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My office is about to be renovated, and we're trying to figure out how we can still be re-imaging 3+ workstations at a time with less than half of the space. One possibility we're toying with is using a KVM Switch to limit the desk space required.

Searching around to judge feasibility, I ran in to this message board post and not much else. We don't have a KVM available to us now to test it.

Is this possible? We image over PXE with SCCM (I think I'm wording that right, I'm a junior tech and don't get a lot of the more technical aspects explained in depth).


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

We used KVM's while imaging systems before deploying to classrooms without problem. The only thing that might cause an issue, depending on the hardware you're using, is detecting video if it reboots, but in that case you just tell it what to use when you get it hooked up to the final monitor or change settings later.

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Yeah, some of the lower-end bus-powered USB KVMs can be a bit finicky with detection; takes a reboot usually. – gravyface Feb 17 '12 at 17:54

Yes. A traditional Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switch usually has 2+ port/cable combos to allow you to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse to the switch, while the cables allow you to connect the computer(s) to the switch via USB and VGA connectors on the cable.

This will allow you to manually (or with keyboard shortcut) switch between the computers hooked up to the KVM switch.

PXE is a network protocol that allows the computers to discovery a PXE-capable imaging server to mount/boot the image that's been assigned to them.

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Fantastic, thank you. Particularly, thank you for explaining a bit about PXE. I hate to say this, but I'd been treating it like a magic black box lately. – evanC Feb 17 '12 at 19:01

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