Have you ever thought about that computers without boot device can still be booted? Let me speak in more detail. Many computer machines have no CD/DVD-ROM drives or USB ports in the same room, but they can be booted normally. Why and how? This article will tell you the answer.
First, you should know what is PXE boot. PXE means preboot execute environment. It is an amazing technology developed by Intel. Its work mode is server/client. Server can also be said as Master. Above mentioned many computers in the same room, they are clients, there must be a server machine within the same LAN. The complete workstation contains server and clients, so that client computers can be booted over network, during the process of booting, clients require server assigned IP addresses, then use TFTP or MTFTP to download a bootable software package in local machine to commit. Thanks to some advance settings in this package, the operating system in the client machine will be booted. Now with PXE, there are many operating systems can be booted. For example: Windows95/98/2000, Windows 2003, windows 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Linux, etc.
It sounds very complicated, in fact that was not the case. Few settings can achieve this. Now with the help of a free tool – AOMEI PXE Boot, things becomes much more easier. The most obvious advantages of it I think are free and usability. It is especially applicable for Windows PE, which is very useful to debugging and metal recovery.
How to use AOMEI PXE Boot?
In general, first steps are download(from official website always preferred), install and run. The installation package is only 5 MB, which won’t spend you much time. Apply the program, you can see its cool main interface as the following picture:
Two options and only one button! You can imagine how it is easy to use. Forget to say, the software should be installed on the server machine. Choose either location to boot from. Then the “Start Service” button will become yellow, click it to go.
Because AOMEI PXE is a single tool, so if you choose the first option, there will be a pop-up window ask you to download AOMEI PE Builder or backup utility – AOMEI Backupper. Right, AOMEI PXE Boot tool is deriving from AOMEI Backupper.
By the way, AOMEI Backupper is a full-scale backup and restore program, there are also many other utilities in it, such as create bootable media, check image, explore image, merge images, export/import configuration, view log, etc.
After clicking “Start Service”, you can see the follow image. Then there are two selections: wait or stop.
It’s time to set on clients within LAN for network boot. Open client computers, before entering system, press specific hotkey to enter BIOS (usually, hotkey is F8 or DEL, it depends on what computer model you use), then enable “Network Boot” in the BIOS setting.
All is OK, you can see the following screenshot, this means your computer is booting from PXE network. You may need to wait for a few minutes depending on the speed of network and the size of bootable image file.
Back to the master computer, you can see the connection has been succeed.
There are some tips should be noted:
- You may need to wait 3~5 minutes for the PXE boot process.
- All computers that are applied with PXE will be same network segment.
- If there are too many computers such as 100 computers to connect server, the speed of network will be slow. Thus, you should divide network into group so as to boost the network loading.
More tips please visit this link. Good luck.