How to create a bootable WinXP USB stick with restrictions

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I am looking to create a bootable USB stick. I have a .gho image that our company uses to image all of the computers we use. I would like to start there and have the stick boot that custom instance of windows xp.

I'd like to get that .gho image into a <dot>iso image so that I can create a virtual machine on my desktop of that image in VMWare Workstation. Then I can add software and other necessary software through VMWare Workstation. Once the virtual machine is set up the way that I want it to be on the bootable USB stick, I'd like to put it on the stick so that whenever it is plugged in to a workstation computer, it will boot from the stick.

However, I have some restrictions I'd like to apply:
- I want it to be very restricted. The user will not be able to save anything to the USB stick or gain access to the host computer's hard drive. Everything should be saved to the user's network drive. (example: My Documents mapped to the user's H: drive, where the H: drive is the user's network drive)
- I want it to add our VPN and access our VPN automatically
- Softphone: I have a headset I'd like to distribute with the stick that will then work with softphone and the VoIP phones will be managed from the computer with no need for a physical phone.

So here's a basic summary of what I'm asking how to do:
- Convert .gho to .iso so I can make a virtual machine of our company's standard image (or if there's an easier/more efficient way of doing that)
- Restrict the bootable USB so that nothing can be saved to the stick or computer's HD. Everything should be saved to the user's network drive
- The USB stick should automatically access our company's network (VPN) and not disconnect from it so a user can log out and I can then log back in as a company administrator account
- Make the virtual machine an image that can be put on the USB stick and then booted. and how to do that.

I know that sounds like a lot, but I need to do this and I would appreciate any help. Thanks!
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I do not think their is a way to create a bootable iso file from a ghost file and at the same time load it in a vmware session on usb.
You should look at a vdi solution. This way you can boot your machine from a usb with a wireless (umts) connection on it, that startsup a vpn connection and present you a vm desktop. This machine is hosted on a central vmware environment, and with rules, scripts you can prevent it from being accessed (system drive) or altered.
Advantage is that on the usb stick their will be only software to create the connection (vpn) and on a central location you can manage all your machines.
A other solution is to use ACE, with this you can distribute images to machines, but you need a operating system on the local machines for this solutions.

Author

Commented:
"I do not think their is a way to create a bootable iso file from a ghost file and at the same time load it in a vmware session on usb."

Sorry, I think I may have been unclear. I have a ghost file. I am wondering if I can convert it to .iso. If not, I can make an image of one of the computers that i used the ghost file to load and then use that image. After I have the .iso image (however I obtain that), I am going to use VMWare workstation to create a virtual machine of the image. After I have the Virtual Machine working the way I want it to, I want to make that virtual machine into a .iso file (or other bootable file) and then put that instance on the USB stick to be booted. it isn't a vmware session on usb.

Also, I do have VMWare ACE Management Server.

Commented:
http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/?page_id=174
I think ultimate p2v will do what you are looking for.
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What is the OS of the image you want to load on your usbkey?
If you want to run Windows machine's, you can take a look at tools like BartPE. This is bootable, and you can run some programs on it (however, i doubt it can run the stuff you want). For Linux OS, you can take a look at knoppix or ubuntu distro's. They can boot from usb and you can install tools to it.

Author

Commented:
the OS of the image i want to load is windows XP.

BartPE looks like it has some promise, but i dont have access to a machine with Ghost installed. any way around that step of the process?

Commented:
Were you able to get the ultimate p2v?  This is a bartpe plugin that uses a gho to make a virtual machine.
bartpe is an OS on itself, you need to create it with additional plugins. These plugins you need to write/find yourself. If there aren't any plugins you need and you can create them yourself bartpe isn't for you.

Author

Commented:
ok, I was unable to get the untimate p2v working because I never got the bartpe disc configured because I don't have access to all of the ghost files that are necessary to include via the instructions here:
http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/docs/vmwdocs/whitepaper-ultimatep2v-quickstart.pdf

I did manage to familiarize myself a bit with ace and got a virtual machine on to the USB disk.

HOWEVER, I have a question on that... If I load a virtual machine on to a USB stick with Pocket ACE, is it a bootable OS device or does it just run in an environment that you have to execute after your host computer's operating system loads?

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