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Challenge?  Rookies dont waste your time - question about remote XP installation

Posted on 2004-09-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
OK, here is my problem...it's a challenge, so if you don't know what you're doing, please don't waste my time:

120 Dell Optiplex GX60 (Celeron processors) we inherited from a project that lost funding, Now we are tasked with installing XP (or just getting them to boot to a Ghost Server) on all of them.
No CDROM drives
No Floppy drives
Locked down Windows2000 Pro  - we don't know the admin password

To complicate matters, they have static IP's on them that are for a subnet that no longer exists.

My real question is this: can Celeron's boot to a USB Flash drive?  I've got one, and so far I've had zero luck.  It's using an intergated Intel Pro/100 ethernet adapter on an Intel 845GV chipset, so I'm optimistic that PXE and RIS are my solutions.

I'm looking for any realistic ideas, not "hey check out this product" or "boot to a floppy" <-- there is no floppy disk drive.

Thanks!
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Question by:blake182
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 11954021
I haven't done it, but it would require in the BIOS the ability to boot from a USB device, and the USB device would have to support booting.  Some USB flash drives say they can do this, and this previous question says someone may have solved it, but the link is dead: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20625046.html

Other opinions (you may want to check the second one)
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20569683.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_20872552.html

This question gets asked a lot, but I haven't seen anyone post that they actually got it working - maybe you will be the first?
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Author Comment

by:blake182
ID: 11954111
Thanks for the links!  I think I may go back to working it from a USB booting approach.  If it works, you get the cred.
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Expert Comment

by:novacopy
ID: 11957998
You will need to get into the bios of one of these machines and see if there is an option in the boot order to boot to a removable device or usb device. That should really be your starting point
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