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I want to run some test on hardware level. My goal is to create or find a way to control one computer from another down to BIOS settings changing.

For example:

  1. Master computer sends a signal for slave to restart and opens BIOS settings dialog.
  2. Master computer sends a signal to slave to change BIOS parameters and then restart.
  3. Then slave fully boots up master starts up some software on slave.
  4. Then software finishes operations cycle continues till certain conditions are met.

I know that I am looking for a complex thing but mainly what I need are correct keywords because now I am being flooded by BIOS configurations tutorials.

Main concerns:

  • Is it possible without using any custom tailored chip?
  • How can master monitor slave's hardware activity?
  • How to let master handled more than one slave?
  • What connections are needed to create this kind of setup? (cables)
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Much of this is built into "lights out" management cards. – Dave M Nov 14 '12 at 15:59
Yeah, you're looking for "out-of-band" or "lights out" management. – Shinrai Nov 14 '12 at 16:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Devices like the "out of band" or "lights out management" cards are common on servers. They allow various methods of connection including TCP/IP from remote locations.

There are many from the big server vendors like Dell, HP and IBM but also some third party devices There are several examples of Remote Management Cards here

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There are some expensive PCI cards and motherboards for that purpose, or you may use Arduino Leonardo with Ethernet shield to emulate USB keyboard and send keypresses to the slave computer if this is a small office / home environment.

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