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PXE Implementation When the Motherboard BIOS Doesn't Support Ii

Posted on 2016-08-01
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I recently purchased MSI Motherboards H110M PRO-VD boards that do not support PXE bootup.  I have a Clonezilla server that I like to save images to then push out to identical machines.  I have several of these boards that I am needing to deploy a new image to, but can't initialize anything in the BIOS to do this as it isn't there.   According to MSI, a BIOS upgrade isn't available to do this as this board doesn't support it.

Can I accomplish this through an added on LAN card?  If so what would be the steps to do this and what brand of LAN card would you recommend?
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Question by:memewarren
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Expert Comment

by:WalkaboutTigger
ID: 41737949
I would recommend the StarTech ST1000SPEXI

It provides an Intel-based, PXE-bootable gigabit ethernet interface, is relatively inexpensive, and highly reliable.

NOTE:  I do not work for StarTech, their distributors, resellers, advertisers nor am I in any way affiliated with either StarTech or Intel.  I receive no income or compensation for recommending products.
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Author Comment

by:memewarren
ID: 41737997
I contacted StarTech and they said that the ST1000SPEXI wouldn't work for PXE boot.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41738543
you can create boot usb/iso http://rom-o-matic.net/
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Accepted Solution

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vivigatt earned 2000 total points
ID: 41738930
rom-o-matic makes it possible to build binaries of :
- EtherBoot stack, which is not totally PXE compliant and which quite old implementation
- gPXE stack, which is PXE compliant but which development has been stopped quite a long time ago (2010) and for which you will not have much support. Now you can try to use it if this suits your needs.

You can use iPXE instead, it is totally PXE compliant, can be launched from USB/ISO, can be flashed on NICs etc., is open source and has much more functionalities than PXE

http://ipxe.org/

Note that iPXE is a fork of gPXE which is a fork of Etherboot.

Other solutions would be to add an Ethernet extension card (PCI or the like) that can boot a PC with PXE. Intel should have such cards, as well as RealTek and Broadcom

Now be aware that there is no real implementation of PXE over WiFi. If your device is WiFi only, you may not be able to boot it over PXE. This relies on the fact that WiFi needs a lot of code to do the initialization of the "Ethernet" stack, including connecting to the correct network, providing the password etc. iPXE has *some* support for WiFi chips, but this is not very widespread and requires specific configuration (and coding SSID, passkeys etc). If this is your aim, check this discussion : http://forum.ipxe.org/showthread.php?tid=6813
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Author Closing Comment

by:memewarren
ID: 41744764
Thanks for your information.
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