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Removable IDE Caddy & SATA Hard Disk Problem!

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March 8, 2006 8:27:22 PM

Hey all,

Here is my situation. We currently have 80 ACER Veriton 5700GX's here in 4 PC Labs. Each machine has a removable caddy bay for teaching purposes. Nearly every student is issued with a caddy. This is the first year we have been given these PC's last 3 years we were issued with 80 HP Vectra's which worked with caddy no problems.

Here is the current hard disk setup.
Channel 0 Master: IDE Caddy
Channel 0 Slave: DVD-Rom
Channel 1 Master: 80GB SATA HDD
Channel 1 Slave: NONE

Now, the way we wish for this to work, is when a student puts a caddy in the caddy bay we wish for the caddy hard disk to boot over the SATA hard disk. Obviously meaning that the IDE Caddy has a higher boot priority than the SATA. We have our BIOS's locked as we have a wide range of students at all different levels of knowledge. Which of course can be quiet damaging in a teaching environment.

Here is the problem. I can place a caddy in the first time, boots perfectly fine, no dramas. I can also remove the caddy and put 3 or more caddys in with different hard disks. Still not a problem, BUT the problem occurs when i place a caddy in, boot it, turn the machine off and remove the caddy then put another caddy (with the same model hard disk) or the same caddy back in the machine. After doing this you boot the machine up and it puts the SATA HDD as a higher priority than the IDE Caddy. This now means we have to manually change the boot order for the student, and this only works the once. Each time a student puts a caddy back in the machine it continues to place the SATA drive as the first bootable drive.

Has anyone got any idea's or maybe solutions? Or even had similar problems in the past? The only solutions i can think of is the following:

Changing the Serial ATA disk's all to IDE (Not exactly a cheap option).
Getting a Serial ATA Converter for the IDE Caddy's to convert the caddy to a Serial ATA connection (Allthough im not too sure this will fix it).
Replace all the IDE caddy's with Serial ATA Caddys (Again not a cheap option and may not work)
Replace all the IDE Caddy's with USB Caddy's (And of course once again no idea if this will work either)

Most of those solutions still come back to the fact that you need a Boot Order. And it seems that no matter how many times you save the boot order int he BIOS it will continue to reset as soon as the caddy is removed.

Any help on this matter would be greatly apreciated.

Regards.
March 13, 2006 7:43:21 PM

*Bump* Any1 have any ideas on this. Any input would be greatly apreciated this is a really important problem that needs to be solved ASAP.
March 13, 2006 7:56:27 PM

I know that the BIOS on different brands differs, but on my ASUS MBs, at least the last two I have owned, there are two places you need to notice in the BOOT submenu of the BIOS.

One (you apparently have found that one) is the BOOT ORDER. This is the one that keeps changing on you.

The other (if your BIOS offers it) is a separate item under the BOOT Submenu that allows you to add / remove (list) drives that show up in the BOOT ORDER list.

If you can remove the SATA drive from the List of Drives you want the BIOS to see as Boot Disks, then it will not appear in the list where you set Boot Order and you problem will be solved ... or at least it solved mine.
Related resources
March 13, 2006 8:41:54 PM

also try a bios flash

and just wondering why your students need to boot a seperate os? why cant they just have this ide caddy hdd with data on it? because having a copy of xp for all your labs comps and one for all the students I think would be costly (unless they run a free os).
March 13, 2006 9:10:31 PM

Try kda's idea. It sounds like its what you're looking for.

Also if the students just need data, issuing them flash drives might be a whole lot cheaper...
March 13, 2006 9:45:05 PM

I have an ASUS P4c800-E that exhibited the same behavior as you are describing after I updated the BIOS from 1016 to 1018. My solution was to go back to BIOS 1016. I'm sure you don't have the same mobo but i'm just throwing this out for thought.
March 14, 2006 12:55:44 AM

Being an IT delivery network we require the students to not just store data on the caddy's but to actually install different OS's and learn how to configure/manage them. Some students also work on projects which require different OS configurations (more so things like FreeBSD, Linux etc.) NOT just another copy of windows. The students data is stored on a network share mostly. Removing the SATA drive from being detected will not help as when a student removes the caddy we wish the machine to boot up as normal into its standard XP install (off the SATA drive). Not EVERY student uses caddys. Probably 60-80 of our 200 use caddys for work purposes.

The students can install directly onto the SATA disk but how-ever as i stated some students have projects or tasks's that take more than one lesson to complete. And we really dont have time for them to take a ghost image at the end of each lesson and then re-ghost at the start of each lesson to return the machine to the active state.

We are meeting with ACER Mid april to discuss the problem, but unfortionatly till then i would have liked to found a more permanent solution to the problem.

As for the 2 BIOS options, Let me explain the current setup.

First Boot Device: LAN
Second Boot Device: Floppy
Third Boot Device: CDRom
Boot From Other Devices: Enabled

Then in the boot priority sub-menu we have
Chan1: WD######## (WD SATA Drive)
Chan0: CADDY-HARD-DISK-WHEN-INSERTED
Other Bootable Add-In Devices

^^^^ This menu is what we have to manually change, and as i said the very first time you stick a caddy in it boots it above the Sata. As soon as you remove and re-insert the caddy it gives the SATA priority over it again.

Here is some information i have gathered about the current BIOS im running.

Pheonix Award BIOS 2.3

Mother Board Manafacture: Acer
Mother Board ID/Product Name: F90M
SysBIOS Version: 6.00 PG
SysBIOS ID: R01-C2
BIOS Release Date: Sep 1, 2005

Also in reply to flash drives being a cheaper option. as it stands we have all the equipment needed for the students. we have had for years and used in the older systems for the past 2 years. We have the 80 Hard disks's needed also. At a last resort we will look at using USB Caddy's but i believe we will get the same problems as we have now, as even when you put a USB HDD in it gives the SATA more priority.
March 14, 2006 1:28:07 AM

Here is what you said you have.

First Boot Device: LAN
Second Boot Device: Floppy
Third Boot Device: CDRom
Boot From Other Devices: Enabled

Then in the boot priority sub-menu we have
Chan1: WD######## (WD SATA Drive)
Chan0: CADDY-HARD-DISK-WHEN-INSERTED
Other Bootable Add-In Devices

How important is it to boot from Floppy (for example)? Is that something you do a lot or even at all? Can you get your Caddy HD up in the top three .... say as second boot device or even first boot device? Or make it first and then work down your list?
March 14, 2006 1:33:57 AM

try changing first boot device to something other then lan like hard disk mabey....
March 14, 2006 1:45:07 AM

We do use LAN as primary boot (as we run PXE for ghosting our machines). We also boot to floppy disks and CDRoms very often in nearly all classes as they learn how to create bootable disk's aswell as ghosting manually using DOS and many other combination of things.

I tried chaning the first or second boot device how ever the BIOS only gives the option for "HardDisk" Unfortionatly it does not ask WHICH hard disk we wish to use. So once again it falls back onto the Hard disk boot priority menu as i explained in last post.

We do have a boot menu we can use if we hit F12 which allows us to choose which device we wish to boot from BUT. The stupid thing is this option gets passworded when you lock down and password your BIOS.. I think thats stupid!!! Bloody Acer!!
March 14, 2006 5:21:51 PM

I'm just going to throw this out - don't quote me on it... unless its solves your problem :p 

Here's what sounds like the problem is - once you remove the caddy, the SATA drive takes priority (obviously because there's no IDE).
The problem is when you put the same model of IDE back into the caddy. At this point, it seems the BIOS recognizes it as the model that was taken out. If the BIOS IDE is set manually, then it thinks its the same HDD, so it tacks it into the 2nd position of the boot order (HDD). Or this might be the case if the BIOS isn't set to figure out who's who on startup.
But if its not the same model, it recognizes that it needs to reinitialize the boot order and does so, giving the IDE priority.
I'm guessing that you have the BIOS set to auto-detect since you use different models of HDDs. Is the SATA set to auto-detect too? You might want to try turning off Quick Boot or any faster booting options...
March 14, 2006 10:24:03 PM

going back to thinking why not change the local hard drive boot.ini to point first record to your caddy and then give it like 20 seconds timesout so people can chose caddy or the local drive.
March 14, 2006 10:32:59 PM

Will that boot a FreeBSD or Linux OS though? I always thought that would boot a windows install yes, But not sure about booting other OS's?
March 14, 2006 10:58:17 PM

Quote:

We do have a boot menu we can use if we hit F12 which allows us to choose which device we wish to boot from BUT. The stupid thing is this option gets passworded when you lock down and password your BIOS.. I think thats stupid!!! Bloody Acer!!



yeah it really sounds like Acer is to blame here, that was what I was just about to suggest. Back in the old DOS days I wrote a batch file to give you various options on boot up.

I haven't done this in ages so I am not sure if it would work with your conglomeration of OS's that you need to boot from. I would think batch files would work with Windows but not sure since DOS is no longer used. It might be something worth looing into and maybe not.

It sounds like Acer needs to take the password off of this boot menu and seperate it from the BIOS.
March 14, 2006 11:53:07 PM

Some systems have a bios boot menu you can get by hitting some key combo F10, etc. If they have that option, just have the students hit that whenever they boot and choose the right drive.
March 15, 2006 12:38:19 AM

Quote:
We do have a boot menu we can use if we hit F12 which allows us to choose which device we wish to boot from BUT. The stupid thing is this option gets passworded when you lock down and password your BIOS.. I think thats stupid!!! Bloody Acer!!


Thanx for the suggestion Michaelahess but as i stated earlier this menu is passworded with the same password as the BIOS, if we were to give the students the password to this menu. we would also be giving them the password to the BIOS, which as i said we arnt really in a position to do so. As a student may not be able to do much damage. I still do not wish to create more work for myself by letting students play with any/all of the BIOS options. This could potentially disrupt service for some of our students.

pip_seeker, Yes it apears this BIOS has been written specifically for ACER. We will be bringing all these points up with ACER in our meeting next month. It apears there is no other option. DOS menu's do sound like a good idea.

Infact as i write this you triggered another idea in my head, based on a similar idea of writing DOS menus'. Im using the PXELINUX/SYSLINUX software which i have setup a system to ghost via network without using floppy disks. This software allows you to write both Simple Menus and Advanced Menu's. Advanced menu's are developed in something like C/C++. But i do remmember seing a feature where i can specify a Hard disk and a Partition to boot from. ie: hda0 partition1 or hda1 partition4. I may also look into using this to solve our problem as i should be able to do this without any problems.

If any1 has any more suggestions would be greatly apreciated. But it does apear we have crossed nearly every possible solution to this problem.

Nobly: as you put in your statement you are pretty much correct. Except one thing, After the SATA puts it self at the top (the first time) ti doesnt matter which model hard disk you place in after that it wont care. So for the first boot, you can put 3 types of hard disks in no problems. But once you use the same hard disk model twice, it puts the SATA over the IDE and keeps it there!
March 15, 2006 1:35:49 AM

It should let you set a user level and system level, the system level will lock out the bios, but the sys level should allow the boot menu. That's how my asus boards work at least.
March 15, 2006 2:15:32 AM

come to think of it there should be a key like f9 or f11 that allows them to access just a boot menu and chose boot median.
March 15, 2006 2:43:25 AM

That's exactly what I'm talking about! :D 
March 15, 2006 7:46:23 PM

Thats what im talking about aswell. And trust me, its passworded. We have set 2 passwords, one for the System BIOS which allows you to enter and modify the settings, also a user level password which allows them to view the bios but not make any changes. The boot menu only accepts the System BIOS password, not the user password. its F12 on these machines, and i can use that option fine with the System BIOS password as stated.

On boot up i hit F12, It asks for a password. if i enter "hello" (user password) it reply's. "Non System Superviser Password, Skipping!" and boots normaly. If i enter the System Superviser BIOS Password it then allows me to choose which median i wish to boot from, ie: CDRom, LAN, Floppy, HDA1, HDA2 etc..
March 15, 2006 8:59:34 PM

Man, that's crappy, I'd say you'll have to wait for them to fix that, I can't think of anything else that would work.
March 15, 2006 9:59:35 PM

haha Tell me about it, Only solution i can see is that ACER get the BIOS recoded so that it does not password the bootmenu, Or even accepts the User Level password to enter the bootmenu. Its gay!
March 15, 2006 11:22:41 PM

Any Idea what motherboard it uses, maybe you could flash it with a consumer bios?
March 15, 2006 11:42:24 PM

Another idea just to throw out:
Probably not the most practical, but you might try getting a SATA to IDE converter and trying to see if the caddy will be cognized correctly. Hopefully since it'll be onthe same SATA controller as the other drive, it might work.

Then you can send the bill to Acer! :wink:
Seriously, they're making you wait a whole month for support??? That really sucks! They should be jumping to meet your demands after you bought 80 of those things.
March 17, 2006 10:20:33 PM

haha sorry nobly i forgot to mention in my first post that i have actually tried this thinking exactly the same thing. But due to the Caddy's design i can not fit a IDE-to-SATA convertor on the pack of the caddy. You see, for the convertor to plug in correctly the IDE connector needs to be flush with the back of the caddy, But in this case the caddy has about 1mm overhang above the IDE connector. So the convertor doesnt actually plug in correctly. Just sorta sits half lop-sided, The bottom row of pins just connected and the top row not touching at all.. Then also the SATA convertor is too wide, Which means it overlaps with the main power input and wont let me plug the main power cable in..

Michaelahess ill found out the motherboard on monday. But i think its an ACER designed/built motherboard, Ill find out what chipset's they are using. But it does seem the BIOS itself was written for ACER, and most of the hardware has been developed by ACER only. Im guessing they got help for componants along the way. Ill find out anyway and re-post.
March 18, 2006 2:49:23 AM

well have you had any practice with a dremal
i mean they build those things so stinking big see if you can get it in there after disassembleing/hacking it away.
March 19, 2006 11:20:35 AM

have you had any success in creating a boot menu?

I managed to get the old batch editor to load from the comand prompt in windows 2000.

Just type at the comand prompt... Edit AUTOEXEC.bat and it will pop up so I think it could be done with an autoexec.bat file. It might require you to do some hunting on how to write them, but in the end this maybe what would work the best?

I learned how to write them through experimentation and a DOS for dummies book I bought eons ago. I can't say I remember much about it now. It looks like it should work though.

I did a google search for the heck of it and found this little gem... it will work with Windows2000, so it should work for XP as well, but it requires a registry hack. Anyway here's the link...

http://www.robvanderwoude.com/index.html


Edit: here's an even better link for what you are trying to do.

http://www.melbpc.org.au/pcupdate/8900/8909article3.htm
March 19, 2006 8:31:59 PM

Cool thanx!, This should help me with what i need. Allthough it still wont boot the BSD/Linux installs i doubt. With the PXE system i use SYSLINUX/PXELINUX this has an advanced menu system designed in C, It allows me to load specific Disks/Partitions regardless of what operating system it has loaded on it, I think i may try using this menu system first at it will boot any OS it has installed. For instance:

Ghost - NETWORKGHOST
Disk1 Boot - hda0 Part1
Disk2 Boot - hda1 part1

Im going to give this a go when i get a chance to. As much of a major priority this fix is for us, Its been slightly put on a back burner as i dont have time at the moment to try coding these new menu's.

If someone knows how i could boot a Linux/BSD install using a DOS menu that would be great, Or even booting a specific disk/partition would be even better.

In reply to hacking away at the caddy's, Yes we could try this.. BUT im sure the corperate department wont be happy :)  + 80 Caddys to hack at wont exactly be the most exciting job. But thats for the suggestions :) 
March 19, 2006 10:02:16 PM

Quote:


In reply to hacking away at the caddy's, Yes we could try this.. BUT im sure the corperate department wont be happy :)  + 80 Caddys to hack at wont exactly be the most exciting job. But thats for the suggestions :) 



never said hacking away at caddys you said your sata-ide converters wont fit in caddys i am susgesting tou disassemble one of the converters.
March 19, 2006 10:21:26 PM

O sorry i did miss-read your post. I may take a look into this option, As you are right there is alot of what seems to be excess casing!.
March 19, 2006 11:14:24 PM

Quote:
Cool thanx!, This should help me with what i need. Allthough it still wont boot the BSD/Linux installs i doubt.


well I think it should, basically all a batch file is or does is enter keyboard commands you would enter normally. But with that said I don't know linux at all.

What if you used the autoexec.bat file to load as you described above and then have a choice to go to the linux menu and from there it could load linux? So the Linux option would more or less be a menu within a menu and the batch menu is just a link to that menu. It should work if I am not mistaken.
March 20, 2006 12:01:21 AM

Theres a problem there batch files are executed during the boot of the os the boot menu you would need to be in is pre os before the os takes over but after the bios hands it off
what your looking at is a routine set of commands now you should be able to use a boot loader called grub to load all your linux oses and then have a link in grub that leads to the windows boot loader but that is a complicated hook.
March 20, 2006 12:24:34 AM

Quote:
Theres a problem there batch files are executed during the boot of the os .


I don't think you understand what a boot menu is, or I am misunderstanding what you mean.

The whole purpose of a Batch menu is to load prior to any OS. The batch menu contains the PATH of each OS program or whatever you wish to load. So you would have to hack the registry to make it only go to the boot menu.

The boot menu appears and gives you a list of choices. By selecting whatever choice you want to load it then tells the computer the path to load that option. If you enter nothing then it just sits there with the batch menu displayed and nothing gets loaded because without the path the pooter doesn't know where to look. :wink:
March 20, 2006 2:24:29 AM

I think your misunderstanding the way a computer boots
1. bios loads settings from cmos and posts
2. searches first selected boot device for a mbr this points to boot loader
3. mbr takes over and load boot loader
4. this calls upon a settings file weather boot.ini or what ever grub uses to get paths
5. executes os from path
6. hands system control over to os as it boots


there is no autoexec.bat or batch files in general.... you dont execute any real commands the bootload takes care of that
autoexec.bat is executed by dos-windowsxp and thats done right after the system gains control of all the devices which is to late for the os to be cosen because the os is hooked into the system.
March 20, 2006 2:44:43 AM

Pip_seeker, sahmoo is right, though I do believe that you can load lilo or grub from a fat16 partition (or load up linux and tell it where windows is so it goes in the mbr directly), so making a small partition there first then telling lilo/grub where to boot, whether windows or linux, might work, except that the mbr would change when the boot device changes. Thus this idea is dead in the water as far as I can deduce.
March 20, 2006 2:50:10 AM

lilo or grub will boot linux or if specified boot the windows mbr which will then boot windows regularly.
March 20, 2006 4:06:25 PM

Quote:
I think your misunderstanding the way a computer boots
1. bios loads settings from cmos and posts
2. searches first selected boot device for a mbr this points to boot loader
3. mbr takes over and load boot loader
4. this calls upon a settings file weather boot.ini or what ever grub uses to get paths
5. executes os from path
6. hands system control over to os as it boots


there is no autoexec.bat or batch files in general.... you dont execute any real commands the bootload takes care of that
autoexec.bat is executed by dos-windowsxp and thats done right after the system gains control of all the devices which is to late for the os to be cosen because the os is hooked into the system.


Well how old are you? The reason I ask is that autoexec.bat was used back in the day of the DOS based systems, but it still can work today.

The hack starts from your point number 4 and loads the batch menu, then it will go no farther until the user makes a selection because the paths are stored in the Batch Menu. This works with windows, the only thing I don't know is if it works with linux, but if linux has a boot menu I would think you could have the batch menu point to this menu and it should work.

But like I said before you have to hack the registry to do it. Autoexec.bat is the old way windows used to load prior to WinXp... so yes pull out the history book and you'll see I am right.

Edit: I am sure it's very similar as to how a boot manager software would work. That is the approach you must take to make it work. Also Win2000 and WinXp I am sure would do the same thing if you try to install them in a seperate partition on a system with Win9x already installed. The only difference it make the boot menu for you. Win9x doesn't have that ability.
March 20, 2006 6:59:25 PM

I've used DOS since version 3.3 and I know more about batch programming than anyone I've ever met (might not be saying much :)  ) But there's still a problem with the boot device changing to begin with. You'd have to have the same boot loader, setup identically on both drives, for your idea to work. Whether it's a config/autoexec setup or a boot loader like ntldr, lilo, grub, etc. I don't think that's a feasible option unless I'm getting this whole idea discombobulated in my brain :) 

Also, you wouldn't want to use the reg hack for 2k/xp cause it still starts ntldr so you'd be doubling up boot loaders. It'd be easier to just change the boot.ini file or rewrite the mbr with a 9x mbr and use OS commander or whatever it's called.

Am I the only one that thinks this thread is getting too complicated here? :D 
March 20, 2006 7:48:25 PM

yeah well I never said it would be easy, it's all Acer's fault for slaughtering the stupid bios anyhow.

It's been so long since I even worked with this caveman tool that I probably should have just dropped it.

I know it would require some reworking and I admittedly forgot about the boot ini file. Anyways I thought it might have been a worthwhile suggestion originally, but maybe not. I am not a linux guru that's fer sure.

If it was just needing to boot to windows OS's it would be much easier.
March 20, 2006 9:09:54 PM

Quote:
how old are you? The reason I ask is that autoexec.bat was used back in the day of the DOS based systems, but it still can work today.

The hack starts from your point number 4 and loads the batch menu, then it will go no farther until the user makes a selection because the paths are stored in the Batch Menu. This works with windows, the only thing I don't know is if it works with linux, but if linux has a boot menu I would think you could have the batch menu point to this menu and it should work.


i am 16 but im very good with computers but you are right dos did use autoexec.bat but it still gets run after the hand over from the bootloader to the os or dos takes place.
March 20, 2006 10:08:11 PM

Well, at least we're trying ideas here, doesn't matter if they don't fit, it might stimulate someone else to come up with a solution. Like boycott ACER! :D 
March 20, 2006 11:12:57 PM

well I did another search and look at how easy it is to do this booting to 2 winxp disks and 1 win2000 disk. Simple as shake n bake! [an I helped] :p 

Quote:
Edit the C:boot.ini file by adding the bold line.
Change the timeout from 0 to 10 (seconds) or however many seconds you want to see the menu.
If the directory is "Windows", change WINNT accordingly


[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINNT="C-drive Windows XP" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)WINNT="X-drive Windows 2000 Pro" /fastdetect


The numbers behind multi and disk are normally (0)
rdisk(0) is master HD on primary IDE, (rdisk always starts at (0))
rdisk(1) is slave HD on primary IDE
rdisk(2) is master HD on sec. IDE
rdisk(3) is slave HD on sec. IDE

partition(1) is first partition of that disk, (partition always starts at (1))
partition(2) = second, etc.



http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic19747.html
March 26, 2006 9:56:45 PM

Ok well it seems this has brought up some major points hahaha. Anyway just to give you guys an update of where i am at. I have found a temporary solution that seems to work ok.

Using GAG http://gag.sourceforge.net/ i have setup a floppy disk that boots from the caddy partition. This seems to boot both FreeBSD and Windows install's fine. also USB Key's/Caddy's. But i cannot boot Fedora Core unfortionatly it reads it as a non-bootable partition. Rather odd.

The floppy disk was then coppied to a .img file and now pushed over PXE at boot time. So a user just has to type "menu" at the "boot:" prompt on PXE Boot and it will push the GAG floppy disk over to their machine and bingo they have a bootable caddy by-passing the bios's settings.

Has anyone used other alternatives to GAG? I believe GAG is booted based on the IDE Channel you select as aposed to booting a specific OS.
March 26, 2006 11:02:11 PM

what are you using pxe im looking into something like that and i would like to know a little bit more about it.
March 27, 2006 8:47:21 PM

I searched around for ages and found loads of different information. But the best system i have found is Zaptor's Syslinux package which also includes PXELinux. Works really great i have this installed on a FreeBSD Machine with the following packages:

ISC-DHCP
tftp-hpa - FTFP Server
SysLinux-PXELinux

I found some great examples and documentation here: http://www.isgsp.net/freebsd/pxe.html

And he has included his files that he used: http://www.isgsp.net/files/pxe.tar.gz

On that site he talks about using "PXE 1.4.2 (It's a port)" I did not do this step. It did not seem to work at all for me so i left it out. Installing all the other 3 packages works perfectly for me.

http://syslinux.zytor.com/pxe.php << this is the syslinux homepage where u will find the syslinux package.

Note: i had some problems with some floppy disk images. It apears that the 4-in-1 disk i was using would not load via PXE. I recommend using Bart's Boot Disk for a trial run as i know this works perfectly straight out of the box.

Good luck, if u wish to talk further about it my MSN and email address is: franga60@hotmail.com

*edit* Just to let you know i have successfuly done the following via PXE:
setup a auto-ghost disk for 80 machines so that you only need to type "g" and the machine will ghost back to our standard image.
I have also managed to use GAG (menu boot) over PXE
Aswell as successful Fedora Core install's using no CD's via PXE.

works great :) 
March 27, 2006 10:31:37 PM

very cool
here is something you might be intrested in
netbootdisk.com
tons of drivers.
able to mount drives
March 27, 2006 10:40:46 PM

Yes this is the disk i was talking about, This one fails to load over PXE. I have not worked out why, Something to do with the way this disk uses the ram drive. It sends the disk via PXE then hangs just as it starts to run the first files.

command line: initrd=images/c201.img BOOT_IMAGE=memdisk
Disk is floppy, 1440 K, C/H/S = 80/2/18
Total size needed = 1491 bytes, allocating 2K
Old dos memory at 0x9f000 (map says 0x9f400), loading at 0x9e800
1588: 0xffff 15E801: 0x3c00 0x3e66
INT 13 08: Success, count = 1, BPT = f000:98a9
old: init13 = f0008590 init15 = f000f859
new: init13 = 9e800008 init15 = 9e80027c
Loading boot sector... booting...
Starting Windows 98...

Windows is bypassing your startup files.

Microsoft(R) Windows 98
(C)Copyright Microsoft Corp 1981-1999

A:>

When it should have loaded into my auto ghost script and ghosted the machine. U can check the thread out here:

http://syslinux.zytor.com/archives/2006-February/006532...

Thanx for the site though. It is a good boot disk. We used this disk before we implemented PXE, each machine had a seperate floppy for ghosting. Which sucked!
March 28, 2006 12:25:49 PM

i use it to load moo 3.1 a very good menu system for dos then we pull are images from there.
April 5, 2006 11:25:13 PM

Got a link? Most google search brings up Moo for MUD. lol.
!