I want to use PXE to Boot BartPE to Ghost drives

Posted on 2006-05-29
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I would like to setup a PXE to run BartPE. All my workstations do not have a Floppy or CD.
I have made a BartPE ISO that has my required software in it.
I have created a vanilla ghost image to put on these workstations.
I know the legal issues.. Every workstation has a Ghost and XP license... Blah Blah Blah..

Ok Here is the enviroment:
Windows 2003 Server
Shareware TFTP Server
DHCP is running on the 2003 Server
I don't want to even consider RIS. It is a pain in the a$$..
All of the workstations are PXE compliant.
I can setup a Linux server if needed just for this. I would like to keep it all on one box if possible.

I want to be able to boot the workstation from a PXE and run BartPE. I will need network support so that I can access my Ghost image on the 2003 server.
I want the ability to boot BartPE because I have a few workstations that will be using it as a netboot so that I don't have to have a hard disk in them.
I also like the idea that if a workstation hard drive failes, it will automatically try other boot options. This will cause it to load BartPE. As long as the end user has some kind of web browser, they will be able to work minimally until I can repair the workstation.

How do I make this happen? I know that I need to have a TFTP server defined in the DHCP options as well as a startup file. I do not know how to confiugre the startup file to run BartPE's iso image. I can configure the DHCP server just fine.

Any ideas?? I'm giving this max points because it is an unusual question.

Question by:icepick94
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Windows 2003 RIS can serve ISOs, which makes this really easy (not a PITA). This assumes your PCs have enough RAM to hold the ISO (~300MB), and you used Windows 2003 as your BartPE build OS.

    Put your BartPE iso in the i386 folder

    Use the following sif to point at your sif

    BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"
    BootPath = "\i386\System32\"
    OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\pebuilder.iso"
    Architecture = "i386"

    Repartition = No

    Description = "BartPE ISO"
    Help = "This will load a BartPE ISO into RAM."
    LaunchFile = "%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\templates\"
    ImageType = WinPE
    Version = "5.2 (0)"

    Author Comment

    How do i setup RIS? I do not have it setup nor do I know how.

    I was hoping that just having a TFTP server and PXE would be a clean easy solution. I have the BartPE ISO created from a 2003 RC1 server. This server should support booting from an ISO, I just don't know how to do it. I don't know what files need to be on the TFTP server and how to format the winnt.sif file to boot it.

    I like the solution that you have presented, but I need a quick tutorial on how to setup RIS. I like to use the quote of "Show me how to set the clock, not how to manufacture it". Is there a quick and dirty on how to setup RIS?

    Also, how do I tell what version of PXE the clients are using? Do I need a particular version to support booting like this or will any PXE compliant NIC work?

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Major RIS caveat: RIS requires its own partition (not the system partition)

    The TechNet RIS walkthrough is fairly straightforward:

    The folder locations and SIF I supplied above should work for loading the iso.

    Any PXE client should work, assuming your BartPE image is configured with drivers for the NIC.

    More information available at:

    Author Comment

    Ok.. I don't have an AD enabled enviroment. Back to Square one. I need to get this working with a TFTP server and PXE. Any takers?

    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Use the same sif (just set up TFTP and manually configure DHCP)

    Or use Linux

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