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I'm in charge of retrieving some files from lots and lots of computers. I began logging into each one individually and grabbing the file, however, the computers are off when I get them and they all have unique login credentials (which means I have to go track down the owner to login).

I've come up with a couple of theories how to solve my issue, but the main one is using some kind of system booted off of my drive at startup that will just copy all the files into a folder on my drive. This saves me from actually having to boot in, locate the file, and having to track the user down for credentials. The log is always located in the same location, is there some kind of semi-modifiable macro that can booted at startup from a flash drive and do something like this?

If not, I've got quite a lot of computers, what would be the first step in researching on how to make something such as this? I have a couple years programming experience and making a tool to do it would be an option as well.

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Are all these computers networked? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 28 '12 at 17:50
@techie007 Nope, they are not. – Xander Lamkins Sep 28 '12 at 18:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could use the Ubuntu USB Key builder program to build a USB key to boot them from. Make sure it has persistent storage and you can create a startup script to copy the file from the first drive in the computer to your user folder. then simple set it to auto login and bam your done.

share|improve this answer
Great idea! I'll start working on it now! – Xander Lamkins Sep 28 '12 at 18:20
Out of curiosity, do you know of any distros that are small and boot quickly? Preferably GUI-less? – Xander Lamkins Sep 29 '12 at 17:16
Xubuntu is about the smallest one for Ubuntu. Dsl is another one but I don't know how to do persistence with dsl. – d4v3y0rk Sep 29 '12 at 22:07
Alright thanks! – Xander Lamkins Sep 30 '12 at 0:43

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