This guide provides an easy and relatively quick way to PXE boot windows which means you can install Windows over the network with PXE without the need for a CD drive. This will just install a vanilla XP, nice and simple.
Step 1: Getting started.
What you’ll need:
- Windows 2000/XP CD (to get the i386 directory off it)
- PC running 2000/XP (to act as a server)
- Laptop capable of booting over PXE (such as the L400).
- Bart Network Boot Disk
- A Share. The Server must be able to share files (any Microsoft Windows computer can).
- Working router or plain crossover cable.
Once you’ve collected all of the above, lets begin;
- Create a share, for the sake of argument create it at c:WINSTALL
- Copy your i386 folder and SMARTDRV.EXE into this folder
- Make a note of your computer name/host name, you can find this out by right clicking on “My Computer”, going to properties, go to “Computer Name” tab, look under Full computer name, in my example, the computers name is STAR, i believe the name needs to be 12 chars or less for this to work in dos mode, so if its longer change it and reboot.
- Create a folder to PXE boot from, c:OUTPUT
Step 2: Setting up a TFTP Server.
- Install TFTPD
- Create the following directory c:OUTPUTpxelinux.cfg
- In the c:OUTPUT directory download pxelinux.0 memdisk menu.c32 bartdisk.IMA
- In the C:OUTPUTpxelinux.cfg directory, create a text file that you’ll name default, (not default.txt) containing:
- Launch TFTPD and configure it the following way:
- Tip : if you close and reopen TFTP32 and the Current Directory defaults to your home directory rather than to C:OUTPUT, right-click your TFTPD32 shortcut, go to Properties, and set the Start in textbox as C:OUTPUT.
- switch to the tab “DHCP Server” and fill in your network setup. Note that the PC you want to boot must be in the same Subnet. Enter pxelinux.0 as the boot file. The Screenshot below shows my setup.
- Dont forget to SAVE.
MENU TITLE PXE Boot System
MENU LABEL ^Bart Network Disk
MENU LABEL ^Boot Normal
Step 3: Installing Windows.
- Boot laptop
- Select Bart Network Disk
- Just accept all the default values this time
- Type fdisk
- Choose option 3 and delete any partitions
- Choose option 1 to create a partition, then 1 again to create a primary dos partition
- If you wish to create 2 partitions, 1 for the windows installation and 1 for data then select N for using maximum available size
- Select your drive size in MB, i chose 8198 for mine
- Esc back to the options menu, then select option 2 to make a partition active
- select partition number, probably 1 as was the case for me
- Esc out of fdisk and restart the laptop
- Select Bart Network Disk again
- Accept defaults up until “Identification Settings”, tab accross till you come to the lmhosts option, and pless the spacebar to enable it, then go to Ok.
- In the blank file that opens up type the ip of your server, followed by tab and its host name, in my case it looked like:
- Press Alt + X to save the file and quit
- Just press enter through any other questions to accept the defaults
- When you get to the command promt type: format c: /Q
- When that finishes type net use x: \HOSTNAMESHARE so in my case i typed net use x: \STARWINSTALL
- type x:
- type SMARTDRV.EXE
- type cd i386
- type winnt
- It will now copy the files from the share onto your harddrive and start the windows install, at this point its worth closing tftpd32 if you havent already so u dont accidentally boot back into the boot floppy on reboot,
- Perform a normal windows install, enjoy