Perhaps, I'm missing some basic step in PXE booting, but I have TFTPD32 running and when the computer connects via PXE it seem to load fine and then nothing.

What file do I need to point to as my bootfile? Is it on the Windows 2008 CD or do I need to make it?

Also, I have my TFTP server pointed to the root of the CD-ROM is that correct as well?

My problem:

  1. I have a DELL SC1425 that I can't get to boot windows 2008, because the boot CD does not support it. I need to be able to install windows 2008 on there.

  2. Because I can't boot any OS that's not on the CD (Although Linux distros load fine), I need to do some sort of network boot.


There's no easy recipe to boot an ISO image / DVD over PXE on a remote computer. The PXE client can't just download files from the PXE server's optical drive and run them. It Doesn't Work That WayTM.

If this is a case of a server computer purchased with a CD-ROM drive and you need to install something from a DVD go acquire a $20.00 internal DVD-ROM reader, pop the case, plug it in temporarily, and install. Copy the Windows setup files to the hard drive before you remove the temporary DVD-ROM. That'll be the fastest way to get you going. On a PowerEdge SC1452 you just need a parallel ATA DVD-ROM (aka ATAPI, aka IDE).

The necessary infrastructure to do a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) installation is non-trivial, and that's the "Microsoft way" to do an install via PXE.

  • +1 For the answer. Bonus thought for the trademark. – squillman Jul 22 '09 at 16:01
  • @squillman: My smartassedness knows no bounds! – Evan Anderson Jul 22 '09 at 16:05

why not simply set up WDS and install? It's very simple

  • Can I do that from a windows XP machine? – Noah Clark Jul 22 '09 at 14:32
  • no, no way to set up WDS on a windows machine. the machine has to be 2003R2 or 2008 – dyasny Jul 23 '09 at 8:17

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