Instructions: Booting Ghost from the Network & PXE Server Setup
Booting Ghost from the Network
Booting from the network can save time used walking around your site and managing the replication of floppies, DVDs and USB sticks.
Almost all currently available network cards, onboard cards, and BIOS support network boot. Network boot is particularly useful for provisioning machines from bare metal.
Network boot can be used to boot standalone Ghost for CD/DVD writing operations, peer to peer operations, and Ghostcast server multicast imaging sessions. Network boot can also be used to host other tools and utilities.
Network boot can also be used to connect to the Ghost Console and take part in console imaging tasks.
Getting this up and running is quick and simple, once you know how. : ).
Follow steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, read the notes, and ask for clarification if needed.
1. Install the network boot service
Install 3Com PXE Boot Services, supplied with Ghost (see note 1).
By default, only the Administrator option is selected, which will install only the management tools. Remember to change this to Server during the install. Accept all other defaults.
After installation, open the 3Com PXE Server control applet in Control Panel and enable Proxy DHCP (skip this step if you are installing on the same machine as your network DHCP server). Then go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services, and start the 3Com PXE Server and 3Com TFTP Server. Set the startup type to Automatic.
2. Create a Network Boot Image
Install Ghost Console or the Ghost Boot Wizard.
Start Ghost Boot Wizard, and select the appropriate option: TCP/IP Network Boot Image for standalone ghost operations, or TCP/IP Network Ghost Client Boot Image (see note 2) for console controlled operations. Select the universal driver (see note 3), and store the boot image in the C:\TFTPRoot directory.
If required, you can also create boot images from any existing floppy, using the 3Com Boot Image Editor Create TCP/IP Image File option.
In both cases, you can add and edit additional files later if necessary using the 3Com Boot Image Editor Edit an Existing File option.
3. Create a PXE boot menu
Using the 3Com Boot Image Editor, select Create a PXE Menu Boot File.
Click Add and select Boot From Hard Drive as the default entry, then click Add again to create a second entry containing your boot image file.
4. Create an entry in the BootPTab control file
Start the 3Com BootPTab editor.
Add a wildcard host id "????????????" as a node identifier, and select the PXE Menu Boot File that you created in the previous step.
Alternatively, create an entry for each machine you wish to boot from the network.
5. Client boot method
Most client BIOS have an option to disable or enable the network boot feature. This option is typically associated with onboard device configuration, and might be called something like: NIC PXE Option ROM Download, NIC W/PXE, LAN BOOT, or something similar. You will need to find this setting in your BIOS, enable it, and save and restart before it appears in your boot order.
After that, you will normally have one or more of these three options to choose from, depending on your BIOS:
- Hotkey at startup to boot to the network (e.g. F12 for HP)
- Boot menu at startup, which includes a network boot option (e.g. F9 for HP, F12 for Dell)
- Assign network boot into your boot order permanently. The best place is usually one position prior to the HDD.
6. Perform the desired operation
If you are working from a standalone network boot image, boot the image and choose the desired operation from the menu. If you are using a standalone network boot image to connect to a multicast or unicast session, start the Ghostcast server executable and specify the desired operation.
If you created a console network boot image (see note 4), create and execute a console task to perform the desired operation.
Feel free to post additional questions or information to this thread. We are always interested in the processes you have implemented and your reasons for doing so, so we can better support your needs straight out of the box in future.
1) In Ghost 11, 3Com Boot Services are supplied in the Extras directory of the download. In earlier versions, 3Com PXE Server is supplied on a separate disk.
2) The TCP/IP Network Ghost Client Boot Image option is not available if the Ghost Boot Wizard was installed using the Standalone Tools option of the installer.
3) The universal driver method utilizes the driver contained in the NIC's onboard PXE ROM. Unfortunately, manufacturer NIC PXE ROM driver implementations are sometimes incomplete and, at other times, operation may not be particularly robust. If time-out errors occur during multicast or unicast operations when using the universal driver, you may need to switch to the driver provided by your card manufacturer. Occassionaly, it may be possible to work around these issues by vastly reducing the Ghostcast Server or task network throughput setting, but at the cost of decreased performance.
4) If you are using a Console network boot image, and the Ghost Console Client is not present in the image you are deploying, the Ghost Console will not receive any notification that the operation has been completed, and will not be able to perform any post-clone configuration tasks.
Message Edited by Xan Todd on 07-16-200702:25 PM