Embedded Boot Partitions are employed by some systems management solutions as a way to boot to a preboot environment without the need for removable media or PXE (netboot). The technology is proprietary and there have been patent battles regarding its use in the past, so it is uncommon. It works by marking an area of the hard drive as bad sectors. This inherently causes the formatting, partitioning, and writing to the hard drive to all disregard these sectors. The computer then boots to this partition, which loads just enough code to get on the network and see if there is a job to do– if there is, it can boot into a pre-boot environment and perform deployment tasks and if there is not, it reboots back to the standard hard drive partition.
This is one of many systems deployment features covered here at AppDetails. Be sure to see the AppDetails coverage of other systems deployment features.
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