DOM, ide flash drive. Doesn't work. Only normal ide cd drive works. –  Dragunov Dec 17 '10 at 11:26
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2 Answers

you can still buy IDE flash drives from e.g. Transcend. those are specified for embedded system. I would expect those to be expensive though.

Examples: http://www.transcendusa.com/products/ModDetail.asp?ModNo=26

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You need a device presenting an ATAPI interface instead of an ATA one. Memkor seems to produce such a device: http://www.memkor.com/en/products/cfdrives/142atapi.html

As explained on their website they can emulate removable devices by using a special compact flash adapter.

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