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The problem:

  • I have a Sony Vaio laptop from 2010 that I wish to revert to the factory installed state.
  • I had already deleted the factory-installed Recovery partition.
  • I had the original recovery media on DVD, which I have made an ISO image of.
  • The laptop does not have an optical drive.
  • The laptop has a unique hardware configuration which makes it difficult to reinstall Windows from a Microsoft-provided installation media, all of the necessary drivers (especially for the unique NVidia GPU) mean using the OEM-provided media is best.

The attempt:

  • I had used Rufus to install the Recovery ISO image to a USB stick and boot from the stick.
  • This booted me into Sony's proprietary Recovery software, however it only gives the options for "Vaio Hardware Diagnostics" and "Rescue Data"
    • "Rescue Data" is not useful in my situation, it's used for copying files from the HDD to an external storage device.
    • If you boot from the Recovery DVD normally (using a USB DVD drive or a built-in optical drive, if present) then 2 additional options are displayed: "Restore Complete System" and "Restore C: Drive" (both pretty-much do the same thing, except the first option will recreate the Recovery partition on the HDD too).
  • I took a look around the Recovery DVD ISO and found some files that change the options displayed based on what type of media the software running on - if you run the software from a HDD (which a USB stick is detected as) then it will only display the 2 non-helpful options ("Vaio Hardware Diagnostics" and "Rescue DAta"), but if it's running off a DVD drive then it will display the other files (this is done by plugins.xml, pluginsDVD.xml, pluginsHDNORCV.xml, and pluginsHDRCV.xml).
  • This means I need to boot from this ISO in a way that the computer believe it's a DVD drive.

Situation:

  • So I need to present an ISO to a computer's BIOS as a bootable DVD drive.

How can I do this?

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Perhaps you can use a different approach. Booting the ISO file in question via PXE.

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