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Restore an Image from a Bootable DVD

Created: 12 Oct 2006 • Updated: 11 Jun 2007 • 31 comments
khsh's picture
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Create a bootable Linux DVD with a self-contained restoration image.

Contents

Overview
Prerequisites
Step 1: Create a Boot Configuration
Step 2: Add the Image File to the Boot Configuration
Step 3: Build the Bootable DVD
Step 4: Boot and Image the Computer

Overview

Altiris® Deployment Solution™ software provides a number of tools to remotely image computers.

On occasion, you might encounter situations where you need to image a computer without network connectivity or you want the image and tools available locally.

This article outlines the process to create a bootable DVD using automation tools and a computer image. With these tools you can quickly and easily restore an image from a bootable DVD.

Prerequisites

  • Deployment Solution 6.8 or later.
  • Linux automation. Instructions for installing this are in the Deployment Solution Reference Guide (Deployment Console > Help > Product Guide).
  • A computer image captured using Deployment Solution to restore.
  • A computer with the capability to burn an .ISO image to a DVD.
  • A target computer with the capability to boot to a DVD.

    Note: This process also works with CDs and USB drives, though your image size is restricted by the capacity of the device.

Step 1:
Create a Boot Configuration

  1. In Boot Disk Creator (Deployment Console > Tools > Boot Disk Creator), create a new Linux automation configuration.
  2. Complete the Boot Configuration Wizard, leaving Lock Keyboard unselected:

    Figure 1

    Click to view.

  3. When the Create Boot Disk screen appears, click Cancel:

    Figure 2

    Click to view.

    You need to make some manual changes to the configuration before creating the disk.

Step 2:
Add the Image File to the Boot Configuration

Due to ramdisk limitations, there is a size constraint on the files that can be included in a boot image.

To get around this, Boot Disk Creator provides a mechanism to mount a folder outside of the ramdisk, letting you to use the full capacity of a boot DVD.

  1. Right-click your configuration and select New > Folder.

    Figure 3

    Click to view.

  2. Name this folder "." as shown in the following screen shot:

    Figure 4

    Click to view.

    Files placed in this folder are mounted to a special mount point in Linux automation, /mnt/atrsboot. The "." name is the convention Boot Disk Creator uses to identify the files you want mounted.

  3. Right-click the folder you created and select Add File. Browse to your image file (.IMG) and click Open.
  4. Right-click the folder you created and add the Linux rdeployt executable for your platform (x86 or x64) using the same process. Adding this executable directly to the image lets you run the image restore process without accessing the network.

    Note: If you have x86 and x64 versions of the Linux automation operating system installed, a red ! appears on rdeployt. This indicates that this executable supports only one architecture type (either 32- or 64-bit) and you don't have a version of this executable added for other architectures. Add the executable for the other architectures you have installed-you select which version you want to use when you create the boot DVD.

  5. Your image and rdeployt appear in the "." folder:

    Figure 5

    Click to view.

Step 3:
Build the Bootable DVD

After you have a configuration with the image file added to the "." folder, you can build the DVD image.

  1. Click File > Create Network Boot Disk. In a network boot disk, the automation agent does not attempt to connect to your Deployment Server.
  2. Leave Bootable ISO CD Image selected, and click Next.
  3. Save the file where it can be accessed by the computer with the capability to write DVDs.
  4. Burn the .ISO image to a DVD.

Step 4:
Boot and Image the Computer

  1. Boot the computer using the bootable DVD you created.
    Note: During the boot process, the computer attempts to connect to the Deployment Share. If the attempt is unsuccessful, you receive an error 255 which can be ignored.
  2. After Linux automation loads, the bash prompt appears:

    Figure 6

    Click to view.

  3. Enter the following commands:
    cd /mnt/atrsboot
    ls
    
    
  4. Your image file appears:

    Figure 7

    Click to view.

  5. Enter the following command to restore the image:
    ./rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img]
    
    

    Replacing [imagename.img] with the name of your image.

    Figure 8

    Click to view.

  6. When the imaging process completes, enter the following command to shutdown the computer:
    Halt
    
    

When the computer restarts it contains the image you just deployed.

Comments 31 CommentsJump to latest comment

jjesse's picture

Great article, thanks for the info. Probablly a simple question but instead of having to type rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img] how would I automate it? I think I've seen it somewhere but can't remember?

Jonathan Jesse Practice Principal ITS Partners

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jgo's picture

To Automate place the following code within rc.local in the boot disk editor.

/mnt/atrsboot/rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img]

My file ended up looking like this...

#!/bin/sh
/bin/sh /etc/mounts.local
/mnt/atrsboot/rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img]
$$RemRdeploy$$ start rdeploy here if we're in rdeploy stand-alone mode

This will make an action happen after the mount points are ... well mounted.
Be careful with this.
Save the configuration... etc...

John Golembiewski
Midwest Practice Principal
ITS Partners
Jgo@itsdelivers

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Rigatoni's picture

Is it possible to load an image from a network share? If so, what would the command look like?

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khsh's picture

Yes it is possible. Follow the steps listed in the document with the exception of embedding your image file inside the boot image. Also make sure you put in proper username/password to connect to your Windows server (if connecting to a non-windows server your authentication will probably fail. In that case you will need to authenticate manually). In Step 4 item 5 you will see the following commandline.
./rdeployt -md -f[imagename.img]

Specify the network path to your image file.
i.e.
./rdeployt -md -f/mnt/ds/myimg.img

continue with the rest of the steps listed in the document. The only difference is that you are not embedding your img file in your boot image.

That should work.
khsh

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Rigatoni's picture

I'm not good with Linux. So any help is appreciated.

If my .img was on server named server on

D:\programfiles\altiris\
express\deploymentserver\images\image.img

both express and images are shares.

What would this line look like???
./rdeployt -md -f/mnt/ds/myimg.img

Thanks in advance.

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khsh's picture

When you initially create your Linux configuration in the Boot Disk Creator, you will specify a mount point for your server. For example, on Step 6 of 7 in the configuration wizard, you would specify something like (actually it is probably already specified for you but you might double check the settings):

//server/eXpress /mnt/ds

Now when you boot up your linux client, the folder "/mnt/ds" will map back to "D:\programfiles\altiris\express\deploymentserver". So, you would modify your commandline in rc.local to be
"./rdeployt -md -f/mnd/ds/images/image.img".

Hope that helps.

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camerons's picture

I copied /mnt/atrsboot/rdeployt -md -f0408.img to my rc.local and inserted my image name. When the disk ran said couldn't open file restore failed, but if I type it manually
cd /mnt/atrsboot
./rdeploy -md -f0408.img

it ran fine. Any ideas?

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camerons's picture

Code needed to be /mnt/atrsboot/rdeployt -md -f/mnt/atrsboot/0408.img

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therefreshments's picture

Can this be also used on SUSE 9 or 10?

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khsh's picture

Uncertain. You could try switching the kernel out but I don't know if the SUSE kernel would have the support the bootup script needs to locate the boot device in order to expose the "/mnt/atrsboot" mount point.

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therefreshments's picture

Thanks for the suggestion, I will try it sometime...Thanks again!

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Rigatoni's picture

Ok figured out how to make network boot disk to get to network share for image. Anyone want to share how to make a menu to select from many images? Please! I am at bash menu in share. Here is what I have so far, it opens a menu but when i choose it says not a valid identifierchoice doesn't seem to like the elif either?

#! /bin/bash
echo "-------------------------"
echo "main menu"
echo "------------------------"
echo "[1] load the DOS Image"
echo "[2] load the WIn Image"
echo "[3] run the Linux Image"
echo "[4] open a text editor"
echo "[5] exit"
echo "==========================="
echo "Enter your menu choice [1-5]:"
read choice
if [ $choice = "1" ]
then
echo "DOS"
elif [ $choice = "2" ]
then
echo "Win"
elif [ $choice = "3" ]
then
echo "Linux"
elif [ $choice = "4" ]
then
echo "vi"
elif [ $choice = "5" ]
then
exit

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dark_harmonics's picture

**Correction to the below**

I thought you were using a Linux script but upon re-reading your post I realize I was in error. Sorry everybody.

I don't know if that's the whole script but you need an "fi" at the end of that "if" statement. Otherwise your script looks like it should work.

If you want to use an if statement maybe use the -eq instead of =.

if [$choice -eq 1]
then
echo "dos"
...
fi

Another option would be a case statement. Check out this scripting website for some details:
http://www.freeos.com/guides/lsst/

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csnyder's picture

Any idea why the mount point does not exist on 6.8 SP1. Added a folder . and placed the .img file and the rdeployt file there. Server boots to bash and then the files are no where to be found. The /mnt/atrsboot does not exist. There is a /mnt/auto/atrsboot.

Any help would be great. Thanks!

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dark_harmonics's picture

I have been working on this for quite some time and I have also run into the error where it does not mount the atrsboot folder correctly.

Is there a manual command to force it to mount that I am unaware of?

This has been happening to me on an HP NC440, but when I boot the EXACT same DVD on another machine is does load correctly. I wondered if it has anything to do with the NC4400 laptop needing to use an external drive so I tested on a docking station (which then allows you to boot to the "optical drive" instead of USB drive). I still think it has something to do with mounting a USB CD/DVD drive (I'm thinking it might treat it as such).

Does anybody have an idea as to how to mount this?

Also, I wanted to note that I am able to image the computer through the network connection during the same boot by mapping a connection to my Deployment Server.

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dark_harmonics's picture

I figured out that the NC440 is treating the CD/DVD drive as a USB device. This seems to be the reason it's not loading correctly. I am trying to figure out the command that is being used to mount the atrsboot so that maybe I can repoint it to another device.

I do get some errors when I boot but they don't seem to affect the functionality of other computers. Maybe it just affects the ability of Linux to detect the USB drives (since it says something about PNP).

See a screen capture HERE.

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Rigatoni's picture

I build DVSD as explained above and I keep getting the following error:
/etc/rc.local: line 4: /mnt/atrsboot/rdeployt: No such file or directory

Any suggestions?

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dark_harmonics's picture

That means that it is not mounting the CD root correctly to the atrsboot folder. BTW the easiest way to test this without wasting CDs/DVDs is to create a virtual pc (microsoft virtual machine is free) and load the iso as the dvd drive. Alternately you can mount the iso using a third party utility (daemon is my fav but there are plenty of others) and then use that virtual drive in your virtual machine. It will save you from wasting disks and time burning them and allow you test tweaks.

I actually reccomend starting from the beginning as to your error. If you get really stuck send me an email and I'll get you a rootfs that i created which i put a script into that automatically tries to load any file at the root of your iso named image.exe.

So if you put an image there in parts you rename it image.exe image.002 image.003 if your image is bigger than a dvd check out my post on using winpe 2.0

http://juice.altiris.com/node/1807

Now that im thinking of it, i will post a link to this rootfs that you can just inject into your iso.

Anybody who wants to edit their own script in the rootfs should first copy it to a linux computer (yaay ubuntu is the best!), gunzip it to rootfs from rootfs.gz. dd if=rootfs of=/dev/ram0. then you mount /dev/ram0 (no options) to any directory (mine was a directory i created called /mount/ramfs so i typed sudo mount /dev/ram0 /mount/ramfs). After you do your editing (like adding a simple unix script to the startup files?) you can unmount the directory and do a dd if=/dev/ram0 of=rootfs. Then you gzip rootfs and overwrite the one in your iso file.

Maybe ill write a detail article on this if there is a demand.

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Murphy31's picture

I followed the instructions to create the winpe disk and that works great, but I am not sure how to create the image.exe. I have a spanned image that has the img extension, e.g image.img, image.001, image.002. Do I use Convert image under Altiris Image explorer?

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jjesse's picture

You convert it using Image Explorer from Altiris to handle this

Jonathan Jesse Practice Principal ITS Partners

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Murphy31's picture

I was able to convert the image within Image explorer by using the Convert Image tab. When the WinPE disk promtps me to put in the DVD, I insert the disk, and rdeployt kicks off. However it never starts the imaging process. It just sits there at the rdeploy screen showing no progress. At the bottom, it says, Insert the Last disk E:\ I've verified both image.exe and image.002 are on the DVD, however the imaging process never kicks off. I'm curious if something is wrong with my image.exe. All I have to do is use the Convert image option and name the new output image file .exe instead of .img correct?

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Murphy31's picture

ok, I have the winpe disk kicking off the image.exe now. However, after it gets about half way through imaging, I receive a "file read operation failed." I'm thinking it may have something to do with the second spanned disk. Has anyone seen this error before? Thx

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dark_harmonics's picture

Murphy31. I would reccomend starting from scratch. In my winpe script it actually doesnt have to be an exe, but then you need to edit the script to point towards image.img instead.

I think your error is caused by either a bad or misplaced image file. Is it possible you could deploy your image from your server to a computer and just capture it again as an exe? I never had the error you describe and i've made several of these disk sets.

UNRELATED TANGENT:

I wanted to also mention to everybody here that it is really nice to have a 500gb external drive that you can put winpe2.0 on (instructions in the WAIK) and boot to it. You do need to use diskpart (has to be from another winpe2.0 instance like from a cd) to make the partition active because XP's diskpart doesnt see the usb drive as a disk.

If you put the rdeployt executable on the usb drive you can then use it for quick imaging (pulling and pushing). I had speeds upwards of 2000MB per minute over a usb 2.0 connection. Very nice for developing new gold images (take a quick backup halfway throught he process to save your progress).

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Jeff_Wright's picture

I created the DVD, using the instructions in the article, but the mount and image files were not visible when I booted from the DVD. I could see the image files when I mounted the .iso on Vista, as well as an empty ATRSBOOT file.

After many failed attempts to create a DVD with these files, I focused on just trying to get the reployt file to show up, since it was much quicker (and cheaper) with each failure to burn a small CD image, than a large DVD image. Eventually, I did succeed in getting a bootable DVD with rdeployt on the disk, however rdeployt is in the root of the CD (/), not on /mnt/atrsboot as described above. This is not a problem though, because /mnt/ds is readily available, so I can pull an image off of my deployment share.

How did I get this working? I am not 100% sure, but I noticed that the Boot Disk Creator was a little buggy. For example, when I added each version of rdeployt to the image (one for x86, x64 and ia64), that the files didn't actually get added to the image. I had to add the files twice for them to show up. I only needed the x86 file, but for the CD to work, it seems I needed to add all three for some reason. Also, after adding all three version, I had to add the x86 version again, last to get this CD to work.

Anyone else that is having problems want to try this and verify? I will try adding the images back next.

J

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dark_harmonics's picture

All,

I've found that by using Winpe 2.0 as a separate boot CD you can use an image which is larger than one dvd.

Here is my boot method/Machine type breakdown:

Winpe 1.X
Usage: I use this on machines which require separate USB DVD to install an image from. To make this compatible with your SATA drives follow the article on adding SATA drivers to your Altiris's winpe boot before capturing the iso from the PXE boot directory. Here is the article:

https://kb.altiris.com/article.asp?article=20566&p=1

Process to build:
Captured from the altiris pxe directory under the express share and modified the startup.bat to create the boot script. Added an IMAGE directory under the i386 where i place the image. I also added the rdeployt.exe to the iso before burning.

Here is an example of the startup.bat:

@echo off
 Regsvr32 /s netcfgx.dll
 Factory -minint
echo Starting the network...
 Netcfg -winpe
 Net start dhcp
 Net start lmhosts

:choose
set choice=
set /p choice=Do you want to Install the Image? (y/n)
if '%choice%'=='y' goto install
if '%choice%'=='Y' goto install
if '%choice%'=='n' goto end
if '%choice%'=='N' goto end
goto choose

:install
rdeployt -md -f x:\i386\images\image.exe
:end

Winpe2.0

Usage: I use this boot method to use images which are larger than a single DVD

Build Method:
Build Winpe2.0 iso according to Microsoft directions. Edit the startnet to contain your automatic install or manually run the install. I had it start a vbs script. You need to add support to winpe2.0 for scripting. The VBS script i use is:

wscript.sleep(2000)
set objscripting = wscript.createobject("wscript.shell")
set FSO = createobject ("scripting.filesystemobject")
set coldrives = FSO.drives
for each objdrive in coldrives
	if objdrive.drivetype=4 then
		driveletter=objdrive.driveletter
		answer=MsgBox("Would you like to install the image?",4,"Image install")
		if answer = 6 then
	
			wscript.echo("Enter the Imaging DVD into the "&objdrive&" drive")
			objscripting.run("cmd /c start "&driveletter&":\rdeployt -md -f "&driveletter&":\image.exe")
		end if
	end if
next

This script automatically detects the first CD/DVD drive and will prompt you to put the first dvd in the drive. On the first DVD you need to put the first 2 image parts and the rdeployt.exe file.

Linux:
Usage: I use this to install images on computers which don't have an external drive and only require a single dvd for imaging. This is the quickest booting method of the three.

Build Method:

Described above in this article.

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tech9's picture

Nice VB script!

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tech9's picture

Another observation or best practice is to use winPE or Linux as the boot loaders when creating or restoring an image. The DOS boot loader is extremely slow and limited as far as NIC drivers go.

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dark_harmonics's picture

Also, DOS doesn't recognize SATA drives. Its slow because its 16 bit imaging. 32bit linux/winpe is much faster!!

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camerons's picture

I copied your line of text into my RC.local and enter my image name. It said file could not be opened but if I manually typed
cd /mnt/atrsboot
./rdeployt -md -f0408.img

it works. Any ideas?

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clwoody's picture

Hi - i know this article is quite old but hope there is some help out there. I have succesfully created boot DVD's no problem using the Linux boot os.

Foe some reason this has just stopped working when i create a new configuration!

I am using DS 6.9 SP1 (Build 365).

When i attempt to mount a DVD there is NO atrsboot directory, within mount there is a sa & auto only.

I know little about Linux so would appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Colin.

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clwoody's picture

Hi - i know this article is quite old but hope there is some help out there. I have succesfully created boot DVD's no problem using the Linux boot os.

Foe some reason this has just stopped working when i create a new configuration!

I am using DS 6.9 SP1 (Build 365).

When i attempt to mount a DVD there is NO atrsboot directory, within mount there is a sa & auto only.

I know little about Linux so would appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Colin.

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