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Strange Question... Network Boot

Hello Experts,

I need to know if there is a way to configure a windows 2000 or XP machine to do a Network Boot upon restart. I AM LOOKING FOR A WAY TO DO THIS WITHOUT A BOOTDISK!!!!

Here is the scenario: I work third shift, there are hundreds of PC's sitting idle at night here in the office. I would like to bring all these desktops up into a SSI cluster using ClusterKnoppix and Chaos. I want to write a script or proggy that will check if the machine is idle (person went home for the day and is not using the machine). Then, if the machine is idle, have it reboot (using a network boot), and reload running Chaos. I will be using ClusterKnoppix as the master node.

Bringing up the cluster now is slow and time consuming because I have to manually boot each machine off the CD (chaos is a 6 meg live version of linux). I want to automate this without having to phyisically mess with each node. I want to put Chaos on a single node, and have each other node automatically do a network boot at a specified time.

In doing so, and not haveing to run around the office, I will be able to grow the power of my cluster from 80 gigahertz to near 500 gigahertz.  

Someone Please help me automate the creation of the cluster.

1 Solution
Michael PfisterCommented:
You probably do not want to interfere with the systems normal boot process... modern BIOS can be configured to do a network boot (PXE boot) ONLY when turned on via "wake on LAN".

What you would need:

PXE/TFTP boot service running on one of your machines, providing the network boot files.
Command to send "Magic Packets" for wake-on-LAN
A script that determines when a machine has been turned off or a log-off script that notifies the server that its safe to wake it later...
You pobably have to modify your DHCP configuration (without DHCP PXE boot won't work) to point your clients to the boot server.

Hope this helps,


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