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PXE Booting EuroDos (PC-Check) and getting report back throuth network?

pxe pc-check eurodos nbd pxelinux network

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#1 protools_operator

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:10 PM

I'm trying to figure out a way how to pxe-boot PC-Check and Gold Memory and also get the report back to the network share.

I know there are some drivers for Network DOS around, the partially-working way would be to use them and copy the report files over the network to a SMB share.

Problem is that PC-Check is using a special MS-DOS clone called EuroDOS and for RAM diagnostics purposes, it won't work with any memory manager. It's very restrict so it can test more system memory.
After PC-Check exits it can be rebooted or shutdown.

If I use PC-Check as a Floppy like it's intended, the report will be saved on the floppy.
So only way I can think of is simulating a floppy drive with read/write permissions which will write directly to the floppy image over the network.

Is this possible by using ISCSI or NBD?
Will a bootloader that streams drive blocks over network exists? Will it take more than 1.4MB of RAM?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

#2 Icecube

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:36 AM

Problem is that PC-Check is using a special MS-DOS clone called EuroDOS and for RAM diagnostics purposes, it won't work with any memory manager. It's very restrict so it can test more system memory.
After PC-Check exits it can be rebooted or shutdown.

If the reboot or shutdown happens in a batch script, you can modifiy it, so you can load all network related stuff after running PC-Check. If the reboot and shutdown is coded in PC-Check itself, you will have to patch it, so it only exits, but doesn't reboot or shuts down.

#3 protools_operator

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:39 PM

Hey Icecube thanks for the quick reply,

-Yes this is exactly the problem.
PC-Check has it's own DOS made by the company who made it (EuroDOS by EuroSoft), it doesn't need any memory manager like HIMEM/EMM to operate and get to the high level RAM.
PCCHECK.EXE can run on MS-DOS or similar but it does give problems testing the RAM.

I'm looking for a way to solve it, If I had some way of reading and writing to the floppy image over the network I could extract the report later.

I never messed with network block protocols, I wonder if it could be the answer.

Or some kind of virtual media emulating the floppy image as a read/write device over the network with a small footprint.

Is there a way to go back to the bootloader while keeping memdisk? or emulating another memdisk?

I forgot to say I'm using PXELINUX+memdisk but i'm open to suggestions, I know gpxe/iPXE can boot from iSCSI/NBD but I'm not sure how the proccess works, is it reading and writing (up/dl) to the storage over the network? or just downloading from it?

Is there some kind of small footprint kernel driver (like memdisk) that will emulate a network share as a floppy and will be capable of uploading to it (say by creating new files)?

The downside of good diagnostic utilities is that they need to test all RAM, this is also a positive but problematic to boot by PXE.

I also need it to be reliable as possible with most of the desktop/laptop PC's and I'm not sure of how reliable netboot (dos with network drivers) will be, if it will include all the drivers needed etc so I'm trying to find another workaround to use some kind of "envelope" to make the network connection that also won't take more RAM than a floppy image. I'm sure linux based solution is the way to go but don't have any clue where to start.

I'll kindley appreciate any help.
-Thanks.

#4 Icecube

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:33 PM

It seems that gpxe can do this:

http://etherboot.org/wiki/sanboot

#5 protools_operator

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hi again Mr. Icecube, I saw you have good dos knowledge in the freedos forums:)
gpxe (or the newer iPXE) can use iSCSI target but I'm not sure if iSCSI is what I'm looking for,
Does it working on the server with uploading?
I mean, will the saved report upload to the server?
And will It still work after kernel memdisk and loading DOS?
I'm quite skeptical, if it does it must be a real magic:)
If it's the way to go, I'll also need to test it with PC-Check, I'm not quite sure how memory testing works and if the networking stack will be kept in memory while testing it.

Eurosoft support didn't have a solution for me, sounds like they don't really want everyone to use the basic utility for a lot of PCs with one licence but the other software they have is working on windows and it can't really diagnose that well, low footprint is the way to go.
:2nd:

#6 Icecube

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:31 PM

AFAIK iSCSI passes SCSI commands over the network to the remote iSCSI target, where it reads/writes block to disk.
It probably doesn't work with a MEMDISK loaded floppy image.

You have to provide the floppy as a iSCSI target, from which you boot directly via iSCSI.

#7 protools_operator

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

Well you are right, my mistake I don't need memdisk.
Anyway it sounds very good I'll play with it in the next few days and I'll report back:)
Thank you your tips are much appreciated:)

#8 deaks

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

Hi Protools

 

Did you manage to get PC Check to boot via pxe cos Im having problems doing the same using a debian server and memdisk

 

Regards

 

Deaks







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