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Setting the Startup Disk

You can use Apple Remote Desktop to change the startup disk of remote computers. This is very helpful if you use NetBoot in your network or if you deploy Mac OS X using Apple’s NetInstall or Mike Bombich’s NetRestore because you can configure your NetBoot/NetInstall server and then configure any or all computers in your network to restart from it for deployment with one action. You can also specify alternate local hard drives to be used as the startup disk for a computer (this could be useful for deploying using Apple Software Restore by itself or simply for switching between multiple bootable drives available to a computer).

To change the startup disk of one or more computers, select the computer(s) and then select Set Startup Disk from the Manage menu. The Set Startup Disk task dialog box (shown in Figure 3) enables you to select from a generic local hard disk icon and the available NetBoot/NetInstall server and volumes found in your network. It will also include a Custom Volume and Custom Server NetBoot item.

Figure 3

Figure 3 Set Startup Disk task dialog box

If you want to set the computer to start up from the default local startup disk (the first bootable hard disk or partition that the system locates), you can select the generic Hard Disk item. If there are multiple bootable partitions or drives, you can specify one by selecting Hard Disk and clicking Edit. This allows you to enter the volume name of the partition that is to be used.

If you want to select a NetBoot or NetInstall set, select it. If the computer you are running Remote Desktop from is on a different subnet of your network from the NetBoot server, however (and presumably the target computers), it might not be displayed. In this case, select the generic Custom Volume item in the list and click Edit. You can then enter the appropriate server address and volume name. Remember, however, that the computers must be on the same subnet as the NetBoot server to start up from it unless other steps have been taken to support NetBoot across subnets.

Notice that there is a checkbox to restart the computers after changing their startup disks. If you select this option, the restart will be immediate. If users are logged into the computer, they cannot save any work. As such, you might want to send a message to users and then give them some time to save work and log out. Or you might opt to change the startup disk without restarting and send them a message, asking them to restart after they have finished working.

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