Using ISOs to transfer files to Virtual Machines. [The EASY way!]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I love being able to use ISOs with my Virtual Machines.  In addition to that, I love using LOCALLY stored ISOs from my laptop with Virtual Machines at client sites.  This can be done with the ‘Client Device’ setting in 3.x Virtual Machine hardware.

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I have always used ISOs to build new Operating Systems and install applications but recently I have been using them to ‘transport’ files to Virtual Machines that either have no network connectivity or are inaccessible for some other reason.  The process involved using Nero to burn an ISO image with whatever files I wanted to transport up.  Effective but a little cumbersome.   I searched around and figured out a pretty easy way to create these ISO images from the command line using the same program that BartPE uses.

Basically I have a folder on my Laptop called C:\CD and a batch file on my desktop called MAKECD.CMD.  The cmd file contains the following line :

mkisofs.exe -iso-level 4 -volid "MY_CD" -o "C:\temp\TransferCD.iso" C:\CD

When I need to transfer something up to a VM via ISO, I just copy the files into C:\CD, double click MakeCD.cmd and then connect TransferCD.iso to the VM via the VI client.

The batch file basically directs mkisofs to create a TransferCD.iso with all the files in the C:\CD directory.

For me, it has been a remarkably effective way to use ISOs as a file transfer mechanism.

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