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How to boot to a NIC Card

by mnewsome / August 5, 2010 4:56 PM PDT

Have a Dell X1 Laptop that is in need of an OS reinstall. BIOS order was set to point to an external CD drive but boot up goes straight to the Windows desktop. The CD drive is seen when Windows is launched. I am looking for an alternate path to get a new OS on this machine.

Would like to try booting from a NIC card but can not find a complete article on how to proceed. I find that the onboard NIC boot option can be set. Have never booted to a NIC card but the BIOS has been set for this. Below is what I see when booting to an onboard NIC Card

The PXE environment states the following:

Broadcom UNDI PXE 2.1 v8.1.4

Broadcom basecode PXE 2.1 v.1.0.1

The last line shows the following:

Client MAC 00 12 3F 69 AE 3B

GUID 44454C4C 3300 105A 804C B7C04F4C3831


No Boot filename recieved

Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM

I have a working vista ultimate desktop, a 5-port router and write to inquire if the onboard NIC card be used to connect to the desktop and hopefully its CD drive. Seeking guidance on how to create a bootfile and set up all of these elements so that I can get windows XP installed on this laptop. I have exhausted all of the obvious options. Looking for options with regard to the NIC card boot

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NIC card booting requires a lot of work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 5, 2010 10:36 PM PDT

I wonder if you are willing to do all that. Example at

I bet you won't want to implement that.

This looks like the common old CD boot issue. Try the usual such as:

1. Clean the CD lens.
2. Duplicate the XP CD and try the duplicate.
3. Try a new CD drive.


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NIC Card Boot [continued]
by mnewsome / August 6, 2010 6:57 AM PDT

Not sure that I've communicated this well enough. The issue is NOT the devices i.e. USB, CD,etc. They each work flawlessly when connected to the same machine when windows is launched. My focus has now shifted to the PXE environment.

I would ask how to proceed from the following scenario:

Client MAC 00 12 3F 69 AE 3B

GUID 44454 3300 105A 804C B7C04F4C3831

No Bootfilename recieved


exiting Broadcom PXE ROM

The machine is searching for an IP address through a DHCP. What is neccessary to proceed from this point to connect to resources such as my router, vista ultimate desktop computer which has a CD drive.

What are the steps and reasoning behind what needs to follow here towards a NIC Boot=> XP installation. It is my hope that any replies address this alone.

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PXE can be ignored.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2010 8:57 AM PDT

It's simply telling you that you enabled the PXE boot in the bios. It is not useful except to distract you from your goals.

Let me be clear here. This is to be ignored. Or disabled. PXE booting is a non-issue. It may take 20 posts to get that out of the way but I'll keep trying if you will.

"What is neccessary to proceed from this point to connect to resources such as my router, vista ultimate desktop computer which has a CD drive."

We covered that. It takes a server to serve up an OS to the PXE boot and more. This is very unuseful since for far less time, effort we can fix the failing part of the machine.

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