Installing Windows XP from a network. RIS, but not Microsoft

Setting TFTPD32 and RIS-LINUX

Before looking at program settings, we have to talk about the network parameters of the computer from which the installation will take place. It will receive the IP address 192.168.200.1 and the network mask 255.255.255.0.

Attention! In some cases using firewalls can lead to inability to install Windows from network because of blocking network activity. That is why you have to either set up the firewall correctly or turn it off.

Setting the program TFTPD32

The program TFTPD32 is in a way a whole combined unit that supports various protocols and services. Of all the program features you will only need to use DHCP and TFTP servers. We'll look at the program settings using version 3.35.

Setting up TFTP server (TFTPD32)

I will describe the parameter values that I have changed.

At first I have listed the catalog where TFTP server will be looking for files. The parameter "Base Directory" is responsible for this. In our case that is C:\NETBOOT\WINXP. Then I turn off the services, leaving only "TFTP Server" and "DHCP Server". For the same reason I have turned off the mode "Show Progress bar". I have turned on the mode "Use anticipation window", as a parameter I have listed the value 14320. This final parameter will allow me to increase the downloading speed of the files from TFTP server.

Attention. Activation of the mode "Use anticipation window" in some cases can lead to errors. Then you have to turn it off.

With these settings server TFTP is ready for work (Picture 7).

Setting up DHCP server (TFTPD32)

To install Windows from a network DHCP Server has to be given the assigned IP address and the name of the downloaded file. The following parameters are responsible for addresses: "IP Pool starting address", "Size of pool" and "Mask".

As I have already noted, the computer that is initiating the installation will be assigned the IP address 192.168.200.1 with the network mask 255.255.255.0. The computers will be able to communicate with each other, if they belong to the same network. In our case this network will be 192.168.200.0. The parameter "IP Pool starting address" notifies about the initial IP address, from which DHCP will start distributing the IP addresses. I have set the value of 192.168.200.10. The parameter "Size of pool" shows how many computers can receive IP addresses from TFTPD32. I have given the value of 10. The parameter "Boot File" notifies which file should be downloaded. In our case it's startrom.n12.

Attention. In the catalog C:\NETBOOT\WINXP there are two files: startrom.com and startrom.n12. The first file (startrom.com) unlike the second one requires pressing F12 key to start the installation.

Parameter "Mask" notifies about the network mask and has to correspond with the mask of our "main computer". I have given the value of 255.255.255.0.

All settings of DHCP server are shown in (Picture 8).

Setting up program RIS-LINUX

During the installation, Windows XP has to receive the information which driver for the network card has to be used. This information is provided by the service BINL. I will be using the program ris-linux as the service BINL. This program is written in Python and that is why it's also important to install the interpreter of this language. I will use Python as an interpreter.

Attention. To work with ris-linux you will need at least version 2.4.0 of Python. Version 3 and above are not suitable.

I extract ris-linux into the catalog C:\NETBOOT\RIS-LINUX. Now it's necessary to form a response database. For that I perform the command: C:\NETBOOT\RIS-LINUX\infparser.py c:\NETBOOT\WINXP\DRIVERS. If everything goes well, then the program binlsrv.py will display Compiled xxx drivers, where xxx is the number of processed drivers. Now I start BINL itself, using the program binlsrv.py.