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One PXE Menu to unite them all (DOS, linux, winpe)

Created: 01 Sep 2009 • Updated: 14 Jul 2010 | 33 comments

First, let me think Nigel & H Peter Anvin for pointing me in the right direction for this solution.

Here's the dilemma as I see it for Ghost users who use PXE. The 3com setup is pretty good, but it's starting to show it's age and there are better alternatives for both the pxe/tftp services. What there's not a good replacement for are the 16MB images. It's the perfect size and very fast. Floppy images (even 2.8) are too small to be useful w/ the current Symantec utilities. The problem w/ the 3com bootstrap is that it only loads DOS, so it's very limiting.

THE GOAL: A single PXE menu that can boot 3com images, DOS, Linux, WinPE, WDS, and other misc utils.

Here's how I'm doing it:

Convert 3com images.

pxelinux can chain load the 3com menu (mba.pxe) but the 3com menu will then fail to load a .sys image. Here's a really simple fix to directly load your .sys images from the pxelinux menu. Download winimage free trial is all you need, but it's such a great app I bought it. http://www.winimage.com/download.htm

All you need to do to make the 3com images compatible is simply open them w/ winimage and save as .IMZ (IMA is the same, but not compressed - use IMZ) file. That's it. Somehow this removes some of the proprietary header info (maybe). The downside is that the 3com image editor will not work w/ the image anymore, but you can use winimage which works almost as well.

Setup pxelinux as the boot strap

Grab the latest syslinux from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/
(I'm using 3.81) copy the following files to the root of your tftp server (probably c:\TFTPBOOT\ if you're using the 3com setup)

pxelinux.0
memdisk
chain.c32
vesamenu.c32

If you're using the 3com pxe server edit the BOOTPTAB to send pxelinux.0 in place of mba.pxe. If you send that file via DHCP, you'll need to make the appropriate changes on your server to send pxelinux.0. If you use WDS I highly recommend loading pxelinux first and adding WDS as a menu option. see http://syslinux.zytor.com/wiki/index.php/WDSLINUX  This way you literally load anything & everything and have much easier menu to edit.

Create a boot menu for vesamenu.c32

create a folder called pxelinux.cfg. Copy and paste the following into notepad:

DEFAULT vesamenu.c32
PROMPT 0
NOESCAPE 0
ALLOWOPTIONS 0
TIMEOUT 200
 
 
MENU TITLE Boot Menu
 
LABEL Ghost_Client_UNDI
  MENU LABEL ^1. Ghost Client UNDI
  MENU DEFAULT
  kernel memdisk
  append keeppxe initrd=imz/Client_undi.imz
 
LABEL Ghost_Client_NDIS
  MENU LABEL ^2. Ghost Client NDIS
  kernel memdisk
  APPEND keeppxe initrd=imz/Client_ndis.IMZ 

LABEL WinPE
  MENU LABEL ^3. WinPE 2.0
  KERNEL boot/pxeboot.0

LABEL PartedMagic
  MENU LABEL ^4. Parted Magic
  kernel utils/pmagic/bzImage

LABEL Local_Drive
 MENU LABEL ^5. Boot Local Drive
 #  localboot 0
 KERNEL chain.c32
 APPEND hd0 0

save as \TFTPBOOT\pxelinux.cfg\default (no file extension)
You'll need to edit this to match your file names and locations. Also, note that you can now add "real" sub menus and passwords if you want to.
I'll post a more in-depth menu as a response. Also, if you're not using WDS or xinetd's tftp I recomment dumping the 3com tftp in favor of tftpd32. W/ 3coms tftp I'm not able to load more than 1x PC at a time w/ WinPE (if I try they'll fail). W/ tftpd32 I'm able to get 24x simultaneously. It might work on more, but that's the max I've tried.

Cheers,
-Ben

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mrguitar's picture

Here is my slightly altered menu. Highlights include sub menus, passwords (my real passwords are SH1 encrypted), it also shows how to boot Dell diagnostics, parted magic (my favorite - google this one), htd, hard drive diags, offline password reset, scan & recover (from UBCD & pxeknife), among others.

I hope this is helpful to some of you guys and it's been VERY useful for me.
Cheers,
-Ben

 DEFAULT vesamenu.c32

#MENU BACKGROUND pxelinux.cfg/mtsplash.jpg

PROMPT 0

NOESCAPE 0

ALLOWOPTIONS 0

TIMEOUT 200





MENU TITLE Boot Menu



LABEL Ghost_Client_UNDI

  MENU LABEL ^1. Ghost Client UNDI

  MENU DEFAULT

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/Client_undi.imz



LABEL Ghost_Client_NDIS

  MENU LABEL ^2. Ghost Client NDIS

  kernel memdisk

  APPEND keeppxe initrd=imz/Client_ndis.IMZ 





MENU BEGIN

  MENU LABEL ^3. Ghost Menu

  MENU TITLE Ghost Menu



  LABEL Ghost_UNDI

  MENU LABEL ^1. Ghost 11.5 UNDI

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_undi.imz



  LABEL Ghost_NDIS

  MENU LABEL ^2. Ghost 11.5 NDIS

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_ndis.imz



  LABEL Ghost_Ses_1

  MENU LABEL ^3. Ghost Session 1 + Rename

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_ses1.imz



  LABEL Ghost_no_Rename

  MENU LABEL ^4. Ghost Session 1 w/o Rename

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_ses1_!ren.imz



  LABEL Ghost_Create

  MENU LABEL ^5. Ghost Create 1

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_ses1_cap.imz



  LABEL Ghost_JA

  MENU LABEL ^6. Ghost -ja=1

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/ghost_undi_ja.imz



  MENU SEPARATOR



  LABEL return

  	  MENU INDENT 5

	  MENU LABEL ^Esc - Return to Main Menu

	  MENU EXIT



MENU END







LABEL DiskWipe
#gdisk 1 /del /all /y
#gdisk 1 /mbr /wipe /y
#gdisk 1 /cre /pri /for /q /y /r   
#a bit redundant but effective. 

  MENU LABEL ^4. DiskWipe

  menu passwd fakepasswd

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/diskwipe.imz







MENU BEGIN

  MENU LABEL ^5. Utils

  MENU TITLE Utility Menu 

  MENU PASSWD fakepasswd



  LABEL memtest

  MENU LABEL ^1. Memory Test 86+  

  linux utils/memtest86+



  LABEL Memory_Test_MicroSoft

  MENU LABEL ^2. MicroSoft Windows Memory Diagnostic

  kernel memdisk

  append initrd=imz/ramtest.imz



  LABEL Parted_Magic

  MENU LABEL ^3. Parted Magic

  kernel utils/pmagic/bzImage


  append initrd=/utils/pmagic/initramfs load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw sleep=10



  LABEL Gdisk

  MENU LABEL ^4. Gdisk

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/gdisk.imz



  

  MENU BEGIN

	MENU LABEL ^5. Dell Diagnostics

	MENU TITLE Dell Diagnostics Utilties

 

	  LABEL Dell_diag

	  MENU LABEL ^1. Dell Diagnostics (740 - 755)

	  kernel memdisk raw

	  append initrd=imz/diags.img



	  LABEL Dell_diag2

	  MENU LABEL ^2. Dell Diagnostics (240 - 620)

	  kernel memdisk

	  append keeppxe initrd=imz/DD.imz



	  LABEL Dell_diag3

	  MENU LABEL ^3. Dell Diagnostics (150 - 260)

	  kernel memdisk

	  append keeppxe initrd=imz/DD_old.imz





  MENU SEPARATOR



  LABEL return

  	  MENU INDENT 5

	  MENU LABEL ^Esc - Return to Main Menu

	  MENU EXIT



MENU END



LABEL HDT

  MENU LABEL ^6. HDT (Hardware Detction Tool)

  KERNEL utils/hdt.c32

  APPEND modules=utils/modules.pcimap pciids=utils/pci.ids



LABEL offline

	MENU LABEL ^7. Offline NT Password & Registry Editor

	kernel utils/cd080802/vmlinuz

	append rw vga=1 initrd=utils/cd080802/initrd.cgz,utils/cd080802/scsi.cgz





  MENU BEGIN

	MENU LABEL ^8. Hard Drive Tools

	MENU TITLE Hard Drive Tools

	

	  LABEL HDAT2

	  MENU LABEL ^1. HDAT2 (Hard Drive Utility)

	  kernel memdisk

	  append keeppxe initrd=imz/HDAT2.imz



	  LABEL salvation_hdd_scan_repair

  	MENU LABEL ^2. Salvation Scan and Repair

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/salvation_hdd_scan_repair.igz



	LABEL dft

	MENU LABEL ^3. IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/hd/ibm_hitachi/dft.igz





	LABEL maxblast

	MENU LABEL ^4. Maxtor Maxblast

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/hd/maxtor_quantum/maxblast.igz



	LABEL powermax

	MENU LABEL ^5. Maxtor PowerMax

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/hd/maxtor_quantum/powermax.igz



	label SeaTools

	MENU LABEL ^6. Seagate SeaTools

	  kernel memdisk

	  append keeppxe initrd=imz/seatools.imz





	LABEL datalife

	MENU LABEL ^7. Western Digital - Data Lifeguard

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/hd/western_digital/datalife.igz



	LABEL dlgudma

	MENU LABEL ^8. Western Digital - Data Lifeguard UDMA

	kernel memdisk

	append initrd=utils/hd/western_digital/dlgudma.igz



	 LABEL return

  	  MENU INDENT 5

	  MENU LABEL ^Esc - Return to Previous Menu

	  MENU EXIT



MENU END





  LABEL 3Com_NIC_Util

  MENU LABEL ^9. 3Com NIC Util

  kernel memdisk

  append keeppxe initrd=imz/3com.imz



  MENU SEPARATOR



  LABEL return

  	  MENU INDENT 5

	  MENU LABEL ^Esc - Return to Main Menu

	  MENU EXIT

MENU END



MENU BEGIN

  MENU LABEL ^6. Pre OSes

  MENU TITLE Alternate Pre OSes

  MENU PASSWD fakepasswd



  LABEL WinPE

  MENU LABEL ^1. WinPE 2.0

  KERNEL boot/pxeboot.0



  LABEL Parted Magic

  MENU LABEL ^2. Parted Magic

  kernel utils/pmagic/bzImage


  append initrd=/utils/pmagic/initramfs load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw sleep=10



  LABEL TS_linux

  MENU LABEL ^3. Thin Station Linux

  kernel utils/vmlinuz

  append ramdisk_blocksize=4096 initrd=utils/initrd root=/dev/ram0 ramdisk_size=524288 console=ttyS3 ipappend 1



  MENU SEPARATOR



  LABEL return

  	  MENU INDENT 5

	  MENU LABEL ^Esc - Return to Main Menu

	  MENU EXIT

MENU END


LABEL centos
  MENU LABEL ^7. Kickstart CentOS 5.3
  KERNEL centos/vmlinuz
  APPEND initrd=centos/initrd.img noipv6 ks=http://local-webserver-IP/ks.cfg ksdevice=bootif IPAPPEND 2


LABEL Local_Drive

  MENU LABEL ^8. Boot Local Drive

#  localboot 0

  KERNEL chain.c32

  APPEND hd0 0



CME IT's picture

Hey mr guitar, thanks for nice guide.

I've followed your guide and after booting the client, the TFTP server would successfully transfer the pxelinux.0 then the vesamenu.c32 then the pxelinux.cfg/default
After that it timesout for both pxelinux.0 and pxelinux.cfg/default and i see a black screen on the client.

any help is appreciated. i don't know what i missed.

mrguitar's picture

CME IT,

Does the menu display at all? ...or does it go straight to black after loading pxelinux.0?

If your menu isn't showing up then there could be an issue w/ a splash screen. If you're using a splash screen comment out that line and see if it works w/ out one.

Can you edit out the sensitive info in your configs and post them on http://tinypaste.com/ and I'll take a peak - or you can post them here or PM me. If you can post your default file and and tftp logs, we should be able to see the problem.

cheers,

Regimentor's picture

Wow, this is well thought out and I can see a lot of time an testing was put into it.  Thanks for posting this information - I'm eager to try out something similar!  Hopefully it'll work out some of the issues I've encountered recently with the intel nic issues in pc-dos.

jbond1983's picture

Hi Mr. Guitar,

You're a lifesaver! I have been frustrated with the aging 3com bootservices for so long and I'm elated that a forum member has found a solution to work around it.  This type of functionality should have been included out of the box w/ ghost..

Your setup didn't take too long for me to implement. It was very easy to do. I like that I can finally now boot dell diagnostics via PXE, parted magic is cool...

Ultimately, this is a great lightweight solution as a workaround to the aging 3combootservices. Excellent work, mr guitar. The symantec guys should hire you!

mrguitar's picture

Regimentor,

Thanks for the kind words. This setup technically shouldn't help w/ your intel NIC issues. Are you trying to auto detect your NICs (multicard template)? If so, you might have to manually add-in the PCI tags for newer NICs. W/ the last run of Dells we bought, 755s, I get better performance w/ the Universal or UNDI driver. I would try that first before you put in a lot of time on another fix.

Jbond1983, Jbond1983, jbond1983,

Glad you like it. Ironically, I did get offerd a position w/ McAfee recently.  ...didn't pay enough.   :)

Regimentor's picture

hmm, how to explain my issue - I've been using UNDI for about 3 - 5 years throughout GSS 2.0 up to current version, and it's worked 90% of the time with all our dell computer models, both pcs and laptops.  However, on some of the newer computers, the UNDI isn't reliable or simply doesn't work.  I switched to WinPE and (not wanting to start a great debate) found that it slowed the imaging process (from boot to image transfer completion) down a few minutes, and I'm all about speeding up the process or keep it consistent.  I went back to PC-DOS, made a 3com boot menu with option 1 being UNDI (which works on most) and option 2 being a intel specific network NDIS driver (for the exact nic in the optiplex 760).  I found that option 2 on the menu allowed multicast in PC-DOS - I should have realized it would allow that, since I was using the exact nic driver for that card, but it didn't dawn on me how well it would work.  For example, our technicians would ghostcast 8 pcs at a time with unicast in about 10 - 15 minutes, but with multicast, it takes all eight pcs 3-5 minutes, which to me is awesome.  we even did 16 at the same time an it took 8-10 minutes, and I was totally blown away.  We imaged 16 via ghostcast in Unicast an it took 30-45 minutes... I wish the option 2 specific nic NDIS worked on the optiplex 960 or some of the new laptops, but it doesn't, even though the cards are similar.  I did read however that by adding the PCI tags into the template, you would achieve PXE boot in certain *stuck* instances So now I'm trying to figure out how to manually add-in the PCI tags.  But then I saw your post, an thought heck, I might be able to have a boot menu with PC-DOS here, WinPE there, an other utilities which would be extremely helpful in certain situations.  so in conclusion, since our company now purchases 50 pcs at a time or more, I'd like to provide a multicast option via pxe boot menu for each type of system (or possibly group models to a menu option after testing) to allow the techs to image 16 or more at a time an really make things efficient - an have all models work :)

-Regimentor

mrguitar's picture

I've seen similar UNDI problems w/ dell dimension 2400s. I had to use the NDIS for those.

The good news is that everything you're working on is very "do-able." It's just going to take a little bit of trial & error - especially when testing drivers.
First place adding PCI Tags is only relevant if you're using the multi-card template. I'm a huge fan of this option, but it can be a bit tedious when tweaking. I've got a lot of Dell but none of the 760s so I can't test this. I just went to Intel's site and they have removed DOS as an OS selection for the 82567 series NICs. Interestingly enough it's available on their German page. :)

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?a...

Grab that while it's still available and try using the included NDIS driver and see if it does what you need. It might work perfectly for any PRO 1000 family NIC you have - but I'd have to test it. That should get you up and running for some of your newer PCs, now the trick is to integrate it smoothly in your PXE setup. You don't make you menu too cluncky or have to do a lot of work when selecting options. I'm a fan of automating a lot of this. If you can make the multicard template work for all of your machines that's the easiest. If not, you can have different menus get pushed to different PCs based on MAC address. That way everytime you boot a 3com NIC --> it automatically grabs a boot image w/ the appropriate 3com driver. One way to achieve this is in the 3com BOOTPTAB editor. you can add another entry w/ the first 3 octets of the vendor's MAC followed by wildcards, e.g. 001e4f?????? - would grab all of my Dell 755s. 000f1f?????? my 270s. This can give you the option of sending a different menu/default boot image per model/NIC. It can be a lot to maintain. Symantec has a better article here: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/docid/2009011211353660
Cheers,

Regimentor's picture

When you say multi-card template, are you referring to using the UNDI as a one stop shop?  Does the mutli-card template allow multicast via GhostCast? and lastly, can you tell me more regarding how to add the PCI Tags?

mrguitar's picture

BTW. UNDI works great w/ multicating too.

Inside the Ghost boot disk wizard one of the NIC drivers is multicard-template. Once you select that you can include any and all NDIS drivers you want/need. When that image is loaded via PXE, it will "detect" the NIC and load the proper driver.

I would try to build one of those and see if it works out of the box. If you get a message that states cannot find NIC (something like that), then we need to add the PCI tags. You can find the tag looking in the Windows Device Manager.

Navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\Ghost\Template\Intel PRO 1000\    and edit the mcassist.cfg file. Open it w/ notepad and add the following line at the bottom:

PCI-TAG = 8086 10BD : Intel Pro 1000$

...but w/ the correct tag.
rebuild your boot image and see if that works. If not, then you can also update the e1000 driver from intel.

bjohn's picture

How does one go about converting a .COM file to a format that can be loaded thru PXE?
I was able to get the dell diag.img loaded following your directions. I want to get the dell service tag utility (asset209.com) loaded thru pxe.
Also, how do you convert the older dell diagnostics to .imz files?

I'm using 2003 server WDS and WDSlinux.

Thanks

Sir Niken's picture

Thanks for this great thread.. I've been looking for something like this for quite some time :)

I've got the pxemenu working but i can't get any of my tools working. Basically it's just different WinPE 2.0 images which load for example Symantec BESR and Ghost but i will also use it to load some other tools just like Mr. Guitar in the second post.

When i select one of my WinPE images it just give me the following error:
"TFTP download failed
Press any key to reboot."

It's all setup on a Server 2003 R2. The TFTP server part is setup as described in this link: http://n00dlestheindelible.blogspot.com/2005/10/running-windows-tftp-server.html

I will really appreciate any help :)

mrguitar's picture

bjohn,

What a great question! Your file asset209.com (mine is asset.com - I don't know the difference.) is a DOS executable. All you need to do is use a DOS floppy image and simply inset the asset209.com file. You can then tweak your autoexect.bat file to execute the asset.com file - this will display your current settings. Then you will need to enter the correct command line to accomplish your goals. Great suggestion I just added it to my menu!
The older Dell diags will fit on a floppy image. All I did was copy the files over and launch the executable. PM me and I can send you a link to download the image(s) I'm using.

Sir Niken,

Sorry you're having issues w/ WinPE. I don't have a lot of experience using the M$ TFTP server. Two things I would to double check.
1. Read the logs. I don't know if these show up in the event viewer or not, but I would try to findout the file paths that it's trying to download from. That could be the problem.

2. I think it's worth a shot to temporarily disable the M$ tftp server and test the tftpd32 one. It souldn't take you more than 2 minutes. If it works, then you'll know where to spend your time trouble shooting.

The other thing is I'm actually chain loading to the WinPE boot strap. You probably already have it setup this way, but make sure you have the folders: boot & sources under the tftp server's root.

Keep us updated.
Cheers,
mg

lbboe's picture

Sorry this is kind of a late responce but I was having problems with booting to win pe as well. For win-pe to work you have to rename the file to pxeboot.0 

When it is made from ghost I think it is called pxeboot.n12  and once I renamed that file to pxeboot.0 I can pick win pe from menu and all is good.

Thanks for this!! I'm liking it

mrguitar's picture

Thanks lbboe. I can't remember if I'm using the same version that's distributed w/ GSS or the one from the WAIK. Either way, thanks for the fix.

btw. I also added ESXi 3.5 & 4 to my menu. Each has two options: run from pxe (not persistant---freak'n awesome) or run the full installer. I can post the changes if anyone is interested. I set it up to have a root passwd, enable ssh, ftp, wget, and a license key.

Most of the customizations were from http://vm-help.com/ ....but not all. :)

cheers,

PMULLER99's picture

Hi

First thanks for taken your time to explain this nice solution strategy for us.

I've implented it and it works well except for the background picture. I can't get it to show up. I can see in the log of the TFTP-server that the jpg-file is transfered.
Any hints?

Regards Peter

PS: A suggestion for those of you who are using 3com PXE-server in a WindowsDHCP server (or any similiar) supporting multiple VLAN. Just drop the 3com PXE-server and set tftp-boot-server and bootimage as attribute options in the DHCP-response.

Lohizune's picture

I presume you did uncomment the below line at the beginning of the pxelinux.cfg file by removing the dash sign #

#MENU BACKGROUND pxelinux.cfg/mtsplash.jpg

If you did which i believe as you mentioned the picture was transferred properly then i would consider the vesamenu.c32 file not being able to display it properly on your hardware.  vesamenu.c32' files are binary file that are coded depending on the version of the file. I would suggest trying one coming along with any oher linux distribution. 
 

Bye

coreyspeed's picture

i want to setup a utils menu simalar to yours and was woundering how you made all the imz files and wether you would be about to put together a small tutorial or provide me with some your images please

mrguitar's picture

Sorry I haven't been keeping up w/ this thread.

PMULLER99,

I didn't distribute the background image as it has my company logo on it. I didn't think anyone would want it. I created a generic Ghost background that is easy to drop in. Simply download this file and place in your tftproot/pxelinux.cfg folder (it can really go anywhere), then erase the '#' and tweak the filename. Here's a screenshot for you:

Symantec, please don't sue me for using your logo that I got from google. I'm a good customer. :)    .....but I'll take it down if you need to.

Here's a link to the splashscreen:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1445590/ghostsplash.jpg

Lohizune,
I also upgraded to syslinux-3.84 and it works great, but none of the features added really help w/ what we're using. The c32 are not executed in Windows or Linux, but inside of PXElinux. Downloading from the syslinux project will work w/ pxelinux - it's not really distro specific. ....that I know of.

Coreyspeed,
I wish I could write you a tutorial on creating these images, but unfortunalely most of them were created a little bit differently. As a general rule you can use winimage to create an image from a floppy and grow it to 2.8MB. That's enough for small utils. For larger utils I created the 3com images and then simply saved them as IMZs w/ winimage. It's lame but it works really well. The newer Dell diags tool come w/ a image that you can use directly from the tftp. I know this probably isn't super helpful so I zipped up all of mine. you can grab them here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1445590/utils.7z
Grab it soon because I'm not sure how long I'm going to leave it there.

All the utils are there except for parted magic - which is my favorite. But it's about 100MB, and you can get it direclty from their site. FYI the new version has slightly different options to append to the kernel - make sure you read the default syslinux.cfg file to get it right as the config at the top of this post is different.

Cheers and happy holidays.
mrguitar

mrguitar's picture

Or how about this one

from here: http://www.symantec.com/connect/sites/default/file...

You can use any jpg or png (and a bunch of other formats) at 640x480. I use GIMP to create/edit mine.
cheers.

coreyspeed's picture

can you please post your most upto date menu please, i want to know how to use the dell asset image. can you also explain what the numbers relate to on the dell images, e.g 240 -  620 ??

many thanks for the zip file

mrguitar's picture

Here it is:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1445590/default
...but the utilities haven't changed much since the original. You'll need to alter the file paths as mine are probably a little different. MIne basically has an imz folder and all the imz files are located there.

240-260 refers to the Dell Optiplex GX240 - GX260 era PCs. I've only included the ones that range from 150-755. If you have newer Dells that use a different diag utilitiy, the newer ones from Dell come w/ a utiltity to create a disk image specifically for PXE. It makes it really easy to setup.

I hope this helps.
Cheers.

PMULLER99's picture

Hi

Sorry for my late response to your helpful response, but I had mores serious troubles to look after. Thanks.

I did use a wrong resolution for my jpg-file. It works well now.

Maybe you can help me out on this one: 

I want to use encrypted password (MD5):

MENU PASSWD $1$9149019789092569221b6a05c9d0f990
                              
After entering the password in the dialog popup, then the dialog popup disapear, i.e."wrong password".

The MD5 hash is created using an on line web-site. I have tried more to check the validity of the hash
.

Any idea?

Cheers
Peter

coreyspeed's picture

is thier any colour limitations on the pxe splash screen e.g. 16 bit colour etc ??

i dont think that pxe uses MD5 hash

mrguitar's picture

PMULLER99,

I'm glad to hear it's working for you. As fas as the password is concerned, you'll need to gererate the MD5 hash using the utility that;s included w/ syslinux. I tried running my password through md5sum, but it fails. syslinux uses "salt" in the hash and I'm sure you can lookup how to manually recreate it, but you should use their utility to create your hashes. I'll try to dig it up later if I have time.

coreyspeed,

I do think there are some limitations, but I can't remember. It's certainly improved lately to where they no longer need to look "bad" to work. :)

mrguitar's picture

to create your passwords look under your syslinux archive. syslinux-3.84/utils

From there you can run (on linux)
./md5pass enterpassword

or better yet
./sha1pass enterpassword

If you get an error message, you might need the perl-digest-sha1-2 and/or perl-passwd-md5 packages.

There's probably a way to do this on Windows, but I don't know how.

PMULLER99's picture

Thanks, I'll then setup a Linux instance...

until then maybe you have an idea on this windows question on Sysprep:

We never did migrate to Vista, so we're still running XP Pro on a large number of PC's. Using GSS I've created a series of images for each machine type. The image is depolyed by activating a PXE WinPE in the menu, then running an automated script using Ghost. It works fint except, that sysprep removes the oem-drivers of all the NICs (LAN, WLAN, LAN). Sysprep is used to have the PC'es joined into an AD-domain.

I can't find the switch for keeping all pnp-drivers under unattened installation under sysprep for XP (it's documented for Vista and W7)

any hints or ref.

Regards
Peter

mrguitar's picture

We didn't move to Vista either. Did any legit organization? ...or just ones w/ over zealous IT managers who need to constantly justify their salary. Sorry, that was uncalled for. .....but I'll bet Symantec didn't roll this out.
:)

Although I know for a fact that one of the worlds largest software companies just moved to Vista a month or so ago. My employer probably wouldn't like it if I said who. Go figure though, after Win 7 is out. Strange.

Anyway, for XP there's no switch to keep your drivers. It's all about the path you have them in. If they are under your \sysprep folder they will always get deleted. I hide mine under %WinDir%\DriverPacks\

You can read more here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314479

If this help please mark as a solution as I could use some more Symantec points & street cred.  :)
Cheers.

btw. we need a ghost irc channel. Anyone else hangout on freenode?

PMULLER99's picture

Thanks mrguitar for your quick response. I really appriciate your help 

Regardings the drivers, I'm not sure if I explained my self well enough. Please excuse me for my poor English.

What I don't understand, is that Sysprep under the 'generalize'-pass remove network-driveres from the image (LAN, WLAN and 1394)

I understand that I can use the oem-feature to re-install the network-drivers under the specialized pass, when deploying the image on a new machine.

The reason I don't like that approach is that it removes WLAN-configuration including the Pre-shared keys for specific SSIDs.

As it's a relativ small installation we have decided not to deploy machine certificates, and I see no way of pulish pre-shared keys through Group Policy.
So I want to keep the network drives in place including their configurations.

So back to basic. Is what your telling me that there is no way to avoid the removal of networks-drivers under the 'generalize'-pass?

/P
PS: Thanks for your answers below. /P

b3tts32's picture

 I would first like to say thanks for this great implementation. The guys here have loved it since we got it up and running a few weeks ago. I am just curious to see if anyone has got the Dell Service Tag tool up and running or the Ultimate Boot Cd for windows. The last one probably being a long shot but I thought I would at least put it out there. Thanks again. 

b3tts32's picture

 Sorry I found the dell service tag tool in the Utils folder that somebody posted earlier. Looks like the only thing left is the UBCD!

mrguitar's picture

Pmuller99,

I'm not sure I can't much more w/ your sysprep issue. I get it to do what I need, but that's pretty basic. I'm lucky because I don't need to deal w/ AD & group policies much. If this is a small deployment you might consider abandoning sysprep and just use tools like ghost walker & netdom.exe to take care of the post configuration.

I found this thread that might interest you:
http://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows/24963-syspre...

They reference a tool called WifiCfg_XP.exe this might do what you need. Good luck!

...and for the future let's keep this thread related to all things PXE. :)

b3tts32,

What utilities included on the UBCD interest you? I looked through the list and nothing jumped out at me, but I can see someone wanting offline AV. I think clamAV is in parted magic, but I haven't used it.

Basically the UBCD is simply a bartpe iso. I found instructions here to load that via pxe here:

http://wiki.contribs.org/PXE_booting_to_BARTPE

Please report back if it works and provide a short guide if you can. If you can "sell" me on it I'll make time and knock it out, but right now I don't know if it's worth the time for me.

Thanks for the idea,