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

Donald Teed dteed at artistic.ca
Tue Jan 13 21:28:24 AST 2004


Generally speaking, nothing in the NICs you will find in places
such as Staples will come with a boot rom chip or similar
logic built into the NIC.  They are cheap NICs for home and small
business users who have no need of network booting.

Yes, many of the NICs have a small socket that could take
a boot rom.  In the case of my 3COM905-TX, the vendor states
that this NIC supports PXE booting, and yet there is a blank
socket there and the flash software for 3COM's MBA complains
that the boot rom isn't present.  I suspect newer network
cards have this integrated without the socket - the Intel
PRO 100 I saw doesn't have anything like that and yet supports PXE.

--Donald Teed


On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Logan Attwood wrote:

> Does it have a boot rom on it? If so, it will work.
> 
> If it doesn't have a boot rom, it will appear to have a socket, very 
> reminisent of cache sockets from PII days.
> 
> 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
> > 
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