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  1. #1
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Network booting, how do I go about doing this?

    I have a small laptop that I need to do a bios update on, but this lappy doesn't have a CD drive, floppy drive, and can't boot to a USB device. It can, however, boot to a network but I have never used network boot before, and I have no idea how to do this.

    I did some reading and I'm thinking I need a PXE server, but I really don't know. Can anyone fill in the gaps here, and explain to me what I will need, and where I can get needed software?

    Thanks!
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  2. #2
    Senior Django-loving Member Captain Newbie's Avatar
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    Network booting is made possible by a combination of DHCP and TFTP.

    A network-bootable computer will send a DHCPDISCOVER on broadcast and will atempt to get itself an IP address and an assocation with a server that can serve up the Pre-Execution Environment (PXE) via TFTP.

    Here's a description of one implementation. Unless you want to pay for it, you will almost certainly need Linux or *BSD[386] to do it.
    B.S. Computer Science, B.A. Political Science | Commercial Pilot Airplane Single and Multiengine Land, Instrument Airplane
    "And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

    Strong * Focused * Safe
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  3. #3
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Newbie
    Network booting is made possible by a combination of DHCP and TFTP.

    A network-bootable computer will send a DHCPDISCOVER on broadcast and will atempt to get itself an IP address and an assocation with a server that can serve up the Pre-Execution Environment (PXE) via TFTP.

    Here's a description of one implementation. Unless you want to pay for it, you will almost certainly need Linux or *BSD[386] to do it.
    you mean there is no free windows PXE server software?
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  4. #4
    Senior Django-loving Member Captain Newbie's Avatar
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    I mean I don't know what it is and you may be forced to employ some research to do it. The way that I've done netboot has always been with linux versions of dhcpd and atftpd.
    B.S. Computer Science, B.A. Political Science | Commercial Pilot Airplane Single and Multiengine Land, Instrument Airplane
    "And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

    Strong * Focused * Safe
    Apple Mac Pro 4,1, Two Nehalem Xeons 2.26GHzx4 (Hyperthreaded), 12 GB DDR3 FBDRAM | MacBook Pro 15" (2009)

  5. #5
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Newbie
    I mean I don't know what it is and you may be forced to employ some research to do it. The way that I've done netboot has always been with linux versions of dhcpd and atftpd.
    You mean I have to do work? And read things?! And figure stuff out on my own?!?! NOOOOOOO!!! haha

    Ok, I got ya. I'll do some searching, but in case anyone knows of PXE server software that is either free or doesn't cost too much, then please let me know.
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  6. #6
    Master of teh Ghetto Mods ghettocomp's Avatar
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    Choosing between two evils, I might pick the one I've never tried before.
    In my thread for the diskless windows folding, there is a program available that runs in windows called TFTPD32, which is a DHCP/PXE server that runs in windows (and its free!), that will help get you started.

    with a little quick study, you may be able to quickly assemble a network boot file for dos that will work with this little program. TFTPD32 is pretty simple and easy to setup.

    TFTPD32 download site
    Last edited by ghettocomp; 08-05-06 at 05:04 AM.
    I find that most people are like Slinkies.. They are not really good for anything, but can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. :P

  7. #7
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocomp
    In my thread for the diskless windows folding, there is a program available that runs in windows called TFTPD32, which is a DHCP/PXE server that runs in windows (and its free!), that will help get you started.

    with a little quick study, you may be able to quickly assemble a network boot file for dos that will work with this little program. TFTPD32 is pretty simple and easy to setup.

    TFTPD32 download site

    Sweet! That'll do great! Gtg now, but I'll read more into that later.

    Thanks!
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  8. #8
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    I'm mad...very mad, in fact I just erased about two paragraphs full of swear words. But I think I've pulled myself together enough to ask a strait forward question.


    absolutely NON of this network booting crap makes any since to me, and it is ****ing me off to no end. I need something more in depth, I can't be going around the Internet figuring stuff out a little at a time. I pretty much need a book dedicated to network booting that tells me everything from A to Z.



    on a funnier note, the word absolutely was partialy censored and I couldn't figure out why. Turns out I left the o out in solut haha
    Last edited by soundfx4; 08-05-06 at 10:04 PM.
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  9. #9
    Senior Django-loving Member Captain Newbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundfx4
    I'm mad...very mad, in fact I just erased about two paragraphs full of swear words. But I think I've pulled myself together enough to ask a strait forward question.


    absolutely NON of this network booting crap makes any since to me, and it is ****ing me off to no end. I need something more in depth, I can't be going around the Internet figuring stuff out a little at a time. I pretty much need a book dedicated to network booting that tells me everything from A to Z.



    on a funnier note, the word absolutely was partialy censored and I couldn't figure out why. Turns out I left the o out in solut haha
    I'll give you a primer real quick.

    DHCP--dynamic host configuation protocol--is a protocol used to distribute network information to clients at runtime, as opposed to having a static configuration. A DHCP client sends out DHCP requests, looking for a DHCP servers from which to get information. At the most basic level, the DHCP server will offer the remote client an IP address and default gateway.

    The pre-execution environment, or PXE, is where network booting takes place. Network-bootable computers, at boot time, jump first into a limited DHCP client with TFTP--Trival File Transfer Protocol--capabilities. The DHCP client solicits DHCP servers on the network for network information and bootstrap information including a program to boot.

    In theory, your DHCP client finds the DHCP server, which TFTP's over a pre-execution environment (such as PXELinux), which the DHCP client copies into memory, decompresses (I believe it comes over compressed -- I know what I have at $WORK for a specialty application is compressed) and then jumps into the PXE OS itself.

    I say in theory, because it takes some tweaking to get to work.
    B.S. Computer Science, B.A. Political Science | Commercial Pilot Airplane Single and Multiengine Land, Instrument Airplane
    "And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

    Strong * Focused * Safe
    Apple Mac Pro 4,1, Two Nehalem Xeons 2.26GHzx4 (Hyperthreaded), 12 GB DDR3 FBDRAM | MacBook Pro 15" (2009)

  10. #10
    Master of teh Ghetto Mods ghettocomp's Avatar
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    Choosing between two evils, I might pick the one I've never tried before.
    As soon as I can find some time, which lately is quite rare, I will assemble a DOS file that can remotely boot a computer to dos. I had great fun assembling a win98 network boot, but the whole thing was so minimal that It would not have been good for anything really useful, i think that the only thing I was able to run on it was Solitaire :lol: everything else crashed.
    I find that most people are like Slinkies.. They are not really good for anything, but can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. :P

  11. #11
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocomp
    As soon as I can find some time, which lately is quite rare, I will assemble a DOS file that can remotely boot a computer to dos. I had great fun assembling a win98 network boot, but the whole thing was so minimal that It would not have been good for anything really useful, i think that the only thing I was able to run on it was Solitaire :lol: everything else crashed.
    Thank you, I really appreciate that.

    I'd still like to learn the ins and outs of network booting though so that I can do this stuff myself some day
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

  12. #12
    Member soundfx4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Newbie
    I'll give you a primer real quick.

    DHCP--dynamic host configuation protocol--is a protocol used to distribute network information to clients at runtime, as opposed to having a static configuration. A DHCP client sends out DHCP requests, looking for a DHCP servers from which to get information. At the most basic level, the DHCP server will offer the remote client an IP address and default gateway.

    The pre-execution environment, or PXE, is where network booting takes place. Network-bootable computers, at boot time, jump first into a limited DHCP client with TFTP--Trival File Transfer Protocol--capabilities. The DHCP client solicits DHCP servers on the network for network information and bootstrap information including a program to boot.

    In theory, your DHCP client finds the DHCP server, which TFTP's over a pre-execution environment (such as PXELinux), which the DHCP client copies into memory, decompresses (I believe it comes over compressed -- I know what I have at $WORK for a specialty application is compressed) and then jumps into the PXE OS itself.

    I say in theory, because it takes some tweaking to get to work.


    Thanks for the quick rundown. I believe the problem I'm having is understanding the whole bootstrap thing, and the actual PXE part. I understand the DHCP part, and the TFTP part, but the rest is where I don't understand it enough to get anything working. I'm doing some wiki reading right now to try and figure this whole thing out.

    anyway, thanks again for the primer
    Facts about me:
    1: I'm a cheater and pround of it! (video games) R.I.P. - Console Game Cheating, Pelican Code breaker, Game shark, you will be missed, and console gaming will never be the same with out you.
    2: Currently learning to speak japanese (was...I haven't got back into this yet)
    3: Playing wow again -_- Realm:Shandris Faction:Alliance Class:Druid Level:80 Spec:Feral Name:Hawtdrood
    4: I'm Depressed most of the time, and I still don't know what I want to do with my life
    5: I like cars and hope to learn to work on them one day

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