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I would like to mount a hard drive on a remote computer (running on CentOS 6) as a Windows drive so that I can install programs to that drive. The primary hard drive for my Windows machine (which is at home) is pretty small, I have a Linux server sitting in a remote data center with a much larger hard drive and allow me to install more stuff.

I know most of you are going to say Samba, unfortunately the biggest problem for me in this case is that I can not mount Samba as a network share unless I start OpenVPN or SSH tunneling first, which is not good for my case because I will install some startup programs to the remote drive as well. Therefore, the remote drive has to be ready and work just like another drive BEFORE any of the startup programs start to load.

Is that possible? My home PC has Windows 7 Professional 32 bit installed and the remote server is a Xen virtual server running on CentOS 6. I have admin/root permissions for both.

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You can run openvpn as a service so that it starts before you login. If any of your startup services also need to access remote content, then you can set them to have openvpn as a dependency.

Alternatively, you might want to consider moving the connection problem off the box - you could install something like dd-wrt on a router and have it maintain permanent VPN connection to the server.

Or perhaps run Dokan SSHFS as a service on your windows box and mount the remote partition as an ssh share.

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