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please Help me with PXE BOOT

pxelinux.cfg pxe boot win7aio

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#1 wickerstick

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:52 PM

Hello all 


My issue is this, I've been working on a PXE server that uses a GENTOO BASE Im starting to figure things out but at every corner there is a failure, I am by no means a linux expert, my friend and fellow tech GURU got me into this and is too busy most of the time to help 

 my background is a IT tech, apple certified, a+, etc. I mostly work in windows and osx. standard stuff, virus removals, cloning/data recovery/backup images using acronis and woundershare, clonezilla etc. 


Iv'e always used multiboot USB's (currently YUMI) but im tired of making them all the time for new techs wanting custom multiboot usb's so i started a project PXE server to do this 


I have slip streamed Windows installers AKA all-in0ones. i have them as:

xp 9n1  (xp home, pro,media center etc

VistaAIO SP2 integrated. (all versions x64 and x86)

Win7AIO (same as above)

Win8AIO (same again) (not too worried about getting this to work its on the back burner) 


Also i need a couple of linux live CD's and some tech tools 


I've been beating at this for 3 days straight almost formatted the server last night i was so pissed i couldn't get this stuff working


so in /var/tftpd I have : memdisk, pxelinux.0 gpxelinux.0, menu.c32, vesamenu.c32, linux.c32 and i have folders for each OS : Win7, winV, Ubuntu, Pear6, Hirens(i know not to ask for help on that one) and  pc check classic.img


I had PC check working however when i rebuilt my server (added gnome cause working in a limited back end was too much for me.) i lost the pc check image to i need to re extract from the iso.


now in my pxelinux.cfg i have a default menu i was meddling with attempting to get stuff working. first i was just trying to load the .ISO's


halfway worked. pear would load sometimes  and sometimes it would say there's not enough memory to load blablabla and somtimes it would load to the menu where it says try pear and when i selected that it would start loading then i would recieve initfs error unable to obtain a medium for the specified image, same with ubuntu, windows would load the installer and then when i clicked the setup (my win7aio has embedded 64bit recovery mode as option.) i would instantly get an I/O error.


after googleing a bit i wanted a better option i was told i could just extract the iso.s and put the extracted file in its folder under tftpd and point to the files i needed in the pxelinux.cfg. and ive been trying to do that but all the guides i find people are using NFS i know im not as smart as most of you so i was hoping someone may chime in and help me get this booting b4 i give up. right now i can pxe boot and the menu come up, the LABELS are shown as i modify/add them i've since extracted these .iso's into each of the folders. but i cant get anything working. If there is a better faster and easier way to accomplish this let me know 


I will output my pxelinux.cfg  file here tomorrow morning. as of now i don't have any time left tonight


oh and the system is a dell studio with core2quad, 320GB HDD, 3.5GB DDR2, GB ETHERNET

#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

I am failing to see the "scope" or "final goal". :ph34r:

Are you willing to setup that server to provide a way to:

  • create a USB stick with those AIO's
  • install from PXE the OS in one of the AIO's to a PC in your network
  • boot from an image on the PXE server
  • do something else

I.e., what exactly are your *needs* (not the way you think they should be reached, just your desires).



#3 wickerstick

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

ok so i was i bit loopy after working on this day in day out for 3 days. bear with me  :loleverybody:


after sleep I'm feeling much better


So the goal is to have this PXE server boot similar to my YUMI usb sticks I.E. BOOT from lan on the clients machine. and have a menu similar to what yumi provides, so If i booted say my windows 7AIO. it would boot as it does in YUMI or from a DVD. like i said its a slip-streamed disk when you boot into it you will get a option to run setup or run 64bit recovery mode from inside that one iso.  if you choose setup it will start windows setup and after you format the drive you are greeted with a menu to choose which version of windows 7 your installing. then it installs. 


similar in pear or ubuntu, when you load it from the yumi stick you are greeted with the try ubuntu or install ubuntu screen, choose what you wanna do and it loads up just like if you were booting from a usb/livecd 


this will not be attached to the interwebz. its going from the PXE server to a 24port GB rackmount switch that feeds to directly to client machines. All GB connection, so we can install various versions on windows on client machines, use the linux live cd.s for partitioning or various other uses pc check for diagnostics. maybe through in ubcd although pc check is preferable IMHO because it will run all the tests at once and seems more accurate than dell mri to me.


so basically that is what i want, I extracted the iso's thinking it would be faster to boot than from memdisk loading the iso. i didn't to have much luck with that. but if you guys can get .iso's over 4GB to load with memdisk and boot then you should let me in on your secret, in fact when i dig threw yumi it extracts alot of the bigger .iso's so i figured if they both have syslinux i should try to mimic what yumi is doing somehow on the server, 


originally i was using grub4dos but currently its using grub. i know how to ad custom image and tweak the look of the menu of pxelinux.cfg/default but as far as adding mapping the files right i'm super lost. trying to follow guides, i can only make 19 more post until 6 tonight so i will add as much info per post as you or anyone else will need. I'm more than willing to give you guys any info you need to help me


next post up soon will have some screen shots up of my tftpd folder and my pxelinux.cfg/default file in nano. if you guys need anything else  just post and ill get it to you, when i get home after work I'm going to get it running on my home network so my buddie (if he is free) can ssh into the back-end and take a look.

#4 wickerstick

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

so i know this is not right, I've since made too many changes trying different methods I have NFS but i know its not called that i dunno

where the actual  folder is im digging threw the file system now trying to get a better understanding of everything

I've always used OS's from a GUI so when i dove in to gentoo i actually started learning something. i know ive got a ways to go but Im ready and willing to learn. i can only teach myself so much, i even bout a linux for dummies book and have the entire gentoo handbook as references. again i want to thank you guys for reading the post and any help, links, or guidelines are appreciated. pxelinuxScreenshot.png


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