Install XP remotely using PXE

Posted on 2011-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

I have XP running on Dell SC1425 and want to transfer that to another Dell Poweredge 2650.
The problem is that my internal CDROM in my 2650 is no good and the 2650 does not support USB external CDROM boot. I know that I can buy an IDE card and install it, but I want to learn use PXE.

The 2650 is capable of PXE boot, but the problem is I don't know how to deploy that. I have Windows Server 2008 as workgroup server (NO Active Directory), if I can deploy PXE and transfer the XP image to 2650 (or install XP remotely to get the USB external CDROM to work), then once it regconize the USB, then I can install other drivers or copy image on top of it and so on....

 Thanks for helping
Question by:Paul-AC
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    The only way I know of installing PXE is through Windows Deployment Services.

    Unfortunately for you, for this to work, you have to Sysprep an image for the server from a specific configuration, which you can't do, because your machine is not functioning.

    In the future, you can use WDS to do this. We use it and it works great. We have 6-7 different images and when it boots up PXE you simply select the image you want and it does the rest.

    I can give you a further detailed list of how to do this if you want.

    Author Comment

    Can I Sysprep an image from a similar machine and use that image?
    All I need is to have an OS on the 2650 and recognize USB external cdrom.
    Once it recognize the USB external cdrom, then I can install other drivers for it.
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    It is possible, though you might end up with a BSOD. the problem becomes windows loads drivers by default that control various parts of the hardware - IDE, SATA, CDROM drivers, etc.

    I have tried before and it didn't work.

    However, you can give it a shot. You only need a couple things.

    1. A Windows 2003 or 2008 server that is running DHCP.
    2. A Windows 7/vista boot image to capture sysprep
    3. A windows 7/vista boot image to deploy the sysprepped images
    4. Installing WDS through Manage My Server/Add Windows components in 2003/2008 server
    5. A syspreped machine

    From there the machine does most of the rest. You do need a boot image from vista or 7 to help you deploy the images once they are captured.

    This is the tutorial I used.
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    not simple but there are people htat have done it w/o WDS
    this link gives you the idea of how it is done with a linux machine as pxe server

    On windows you can use Serva as pxe server adapting the instructions of the previous post

    I repeat, it is not simple, but not impossible, probably not suitable for a PXE newbie ....

    Author Comment

    Hi pmasotta, I'm a totally newbie to PXE, so I guess your option is NOT for me.

    Hi jonahzona, I think I run into the problem, the first thing I read was: "A Windows Deployment Services server must be either a member of an Active Directory domain or a domain controller for an Active Directory domain."
    Like I mentioned above, mine server is a workgroup server. so I guess I can't use WDS either.

    Any other advise?
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    with your constrains I'm afraid you should forget about pxe.
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    That's not as complex as it might seem.

    At first, check this article:
    You will have a better understanding of PXE boot

    Now some options:

    1/ using Ghost
    You can use Symantec Ghost for a PXE deployment.
    Prepare your image on a another computer
    Then use Ghost boot wizard to create your Ghost image.
    Use Windows PE environment
    Then select TCP/IP network boot image
    Then, copy onto your tftp directory the files that GBW have created and make sure that your client will boot off this environment (edit bootptab, dhcpd.conf  or whatever assigns the boot environment to PXE clients)

    2/ Using a boot CD image
    Create a boot CD image using UBC4Win for instance
    Then follow the steps described in these articles to make it PXE bootable:

    There are other leads though, such as creating a DOS floppy image with "enough" to connect to a shared folder in which you would have copied the I386 folder from the Windows installation CD


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks experts for helping, I've read all the articles in the links. But I was able to pick up another 2650 real cheap with DVDROM, so I can use this DVDROM on the other 2650.
    Thanks again

    Featured Post

    NetScaler Deployment Guides and Resources

    Citrix NetScaler is certified to support many of the most commonly deployed enterprise applications. Deployment guides provide in-depth recommendations on configuring NetScaler to meet specific application requirements.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Lets look at the default installation and configuration of FreeProxy 4.10 REQUIREMENTS 1. FreeProxy 4.10 Application - Can be downloaded here ( 2. Ensure that you disable the windows fi…
    PRTG Network Monitor lets you monitor your bandwidth usage, so you know who is using up your bandwidth, and what they're using it for.
    After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
    Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

    732 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    25 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now