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Boot up through network card

Posted on 2003-11-14
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How do I setup a computer so that it boots up via network.

I'm trying to setup my computer it can boot up through a network card.

I want to create a backup method that will use the network card to fully restore a harddrive.
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Question by:Axter
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CrazyOne earned 100 total points
ID: 9752840
Bart's Network Boot Disk
http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/network/

universal TCP/IP network bootdisk
http://members.iinet.net.au/~bdriver/bootdisk/
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9752843
Oops sorry I shouldn't have posted since I posted in your other question
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9752882
You need a network card that has Wake-On-LAN capability, and you need software on the network that can turn on a PC through WOL.  I know that ZENworks can, and LanDesk Manager can.
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by:Axter
ID: 9752941
>>You need a network card that has Wake-On-LAN capability, and you need software on the network that can turn on a PC through WOL.  I know that ZENworks can, and LanDesk Manager can.

Isn't that for starting up a computer via network card.

I didn't think that's related to booting up through the network card.
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by:Axter
ID: 9752942
CrazyOne,
I'll take a look at your links.
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by:Axter
ID: 9752986
CrazyOne,

I have a computer that doesn't have the ability to boot from network through the BIOS.
Do those program work on this type of computer?

I also have a computer that does have the ability to set the BIOS to boot via network.
What do I need on the network to use this feature?
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by:Axter
ID: 9753015
CrazyOne,

On a some what off topic question, I've been looking into trying to setup a boot disk that could load up the required drivers for a Zip drive, and then copy the files to the hard drive.
I'm not even sure what topic area I should ask this in, and that's why I haven't posted a question for it.
To give you some details, here's the current problem.
We have these ATM machines that we install the OS and the ATM application program using 14 floppy disk.
The OS is OS2.
The ATM machines don't have CD-Rom's.  Only floppy drives.
So I was trying to figure out a way to attach a parrallel Zip dribe to the computer, and create a floppy disk that can load up the Zip driver, and then install the OS and the application on the hard drive.

Any ideas or links?
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9753049
Hmm interesting I haven't come across this before but I think most BIOS's see Internal Zip drives as hard disk but I don't know about parellel drives hmmm
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 100 total points
ID: 9753399
i think the IntelliMirror feature of windows 2000 should be your choice:

Introduction to IntelliMirror
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/imirror.doc

More over, for older computers that do not support this function but that do support a PCI bus, Microsoft provides a bootable floppy disk containing the necessary preboot software for a range of network interface cards. If a service boot is requested, the computer establishes a network connection and makes a request for any nearby Windows 2000 Server to host the service boot request.

hope it helps,
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by:chicagoan
chicagoan earned 100 total points
ID: 9753737
Netbooting used to be very popluar when the operating system fit on a floppy and you could run your applications from the network, 3COM and others make millions of diskless workstations and you never had to lay hands on a users machine to fix a software problem. Everything was on fault tolerant disks and backed up and nobody could install anything except the network administrator.... those were the days.

First of all you need a network card with a boot prom. A lot of the embedded cards have this feature now.

2nd you need a bootP and tft server. There's a simple one here ftp://ftp.enterasys.com/pub/snmp/boottftp/boottft2.zip you can play with

3rd you need a boot image
   Create a bootable floppy disk with your dos network drivers and the commands you want to run in the autoexec.bat
   (Ghost will create a basic network disk)
   Create a boot image file with dd.exe http://www.nu2.nu/download.php?sFile=dd.zip

Microsoft, Novell and Linux all support bootp

The card sends out a bootp broadcast. If the bootp server is in the same broadcast domain (not across a router without a bootp helper address) it compares the mac address of the workstation to it's table, assigns an IP address and matches it up with a boot image which is then TFTP'ed to the machine, the boot prom emulated a disk and stuffs the image into it's psudo boot block, and voila!

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by:TooKoolKris
ID: 9754519
Good post chicagoan, we use this process as well and what we do is place the images and the software packages on a recovery drive that is on another array on the same server. This way we can have the server re-image itself from across the network in about 1 hour.
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by:Gnart
ID: 9754744
EE, This is a cross (duplicated) post:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20798797.html


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by:kiranghag
ID: 9758772
try this one too...www.ltsp.org
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by:koquito
koquito earned 100 total points
ID: 9759169
IN order to network boot a computer using PXE  you will need:
1) A network PXE boot disk or a NIC  with a BOOT ROM included (regularly this socket is empty on the NIC which means the chip is not there).
2)A Bootp or DHCP server PXE capable
3)A TFTP server (could be the DHCP)
4)A boot server with the Image you want to load (could be the RIS serverin Windows 2000)

Check this 2 links for more info
http://www.etherboot.org/
http://www.campus.ncl.ac.uk/newcampus/howto/index.asp?HowToID=6
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by:ShineOn
ShineOn earned 100 total points
ID: 9759276
koquito -

AFAIK, PXE is what allows a bootup from the network in modern PC's.  It is the "Preboot eXecution Environment" feature of the hardware that allows a remote boot.  You have to have DHCP with PXE like you mentioned, but you don't necessarily need a boot prom or boot diskette - you're mixing your technologies.  The boot PROM is for doing a BOOTP request from the local machine to the network without having a boot diskette that issues the BOOTP request.  Like was said earlier, 3Com was doing that back in the '80's.  The difference is where the initiation of the process comes from.  PXE comes from the network, and BOOTP comes from the end node.

PXE works together with WOL (Wake On Lan) to do a lights-out distribution of software or OS.  It's what allows RIS to work, and what allows Zen for Desktops to turn a PC on and blast an image down to it.  
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9759486
I take it back.  You CAN use PXE to do a network boot from a workstation provided your PC is PXE compatible and is configured for PXE, and you have a DHCP/TFTP server setup to handle PXE.  What was being discussed before was BOOTP, which came about years before PXE and doesn't require a PXE-capable system or a PXE-enabled DHCP/TFTP setup.

My bad...
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9759530
It's PXE in conjunction with WOL that allows lights-out distribution, though...  and with PXE-enabled devices, whether the NIC is embedded or PCI, it's unusual for it to even have a boot PROM socket - it's already part of the NIC, IIRC. PXE started back with the PC98 spec, I think, and boot PROMs on the NIC were available long before that spec.
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 9760680
ok, i think, what you want are just the following two:

1. boot the computer by loading remote boot code from netowork.
2. restore the computer by loading backup image from network.

right? if so, RIS and IntelliMirror are your solution, they are built-in features of windows 2000.

quoted from "Windows 2000 Server Deployment Planning Guide
" of W2K Resource Kit, for your reference.

This chapter discusses deploying, configuring, and using Remote Installation Services (RIS). Using RIS, you can install Windows 2000 Professional over your network onto computers enabled with the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE). You can configure either standard or customized operating system images onto client computers and control which clients get a specific image. Used as part of a unified change and configuration management approach with other IntelliMirror® technologies (User Data and Settings Management and Software Installation), Windows 2000 administrators can quickly replace a failed computer with a fully functioning replacement, complete with operating system and restored user settings and data.

hope it helps,
bbao
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9763255
If they have hard drives, why not carry around spare HD's with the OS pre-loaded?

You could boot it from a floppy with paralell port drivers for about anything, CD-ROM, HD, ZIP, ETC and Ghost the thing or FDISK and format the hard drive and transfer the installation file there, reboot from the hard drive and install

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by:kiranghag
ID: 9764138
with ghost, u dont even need to carry the hdd along afik
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by:Axter
ID: 9768243
>>If they have hard drives, why not carry around spare HD's with the OS pre-loaded?

I'm guessing you're referring to my ATM installation question.
If so, that's not pratical.  To use a spare drive the technician would have to take apart the computer in order to attach it to the IDE ports.
We can't have an installation method that would require the client to take apart the computer.

These computers are very basic.  They have no CD-ROM's.
I just found out today, that not all of them have parallel ports, so the ZIP drive idea is not going to work either.
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by:Axter
ID: 9768277
I'm keeping this question open for a few more days.

I'm still going through some of the posted comments, and I don't want to close this question, until I'm sure I have a working solution.

When I close the question, I will give points to every one who gave me information that I was able to use to make my decision.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768623
If you have a Windows 2000 server in your network, then the recommendation for RIS may be a valid option.

If you have a NetWare 5.x or 6.x server in your network, or if you are willing to install eDirectory on a Windows, Linux or Solaris server, then a better option would be ZENworks.

If neither of those options work for you, perhaps a ghost solution will work.

Part of the problem with imaging solutions, whether RIS, ghost or ZENworks, is how consistent the desktop hardware is across the board.  If you have a big hodgepodge, then you're looking at massive storage requirements for all the different images you'll have to create and save.
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by:Axter
ID: 9768687
>>If you have a big hodgepodge, then you're looking at massive storage requirements for all the different images you'll have to create and save.

I have 6 computers that are all very different. (Win2000 Pro, Win2000 Server, XP Home, Win98, Linux, BSD).
I'm looking for a method that I can use on all these platforms.
My main computer has a 80Gig and a 233Gig hard drive.  I use the 233Gig hard drive as a backup drive, so I have plenty of storage space for backup.

I'm trying to come up with a single method for backup and being able to restore all my computers.

None of the above links seem to provide the optimal solution for me.

I may have to re-think my approach.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768724
There are commercial backup products that can do what you want, but I don't know if they would be cost-effective solutions for an installation the size you are talking about.  You may want to take a closer look at the various disk imaging products like Ghost to see if one of them will handle that mix of platforms.
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 9768745
i think your approach should be m$ w2ksvr + symantec ghost.

for the clone software, you may also consider "WinDriver Ghost Enterprise", as  a cheap solution.
http://www.newfreeware.com/utils/762/

hope it helps,
bbao
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768767
I must say that the microsoft part of the recommendation isn't necessary, as long as the ghost part works for all of the platforms including Linux and BSD.  

I don't see why an imaging product would give a crap about what server platform the disk image file is stored on.  You should be able to store your image on whatever you want - NetWare, Windoze, Linux, BSD, Mac.

The key is the method for recovering that image to the particular system.  Since they're all unique and not all have CD-ROM, it makes sense to store all the images on a universally-accessible server, and have a recover diskette for each individual system, tailored for that system.  That way, all you have to do to recover your BSD box to the clean image is pop the BSD floppy in the diskette drive and reboot.
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 9768796
as for the recommendation of windows server, it is for better compatibility with Ghostsrv.exe or other network based cloning software.
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by:Axter
ID: 9768805
>>The key is the method for recovering that image to the particular system.  Since they're all unique and not all have CD-ROM, it makes sense to store all the images on a universally-accessible server, and have a
>>recover diskette for each individual system, tailored for that system.  That way, all you have to do to recover your BSD box to the clean image is pop the BSD floppy in the diskette drive and reboot.

That's easier said then done.  I'm not that knowledgeable on Linux and BSD.
Having to setup a different method for each platform creates much more work, and too much ambiguity.

I'm looking for a more standard straight forward method.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768815
My point was that with the mix of OSes in this environment, a server-based cloning option makes no sense.  Unless ghostsrv.exe recently changed so it can now handle non-Microsoft platforms, then that isn't an option.  Both of your recommendations require Windows.  What's needed is a multiplatform solution.  Symantec Ghost does support a specific Linux file system but as far as I am aware, it doesn't do all Linux filesystems or do BSD/*nix at all - it's focused on the Windows platform and handles Linux EXT2 as an afterthought.
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by:Axter
ID: 9768817
I have used ghost before, and the version I had did not allow for an unattended backup on a large disk drive.

They basically crippled the software so as to force the user to have to purchase the Enterprise version to get that functionallity.
Ever since then, I've stay away from Ghost software.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768826
Sorry, Axter, my last comment was for bbao...

What I'm saying is that Ghost doesn't fit your requirements, and you need something more open, so I think we're on the same page...
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9768870
http://www.disk-tools.com/imagemaker.htm describes a freeware disk imaging tool, that says it is file-system independent, but doesn't mention any support other than Windows and DOS.

http://www.no-panic.com/recovery/irecover.html is a cross-platform imaging product that is supposed to handle all Intel-based OSes.  Maybe that, and products of that ilk, should be your focus.

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by:chicagoan
ID: 9769320
There's no reason a bootp or PXE solution has to be homogeneos, based on the workstation's mac address the server can deliver a DOS network boot inage that ghosts xp, a linux boot image that dd's redhat or ftp's a BSD installation.

What you do have to be wary of is the odd transient boot failure that overwrites the CIO's hard drive.



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by:ShineOn
ID: 9769447
Is that CIO as in Chief Information Officer?  

Screw him(her) - CIO's are usually as stupid as CFO's are, but even more useless.  I have never seen more corporate-politics-mutual-ass-kissing-with-no-regard-for-the-good-of-the-company than in an environment that had CxO's.
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9769739
golly
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9770200
I guess that WAS a bit harsh, but CxO's have some work to do to earn my respect - one thing that would help would be if they actually DID some work...  The CxO's that soured me spent more time and effort managing their brokerage accounts online or "taking" (more lile "being taken by") vendor reps on golf outings than actually working to improve the Company's performance or growth potential.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9770201
I guess that WAS a bit harsh, but CxO's have some work to do to earn my respect - one thing that would help would be if they actually DID some work...  The CxO's that soured me spent more time and effort managing their brokerage accounts online or "taking" (more lile "being taken by") vendor reps on golf outings than actually working to improve the Company's performance or growth potential.
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