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OS/2 Diskless booting from IBM eServer using PXE (no RPL BOOTP available)

Posted on 2004-03-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
How may IBM's eServer be set up to allow PC's that lack the usual BootP (RPL) Roms to PXE boot? The PCs are a new blade form factor that due to space constraints on the motherboard lack RPL capability. The Intel PRO 100+ chipset is used. Having tried the "RPL enabling" utility from Intel to  set the NIC to RPL we were unsuccessful the reason being that there is no BootP Rom nor place to insert a flash ROM to enable RPL fully. At this stage we are experimenting and investigating the feasibility of booting OS/2 diskless as well as imaging other OSes to disk depending on our needs. I am not an expert in this field so please do not hesitate to ask for more information if it can help you to formulate a better solution. Thanks.
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Question by:Dirkj103
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choekstr earned 500 total points
ID: 10791344
If your nic's do not support RiPL (Remote Initial Program Load) with eServer, CID (Customization Installation Distribution) (You gotta love IBM's acronyms) or any other PXE Server (RIS, 3Com Boot Services, Argon's PXE services) then you *should* be able to use a boot disk.

I just ran across this yesterday, got an email from experts exchange today and said hey, I know that!  :)

How to make a non-PXE compliant network card (NIC) compliant!

You use rbfg.exe to create a Microsoft® Remote Installation Services (RIS) boot disk that contains a PXE client.  This client disk can then be used to network boot client computers that do not contain a PXE enabled ROM. This will allow you to create one initrd image, no NBI images required, for all thin-client PC's.

 Argon Technology has an update to RBFG available, version 2 build 20, which supports additional adapters.  This build is available as a free download from the Argon web site, go to (http://www.argontechnology.ca/download/).

Interestingly, the rbfg.exe creates a image that will work on any TFTP server, not just a RIS server. As far as I can tell all the rbfg.exe utility does is create a bootable DOS floppy and then puts a standard RIS file on the floppy. This RIS image is the same no matter what PCI NIC you have, it just has to be a NIC's listed below.

Basically this means if you have a non-PXE compliant NIC and you would like to have a single disk boot for all of  your non-PXE compliant NIC's then this utility is for you. You can now use the same initrd image, negating the need for NBI images, on all your thin-client PC's.
Cards Supported:
3Com 3C905-TX
3Com 3C905-T4
3Com 3C900-TP0
3Com 3C900-Combo
3Com 3C900B-TPO
3Com 3C900B-Combo
3Com 3C905B-TX
3Com 3C905B-Combo
3Com 3C900B-FL
3Com 3C905B-FX
3Com 3C900B-TPC
3Com 3C905C-TX
SMC 9432
HP DeskDirect 10/100 TX
Intel Pro 100+
Intel Pro 10+
Intel Pro 100B
DEC DE500
DEC DE450
SMC 8432
SMC 9332
AMD PCnet Adapters
Compaq NetFlex 100
Compaq NetFlex 3
Compaq NetFlex 110
3Com MiniPCI
Realtek RTL8029
Realtek RTL8139
SMC 1211TX
Accton MPX5030
Allied Telesyn 2500TX
SMC EN1209D-TX5
National 83815 compatible
NETGEAR FA311/FA312
Accton MPX5030
Allied Telesyn 2500
Accton EN1209D-TX5
Allied Telesyn 2450
Allied Telesyn 2700
Allied Telesyn 2745

   1.
      Download rbfg.exe from http://www.argontechnology.ca/download/
   2.
      Make sure you have a pre-formated DOS disk (do NOT select "make this floppy bootable")
   3.
      Double click on the rbfg.exe executable
   4.
      Click on the "Create Disk" button, 2 minutes later you have a PXE-boot disk for all those non-compliant PXE NIC's!

Hope this helps,
Chris
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Author Comment

by:Dirkj103
ID: 11120254
Thanks, everybody, I managed to use the answer to great effect. You can close the question now.

Sincerely
Dirk
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