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Thread: Wouldnt it be cool to have a hardware cd emulator?

  1. #1
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    Wouldnt it be cool to have a hardware cd emulator?

    Just the other day I was tinkering with nlite to create a customizable xp os for my single board computer. The board has a pc/104 extension which I used for a pcmcia addon card. The full version of xp recognized and install the drivers for the pcmcia card. However, when I start pulling components out with nlite, xp would not detect it even with the drivers.

    To make a long story short and half a dozen wasted cds later...

    I was thinking, wouldnt be nice to have a hardware cdrom emulator? This device would have one end a usb connector and on the other end IDE/SATA. You would connect this to a computer, load an ISO image and connect the other end to another computer which you want to install the OS.

    I have VMware, but unfortunately the hardware configuration is not the same as my SBC. So inorder to test nlite, I would have to literally burn a cd.

    Is there such a thing?

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Well you can boot from USB devices all already so just take the CD and copy it's contents to the drive and boot from it.

    There wouldn't be any speed boost by going through an IDE channel because the thumbdrive itself is probably limited to either usb1 or usb2.

    To do what you are saying you would need not just a cable but some hardware too because USB devices like thumbdrives need USB host's. That is why you can't connect your camera to your thumbdrives and transfer pictures. You need some host to interpret and pass along data.

    I have never seen one like that. I'll keep my eye out though but I'll doubt one will turn up!
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  3. #3
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    Booting from a 1gig thumbdrive would work except that there are two disadvantages.
    1. You have to copy the entire content of the cd over to the thumbdrive. Which can take a pretty long time.

    2. Thumbdrive works on the same principle as cf/sd card which have only a limited number of writes before the card becomes totally useless.

    The device I'm thinking about is a piece of hardware which requires a host computer to operate. The host computer would load an iso image much like daemon tools. The second computer is then attached to the device through ide/sata. When the second computer boots up, it would recongize the device as being a cdrom, boots from it and do an install.

    The advantage of this is, no burning of cds or copying of files. After nlite, all you do is load the iso and viola, you have a cdrom. The data being read is actually being fetch from the host computer. Think of it as being peer-to-peer networking, except the connection is already established before post.

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Oh, I see.... That would be tricky! I have no clue how to implement that. Good Luck though.
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  5. #5
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    Do you run windows or linux?
    If you run Windows, go to MS site and download MS Virtual PC and it free.
    Google and download DaemonTool CD/DVD ROM emulator that you can mount an ISO image and act like regular/real CD/DVD drive.

    Combine the 2, VPC and DaemonTools, is a perfect combination for testing like you did.
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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate crooper's Avatar
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    Alcohol 120% works very well as a CD/DVD emulator, also.

  7. #7
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    Windows supports network based installs. And there are boot roms to boot from the nic. research on that ive never tried it but sounds like what you want.

  8. #8
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    you guys are missing out the whole picture. Daemon tools, MS virtual drive, alchol 120 are all software emulator. What I was thinking of is a hardware solution.



    1. Computer A is a host computer which will load the iso.
    2. Computer B connects the Hardware emulator through IDE/Sata
    3. When the Computer B boots up, it will think the Hardware Emulator is a regular CD-Rom drive.

    When computer B reads data from the hardware emulator, the data is actually being fetch from computer A where the ISO resides.


    Hope this clear things up.

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate Nerd2's Avatar
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    Yeah I am totally with you, the idea that with all the virtual ISO emulators and Nlite installs i'm doing i have to go and find an actual CD to do the install on seems an outdated.

    Instead, i'm current into the whole copy the i386 directory of xp onto the drive and run winnt.exe, but this requires making the hard drive 'bootable' first (unless you have a floppy drive, which I don't).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd2 View Post
    Yeah I am totally with you, the idea that with all the virtual ISO emulators and Nlite installs i'm doing i have to go and find an actual CD to do the install on seems an outdated.

    Instead, i'm current into the whole copy the i386 directory of xp onto the drive and run winnt.exe, but this requires making the hard drive 'bootable' first (unless you have a floppy drive, which I don't).
    Thats exactly what I am doing now except I'm booting of a usb thumb drive into win98. But still, thats alot of drive swapping back and forth. Working with Nlite is basically trial and error.

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