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Using a bootable live cd disk image mounted on the hard drive

I have a few dozen disk images (ISO's) that I use as a technician, ie: MS DaRT, BackTrack, Acronis, etc. I would like to be able to select a menu option in Grub2 to enable me to select one of the many images to boot from.

I have heard that you can create partitions and format them as CD format so that one could copy the contents of the boot disk to the partition and boot from it. I intend to create the partitions on my primary HDD.

Is this the best method of booting an ISO? Please tell me how in either case.

Note: I know how to use GParted, so I won't need step-by-step for that portion.

Hardware: HP DV7-1232nr 2 HDD's

Software: Primary HDD - 500gb - Ubuntu 12.04.1 Secondary HDD - 320gb - Windows 7 Home Premium

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marked as duplicate by Tom Brossman, Jorge Castro, Eliah Kagan, Mitch, Stephen Myall Oct 3 '12 at 8:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer 1

I've attempted this several times. From what I understand there is an issue with sector sizes between hard drives and CDs that makes isos unusable by standard tools like GRUB. However I had read (long ago, so my details may be fuzzy) about an extension to GRUB that provided for that discrepancy. It might actually have been an alternate boot loader now that I think about it. Sorry this is less of an answer than you were expecting.

The mechanism it used to make this work was similar to mounting isos as loopback devices (mount -o loopback /mnt ./disk.iso) but that's about as much as I remember. I'll update this if I remember / google more.

Upon further review: How to Boot Live ISO Images

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