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Network boot floppy

Posted on 2002-05-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hopefully, I have all the information, and remember to post all I have:

I'm trying to make a network bootable floppy using DHCP, since each switch is on it's own subnet and I want to be able to use this anywhere onsite. All I need to do is get to a Win2k server I have access to, and run a batch file. I don't want to run netbeui (sp), since the batch file ghosts the HD - I have a need for speed.

I tried making my own boot floppy, then grabbed one off the web since I'm not as smart as I thought I was. I can get it to work, even tested a few images, but only with a static IP address. It seems that either the DHCP protocol won't route with the OS on the floppy (I assume it's DOS 6.22, ver replies with Network Boot Disk 7.00). Once we image them with Windows 98, DHCP works fine.

The DHCP server is, as I am told, running Cisco Network Register from halfway across the country.

The restrictions are that I don't have access to any switches or routers, and those that do are no overly enthusiastic about helping little old me.

Maybe I should just make a stack of CDs? Use Linux boot disk? Quit my job and learn how to say "You want fries with that?"

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Question by:deltree
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by:SysExpert
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1) Did you check the
www.bootdisk.com site ?

2) I have doubts about DHCP from a floppy, since I can not remember ever seeing a bootable DHCP floppy. possibly because of size restrictions. I could be wrong.


I hope this helps !
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by:geoffryn
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There are numerous network boot floppies that support DHCP.  What kind of NIC are you using?
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by:deltree
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Sorry, I always leave something out. Get too close to the problem, and you just make assumptions.

NIC = Intel pro 100

It's not a matter of space, everything is decompressed into a RAM drive. The card loads, and if I put it on a test network with a local DHCP server, it works.
Once we have the systems imaged, they pull DHCP fine from the real network. I just have no way to get the boot floppy to get a DHCP address - at least that I can figure out.

There can't be a router filtering DHCP reqs, since the images systems can get an IP. I'm thinking it has to be the OS version.

Tried bootdisk.com, got this one through a link there, even. I ended up with this nice little app:

http://www.nick-christou.org.uk

I'll verify I have the latest version of his disk, but I'm fairly certain I do. I'll also poke about the site again to see if there's another one I can get to work.

Thanks for your help! I can bump more points in if needed. I can never tell what my problems are worth.

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by:astronot79
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I have recently created a dos 6.22 boot disk that uses DHCP, auto-detects the NIC in the host pc, logs onto the network, maps a network drive, and runs an automated ghost dump over the network.  I started with Bart's Modboot and Network Boot Disk, located here: http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/network/

I have a finished version of my disk, which also prompts for a file name to dump to and a compression level (using xset).  If you would like a clean image of this floppy so you can see how I did what I did, let me know.
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by:stevenlewis
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astronot79 I see you are new here! Welcome to E-E! Its common courtesy to provide comments unless you know your answer is the only answer and is 300% correct and is what the questioner is looking for and will fix their problem. Please don’t take this personally, (others could let you know before I and not so diplomatically) I made the same mistake when I first arrived and someone was nice enough to point it out to me (It hurt my feelings, but I soon realized its teamwork that’s used here). This accomplishes a couple of things: First: it doesn't lock the question allowing more exposure to other experts allowing a faster fix (many problems require an interactive dialogue to troubleshoot them properly), Secondly: it gives the questioner the option to make an award based on the best comment that helped the most in fixing their problem and it is also is common courtesy to other experts.  Again welcome and look forward to working with you in the future, a lot of teamwork is used at this forum, as you will see! :>)  Quote shamelessly stolen from Dave, Thanks again Dave

Your answer may be correct, and I hope it is, after all the main goal here is to help the questioner, but when you propose an answer it removes the "accept comment as answer" button thereby robbing the questioner of the choice to choose which expert helped the most. If your comment is chosen by the questioner, you will be awarded the points.
Thank you  
Steve  





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by:astronot79
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Additionally, you will find almost every basic bootdisk at:

http://www.powerload.fsnet.co.uk/bootdisk.htm


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by:deltree
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Just keeping the Q open with a refection.

Hell, I'll try anything at this point. I started with Bart's, but it is where I started noticing DHCP failure. If you want to send me a copy, zip it up and send it on it!

steve.frank@eds.com

I'll poke about powerload a bit in the mean time.

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by:deltree
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refection, where the heck did that come from?
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by:astronot79
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The boot disk is on it's way!  
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by:astronot79
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Just a quick question:  Have you verified that the boot disks you were using before were using TCP/IP instead of NETBEUI (non-routable protocol)?
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astronot79 earned 100 total points
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Did it work?
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by:deltree
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Sorry about the delay, other projects take precedence at times. This isn't exactly sanctioned by the company, but anything that makes my job easier, I'm all for. Official company policy is to build each reload from scratch.
I hate managers making technology decisions. They actually *listen* to salesmen. And believe them!

Astro - Just got back to town, I'll give it a shot once I catch up on my actual work that I wasn't allowed to do because I had to do someone elses work.
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by:deltree
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Forced to hand the project over to the next guy. I'm passing all of what I have so far with the project.

Thanks for everyones input, but I'm bounced back to wireless crap.
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