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I have a machine with a bootable ISO stored on it, and I have another blank machine which I want to install the ISO to. They're both on the same LAN (attached to the same switch). How would I go about booting the blank machine from the ISO stored on my primary computer?

Thanks a lot

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2 Answers

I think you want a means of pxe booting from ISO images. I searched for a little bit and found this article. I believe that method should work for any bootable ISO image you may have. This is another similar article.

Finally, it appears that this article discusses how to do this from a PXE server you run from Windows.

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thanks for all three links –  datatoo Jun 30 '11 at 22:31
@datatoo - you're welcome, it was kind of self-serving - I've wondered about this before myself. –  Doc Jun 30 '11 at 22:33
@One of the great benefits to answering questions is the research process. You do tend to learn stuff, and that is good. –  KCotreau Jun 30 '11 at 23:09
Do these techniques work for any bootable ISO? I.e. a windows ISO? Or do they only work for linux distributions? –  AaronLS Aug 5 '12 at 22:09
@AaronLS - I don't know, but I'd expect it to work for all BIOS interfacing OSes. I'm less sure about EFI ones, but I could imagine the EFI ones generally work even better for this stuff. Hopefully someone actually tries it and comments! –  Doc Aug 9 '12 at 17:13
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The Ultimate Deployment Appliance offers what you require. Their homepage describes it's functionality, however it's reformatted here for convenience:

What is the Ultimate Deployment Appliance?

  • Unattended OS installations (Windows, Linux, ESX, Solaris) over the network set-up in minutes!
  • Publish your favorite recovery/system maintenance tools over the network!
  • PXE Booting, Remote Installation Services, Kickstart, Jumpstart, Autoyast in a box!

When would you use this?

  • When you are trying to install a system that doesn't have a CDROM drive, but does have a network card (these days ultra-thin laptops and such don't have an optical drive)
  • When you have to install an operating system on different pieces of hardware.
  • When you have to install systems and want things to go automated and reproducible.
  • When you go to your friends house to fix his/her computer you want to be prepared. Instead of removing all that unwanted stuff you might as well start fresh. Bring your own system (laptop?), hook it up to the messed up system with a cross-cable and start re-install the system from scratch fully unattended. Head for the fridge...
  • When you need to do maintenance on your system without the need to carry around a stack of live CD's.
  • When you want to do this without paying lots of money for commercial products.

How Does it work?

  • Unattended Install The appliance mounts an iso file with a distribution of you favorite operating system and imports the necessary (network) boot-files. It creates a default configuration file for your automated installation and starts hosting the operating system distribution files for network booting.
  • System Tool Publishing Live CD's and other tools are imported entirely to the Ultimate Deployment appliance and are published for booting over the network trough PXE.

UDA have a youtube channel, where you can find a video of them installing windows 7 as an example from setup within UDA to Windows completely installed.

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