[nSLUG] How to determine if NIC supports PXE boot?

Donald Teed dteed at artistic.ca
Tue Jan 13 10:14:22 AST 2004


A follow up on the PXE boot question.  I decided to test the support
of PXE by swapping the NICs between the machine that boots from PXE and
the one that doesn't.  The amazing discovery is that the machine with
the Intel NIC in it adds a new boot option under the Network
category for PXE.  When I go back to the SMC NIC, we have only
INT 18 Network as an option and no PXE boot option.

So it is pretty much all dependant on the NIC, since most motherboards
support the PC99 spec.

It also appears that most consumer level NICs do not support PXE.
This is supported in business computer models with integrated NICs
and those by Intel and perhaps 3COM.  Many NICs will support it
if you can find a boot rom to snap into the large blank inset you'll
notice on many NICs.

I'm buying an Intel NIC for home to do some development work.
I considered the suggested Intel Etherexpress PRO, but Intel's site
says it is not supported and not to expect future drivers for it.
It's a little overkill for my needs, but I decided on the
Intel Pro 1000 MT.

--Donald Teed


On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Donald Teed wrote:

> 
> I've done a little test that causes me more curiousity.
> 
> I have two machines I've tested on the same network with
> a working PXE Server.
> 
> One has an Intel PRO 100 adapter.  Under the Network section
> of the Boot options on the mobo BIOS, it has both INT 18 and
> PXE as network boot flavours.  When set to INT 18, it seems
> to fallback to the PXE network boot option and finds the
> PXE Server.
> 
> The other has an SMC EZ Card 10/100.  Under the Network section
> of the Boot options on the mobo BIOS, it has only INT 18 as
> an option.  When set to INT 18, it cannot find the PXE Server.
> 
> The motherboards are different as well, and I don't know whether the
> PXE boot option is coming from the mobo or NIC activating this
> boot option in the mobo.
> 
> --Donald Teed
> 
> 
> On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Donald Teed wrote:
> 
> > 
> > I need a NIC that supports PXE to develop/test disk imaging over the network
> > with udpcast.
> > 
> > I've been trying to make a machine boot pxelinux and not
> > even getting a blip in the DHCP logs.  It makes me wonder if
> > the NIC I have will support PXE.  The motherboard does say Network INT 18
> > is a boot option, but I wonder if my cheap Network Everywhere NC100 V2
> > is up to the task.  Looking at their website I don't see it in
> > the Specs or mentioned on the support page.  I also don't see any
> > mention of PXE in the boot up sequence as I have observed in an
> > IBM notebook which I am certain does support PXE bootup.
> > 
> > The blah-blah web articles discussing networking and PXE make it sound
> > like it should be widely supported (PC99 spec), but I'm now thinking 
> > that means on the motherboard level, not necessarily the NIC.
> > 
> > Does anyone have a tip on how to determine that PXE is supported
> > (both before or after purchase would be of interest)?
> > 
> > --Donald Teed
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > nSLUG mailing list
> > nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> > http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> > 
> > 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> 
> 




More information about the nSLUG mailing list