Jump to content











Photo
- - - - -

Boot an OS from a vhd on a network?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 sokolofskid

sokolofskid

    Member

  • Members
  • 78 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:18 AM

Hi everyone, been awile (more then a year) since I posted a topic.
Anyway....things I know:
1. You can boot (Winodws 7) installation from usb and install on a harddrive (In case anyones wondering i'm just going to use windows 7 as an example OS)
2. You can boot a real (Windows 7) image on an external harddrive and boot from it. (use your own programs and such from any pc that lets you boot from external)
3. You can boot (Windows 7) natively without the need of a host OS (Same as number 2 except windows 7 would be in a vhd format)
4. You can boot/install (Windows 7) installation over a network an install to that specific computers harddrive via (PXE)
5. ??? Now this I do not know if one can do....can you boot a vhd image of (Windows 7) from a network and run/boot it on a computer? (and to make things more obscure), that is, with a pc without an internal HDD. That's right I'm talking bare minimum pc, no harddrive, cd/dvd drive just mobo (and of coarse what makes the mobo work) and a network card (built in)

More questions may soon follow. Thank you.

#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 14722 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:41 AM

3. You can boot (Windows 7) natively without the need of a host OS (Same as number 2 except windows 7 would be in a vhd format)

Only some versions of windows7 (natively).

5. ??? Now this I do not know if one can do....can you boot a vhd image of (Windows 7) from a network and run/boot it on a computer? (and to make things more obscure), that is, with a pc without an internal HDD. That's right I'm talking bare minimum pc, no harddrive, cd/dvd drive just mobo (and of coarse what makes the mobo work) and a network card (built in)

Why has it to be a .vhd image?

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 sokolofskid

sokolofskid

    Member

  • Members
  • 78 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:24 AM

It dosen't have to be. Just throwing out examples from things I already know work.

#4 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 14722 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:23 PM

Good. :)

How would a Thinclient Windows 7 OS work? :unsure:
http://www.computerw...le-for-testing/
http://www.microsoft...hin-client.aspx


:cheers:
Wonko

#5 bwiese

bwiese

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 12 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:32 PM

Isn't he/she just referring to an iSCSI boot? Or is the intention to boot from VHD, without the VHD residing on a hard drive? The result is largely the same, but one is much easier.

#6 sokolofskid

sokolofskid

    Member

  • Members
  • 78 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:49 PM

Once more...I was only using windows 7 as an example. The OS Does not have to even be windows...in fact I'm probably going to go for a small linux build/image. My goal is to have an image(or a few images) of an operating system (you pick) that runs on a machine/machines connected to a network. I brought up the idea of a vhd just for the fact it's just one file.

Here's the idea drawn out (well not drawn out, just use your imagination):

Turn on bare metal computers((I'll call these computers my SLAVES for later reference), (i'll use "4" slaves as an EXAMPLE )), all of them are set to boot from network.
Give them a direction to go to where a harddrive or vhd is and have it boot the OS that is installed(also preconfigured...such as drivers an so on) on such that of the harddrive/vhd.

Once booted from an external harddrive, that of which is on the network....run programs, surf the web, play chess, and such on the slave computer/s.

...help me figure this out?

#7 bwiese

bwiese

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 12 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:23 PM

I can't help you much if you want to use any Linux bits (server or client side). But, it's pretty easy and straightforward to do it with all Microsoft bits (Windows Server 2008 R2/Windows 7). I'd like to be able to post a link that takes you through it top to bottom, but I've learned what I know from many such articles that each solves only parts of the problem. I'm sure there are many threads and articles on this site alone that give you their flavor of it. Perhaps we can write a guide.

Anyway, if you're up for a fully Microsoft solution, then I can help. Start with Windows Server 2008 R2. Add DHCP and WDS (for TFTP) roles. You'll probably have to make the server a DC for WDS to work properly. Go to www.ipxe.org and download undionly.kpxe and put it in the WDS /boot directory. Install Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, latest version (3.4?).

If you decide to get that far, I can post my specific DHCP, WDS, and iSCSI Target configuration, as well as iPXE boot script.

#8 sambul61

sambul61

    Gold Member

  • Advanced user
  • 1568 posts
  •  
    American Samoa

Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

bwiese

It may be a good idea for you to write a detail Tutorial on Booting Win from VHD via iSCSI. :good: Please do... in Tutorials section for easy finding.

However, sokolofskid doesn't seem to limit the task to a usually expensive iSCSI scenario, but rather talks about a commonly accessible PXE boot scenario.

And he asks clearly for detail instructions, how to boot a VHD via a network boot method... such as PXE. And might want to also search in Tutorials if they exist, and report back in this thread.

I'd suggest to install Win7 Embedded Standard onto such VHD to simplify the testing task, as this OS version is lightweight, fast, available in 32 and 64-bit, supports most common user tasks, including even native boot from VHDs.

#9 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 14722 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:02 PM

Once more...I was only using windows 7 as an example. The OS Does not have to even be windows...in fact I'm probably going to go for a small linux build/image. My goal is to have an image(or a few images) of an operating system (you pick) that runs on a machine/machines connected to a network. I brought up the idea of a vhd just for the fact it's just one file.


Here:
http://openthinclient.org/home

If you want a pizza, don't ask for a taco... :whistling:

Be aware of the risks involved :ph34r: , you may get a chocolate covered banana ;) instead:
http://homepages.tes...red-banana.html

:cheers:
Wonko

#10 rebit

rebit

    Member

  • Members
  • 78 posts
  • Interests:Boot PXE , Grub4dos, Windows entire in RAMDISK ! Windows Cloud Desktops VPS ! Turning a Android TV Box into a full Windows ThinClient ! http://www.mgdtecnologia.com.br/content/windows-thinclient/
  •  
    Brazil

Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:50 AM

Answering you 5. question:.

Im doing this with .img file not .vhd, because my iSCSI Target Server doenst support to attach .VHD files.

So, im converting the .vhd file to .img with free software called 'StarWind V2V Converter' and attach the .img to iscsi target.

Im writed a 'blog how to' , explaing this with iSCSI !


https://windowsdiskless.wordpress.com/

Posted Image


But right now i see the future with AoE Targets, thats support export of .img, .iso and .vhd files...

I tested and Work with Windows 7 32 and 64, Windows 8 and 2008. Like my iSCSI FAQ, AoE will work similar ...

I think AoE have this advantage because it can export .VHD image targets and are broadcasted over network... ( e0.0, e0.1 and etc...)

I will do a new FAQ with AoE soon as possible.

It Will work like the FAQ https://windowsdiskless.wordpress.com/ but with one difference: WinAOE Driver is installed on Diskless prepared Windows.

If you understand my FAQ with ISCSI and want to adventure with AOE, ready my post ( http://reboot.pro/17116/ ) about WinAOE Driver installation on Win7 and make the steps without convert the image. ( You will need a AOE Target system, at the moment only in Linux you can export AOE Targets ). Or you can use the easiest OpenFiler http://openfiler.com...er-architecture





enjoy.

Edited by rebit, 27 June 2012 - 06:00 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users