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WINPE with virtualbox inside!! HELP PLEASE

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#1 gzebedin

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:18 AM

Hello @all,

 

I'm quite stuck here for some time and am trying my luck here now.

Goal: I want to PXE boot Student laptops into a WINPE with just virtualbox inside. From there I can mount a readonly VHD over the network and use different OSes for my classroom. 

I was trying to build a small Linux LiveCD but I cant get EFI Laptops to boot.

My actual status: I can PXE Boot into a standard winPE created from WIN10. I have setup a ISC dhcp Server with ipxe which sends the laptops to either BIOS version or EFI version. I can even boot Macbooks (It took me a long time to modify my DHCP Server to act as Apple netboot Server) with this system.

So right now I can boot a small boot.wim without problems.

 

I'm stuck in putting apps into the WIM. I tried a lot of different versions and I tried even to work with vbox.me which offers a portable Virtualbox solution.

Anyway: Maybe someone can help me out here.

 

So the workflow would be:

1. boot via PXE into winPE (BIOS, UEFI and EFI) (works already)

2. create a SMB connection to a server (works already)

3. wget a file from a webserver and execute it (works already)

4. start virtualbox with VHD via SMB (STUCK Need HELP PLEASE)

 

This solution allows me to use the student laptops for education and don't have to care how many viruses are on their machines. I just PXE boot into a System of choice and start my lesson.

 

Thanks for your help!!!

 

Gerald



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

If I get this right the issue is booting the "portable" vbox.me on your "minimal" PE (besides the way it is booted), right? :unsure:

Maybe your WinPE is "too minimal".

You probably need to add some "subsystems" and/or some drivers to the build.

It is usually not-so-easy to "trace" complex programs like I presume Virtualbox is, it needs a lot of patience and numberless attempts. :ph34r:

 

OR, your portable Virtualbox does run in the PE (with an already existing "local" image) and the issue is accessing the "remote" image through SMB from within the running Virtualbox? :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 steve6375

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:27 AM

WinPE will use the X: drive (RAM - 512MB+) and any apps you load will also occupy RAM as well as WinPE OS/drivers etc. So presumably your client systems have loads of RAM?

I am not sure exactly what your setup is, but I would boot to a minimal WinPE via PXE and then use wget to download a VHD, VBox Portable and the VM onto the users local HDD (assuming Windows could access at least one volume). Then run VBOX and the VM from the local disk. Is that what you are doing or is everything loaded into RAM?



#4 gzebedin

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:56 AM

Thanks for your answers. Yes I have enough RAM available on the clients. I also dont have a local ISO running. Which means I cant manage to put virtualbox inside winPE.

I was also trying to just start winPE and then net use h: ...... to create a local drive h:

from there I wanted to start virtualbox portable but I cant get it running.

 

So I was thinking before trying get everything running vie PXE I will try to create an ISO where everything works fine. From there I can get the WIM over to the Server and PXE-boot it.

So basically... Cant manage to put virtualbox inside winPE... :-(

 

I dont put the VHD into RAM, I just start it via a share in read only mode...



#5 steve6375

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:13 PM

Wouldn't an OS VHD need to be rd/write?

 

So is your VBox portable executable in the WIM image (X:) and you just run it?

 

What is result of various experiments (no PXE - just straight USB boot - local drive could be internal HDD or USB drive)

 

1. Boot to WinPE - run VBox portable from local drive - load local VM with local VHD

2. Boot to WinPE - run VBox portable from local drive - load local VM with shared rd/wr network VHD

3. Boot to WinPE - run VBox portable from X: drive - load local VM with shared rd-only network VHD

4. Boot to WinPE - run VBox portable from X: drive - load n/w VM with shared rd-only network VHD

etc.







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