Is it possible for me to install windows over network? how?

usually i install the OS from the optical drive but im planning to pick up this motherboard for my new desktop

now i don't have a desktop dvd drive, (been using my laptop for the last 4 yrs so i do have a laptop with a dvd burner).

so when i get my motherboard, can i set it to boot from network and install windows 7 using the dvd drive that is in my laptop? if yes, how would i go about doing this? what are the requirements? i have a linksys wrt45g router if it helps

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  1. Best answer
    You would need to set up a separate server to act as the boot source... far too much work to set up this way, and unless you have the proper networking hardware (i.e. a Gigabit link all the way through between your PXE server and the target system you are deploying Windows to), it's faster to install from an optical drive.

    Beyond that, it's actually faster to install from a usb flash drive (as opposed to an optical drive) anyway. If you have an ISO file of your Windows 7 dvd handy, you can use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (found at to create a bootable flash drive. The target flash drive must be at least 4GB in size.
  2. interesting

    i don't have a 4gb usb flash drive, however i do have an old 40gb gb hard drive and an old PATA drive enclosure with a usb connection. would i be able to boot from usb from my external harddrive (after loading the iso on it) and install windows from there?

    i am hoping the external hardddrive can be a substitute for a usb flash drive
  3. I've never actually attempted that, but I suppose it might work if set up correctly? The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool I mentioned above should be able to set up your external ide drive accordingly.
  4. so i dug out my drive and plugged it in and the tool doesn't detect my external HDD (even after i formatted with NTFS and exFAT)

    i was really hoping this would work, then i wouldn't have to get a dvd drive or a usb drive...

    are there any other ways to install windows without an optical drive?
  5. Nothing that would be as quick as installing from a flash drive or optical media...
  6. ok i installed windows 7 with my cd drive, here is my solution

    install windows xp, then copy the contents of the windows 7 dvd onto my hard drive and install windows 7. no dvd drive required.

    hopefully others who do not want to purchase yet another dvd drive will find this helpful
  7. DVD drives are dirt cheap anyway. I don't know why you went to the trouble of your method above instead of dropping $20 for a drive that will read your disk. The new drive is probably better anyway.
  8. i would rather get a blu-ray drive :)
  9. You can do that with Serva
    you'll save a lot of time and installs everything ...
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