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PXE Netboot Windows 2003 Server x64 via Tftpd32

Posted on 2009-02-19
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I've got an Asus AP1600r server (manual: http://dlsvr02.asus.com/pub/ASUS/server/AP1600R(PR-DLSR)/Manual/e1107_ap1600r.pdf )

I've currently got 2 workstations, both running Windows XP x64, I'd like to be able to PXE netboot the Asus server to install Windows 2003 Server Standard x64, Some nice step-by-step instructions would be nice, with URL's :)

- I don't have another 2003 server here, so RIS isn't the answer.
- I have a switch, on an internal network with no DHCP.
- I have untouched MSDN ISO's for the server OS.

I've assigned 500 Points for this one, so get thinking. :)

Many thanks.
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Question by:durge
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23687903
Well, there are a few hundred routes you could take. If you want to play with RIS or ADS, you could download virtual PC and build a server on one of the PCs. But if you want a fast, easy way, I would use TFTPD32 on one of the PCs. You can set it up to do the DHCP and PXE. Then all you have to do is put together your install script and boot disk. For the boot disk you can use anything from  a generic boot disk like that from www.netbootdisk.com or you can go as complex as bartpe. Below is an example of a linux server install using this method.
http://thesystemadministrator.com/The_System_Administrator/Tips_&_Tricks/PXE,_aka_Pre-Execution_Environment_-_Part_1/
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23687922
Just realized the x64, sorry. I don't know of a method at this point.
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by:durge
ID: 23688059
Well, does anyone know if the installer for x64 will run under 16-bit? I know it does with the 32-bit OS'es, and I'm thinking it might be something the same... But I'm not entirely sure.

I'll get the PXE environment up and running tomorrow with the DOS/*nix method suggested.
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23688634
No it will not, nor will it under 32 bit.

The following list describes the key changes between the Windows x64 Edition installation process and the Windows x86 installation process:

    * Windows Startup floppy disks cannot be used to install x64 Edition-based version of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional. This is because the kernel that is supplied with x64 Edition-based operating systems is now over 2 MB and does not fit on a standard floppy disk.
    * You cannot use Winnt.exe to install Windows x64 Edition. Winnt.exe is not included on the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM.
    * The installation process for x86 32-bit operating systems cannot be started from within the x64 operating system environment. For example, you cannot install Windows XP Professional x64 Edition from within the 32-bit version of Windows XP Professional.
    * The x86 versions of the Windows operating system cannot be upgraded to the x64 Edition version of the Windows operating system. However, Windows Server 2003 x64 Standard Edition can be upgraded to Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise Edition.
    * The installation process for x64 Edition operating systems does not support MS-DOS based mechanisms. For example, you cannot install Windows XP Professional x64 Edition from a command prompt.
    * The layout of the x64 Edition-based version of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP installation CD-ROM has changed. The primary installation folder for Windows x64 Editions is the AMD64 folder. However, the i386 folder still exists and contains files that are required to install the Windows x64 Edition-based operating system. Therefore, before you can successfully start the installation of the Windows x64 Edition operating system either locally or from a network share, you must make sure that the AMD64 folder and the other folders that are contained on the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM are either copied locally or copied to the network share.
    * The installation of the Windows x64 Edition-based operating system must be performed by starting the computer by using the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM or by starting the installation from within another Windows 64-bit operating system.
    * The Windows x64 Edition operating system is not currently available as a retail product. At release the Windows x64 Edition operating system will only be distributed for evaluation or through MSDN, Software Assurance, volume channels and OEM channels.
    * The Windows x64 Edition operating system supports "sticky" hotfixes. "Sticky" hotfixes are not overwritten or uninstalled when other updates are applied unless those updates are a more current version than the file that is currently installed on the computer.

Because of these changes, we recommend that you perform a clean installation of the Windows x64 Editions operating systems from the CD-ROM.

The Windows x64 Editions operating systems may also be deployed by using an unattended installation, System Preparation Tool (Sysprep), and Remote Installation Services (RIS) methods. For more information about how to use these tools, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
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by:durge
ID: 23690593
The AP1600R has some weird CDrom that clips on (I don't have it), It has no IDE controllers on the motherboard, it has 1 scsi connector on the board at the back of the case, but I have no CDrom to connect to this.

The BIOS doesn't support booting USB devices, and I've already tried, so am I gonna be stuck with a 32-bit OS?

Or am I gonna have to install say Ubuntu server 64-bit, and then install Server 2003 x64 inside of this?
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23692974
If the system will support PXE boot and you have some time, you could download virtual PC and load XP32 in a VM and load TFTPD32 on top of that which will do DHCP and PXE. Then all you would need is the install / config.
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23693218
The VM would be on either PC and virtual PC is free from Microsoft.
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by:durge
ID: 23696295
Why would I need a VM?

XP x64 with Tftpd32 works fine from what I'm reading, It's merely the process of netbooting x64 Server 2003 eludes me.

The server does support PXE, Intel Pro 1000 onboard (that's why I attached the specs in my first post).

WinPE x64?
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by:ciscoguy69
ID: 23696737
You wouldn't need a VM if TFTPd32 works on x64 I just noticed posts of issues with it. Looks like winPE 2.1 would work and below is instructions on setting up the pxe image of PE.

http://www.windowsdevcenter.com/pub/a/windows/2007/03/20/pc-deployment-with-winpe.html
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by:durge
ID: 23697349
Thanks, I'll have a play. Though, this deployment uses RIS though right?
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ciscoguy69 earned 1500 total points
ID: 23702432
The example uses RIS, though any PXE should work. Basically you will use the netboot image of PE to load the OS in memory, then map to a drive to start the install through either unattended or attended. Or if you prefer to use RIS, you can build a virtual PC of server 2003 and load RIS to play.
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by:durge
ID: 24264374
Ok... so here's what I've done...

Sun xVM Virtualbox...

Built a Windows Server 2003 x64.
Installed DHCP/DNS/RIS.
Added Windows 2003 Server x64 to RIS.
--
It wouldn't work, PXE boot wasn't picking up there being a PXE server.
--
Downloaded latest WAIK (vista PE).
Installed Windows Remote Deployment/WAIK.

The ASUS server finally detected that there was a PXE server present, I pressed F12 and got the the menu up asking me whether to boot to Vista PE or my 2003 Server RIS environment.
--
Server 2003 RIS wouldn't work, it just errored saying it wouldn't work (can't remember the exact error).
--
Booted to Vista PE, Mounted a network drive via NET USE pointing at a Windows Server 2003 Web Edition disk (I had a feeling x64 would be pedantic).
CD'ed into the i386 dir.
Ran winnt32, hard disk couldn't be found.

So this is where i'm currently up to, I've got the DISKPART utility formatting the disk at the moment, so hopefully when this is done i'll be able to install this bloody server finally.
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by:durge
ID: 24267402
Just a follow up, after I finished the format, I set the disk to ACTIVE and ONLINE.

Ran winnt32 again, it copied all the files, took the CD key etc.

But the installer after it got to the end of stage 1 just exited, I rebooted and Windows still doesn't boot.

This is really becoming such a mission, I've been netbooting Cobalt RaQ's for many years but this is seriously over complicated, if I can't get this working I think I'm gonna move onto an Open Source solution.
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by:durge
ID: 24307374
/working, server 2008 web edition from Vista PE environment.
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