PXE Boot using the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit

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PXE Boot using the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit

Postby jimc » 21 Feb 2010, 00:35

Server recovery is an advanced challenge, the Olympics of professional administration. You never know just how difficult the challenge will be until you’re deep in the fight, and the server tosses you the big obstacle. Success with server recovery is all about the options you have available in your toolbox. And one of the best to have is PXE Boot – Preboot eXecution Environment.

The typical scenario is you need to recover a Server without a CD-ROM drive. So you try to boot your USB Flash Drive, only to discover the server’s older generation BIOS doesn’t support boot from USB. Now what?

Enter PXE Boot

PXE was developed by Intel to standardize booting diskless systems and is common is systems made after 1999. Today, you’ll find PXE technology embedded in everything from Servers to Laptops, even Netbooks!

The idea of PXE is simple. A system at boot time requests an IP address and PXE details from the network DHCP server, then downloads the operating system from a TFTP Server. Once booted, the system would NFS mounts a network server for it’s applications.

Setting up a PXE Boot environment typically required you setup a pretty complicated series of services. In the past it meant configuring an NFS Server, a TFTP Server, and making changes to the company DHCP server to respond with PXE boot details. This could take most of the day just trying to sort out the details – all the while, your Server Recovery project is stalled.

With the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit, there’s no need to waste your time configuring PXE. Armed with a copy of the CnSRK you can have a PXE Boot Server setup in less than 5 minutes.

To PXE Boot your Server, you’ll need three things

1) The Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit (any build after Feb-20th, 2010)
2) A Laptop
3) And an Ethernet crossover cable

Here are the steps to creating your PXE Boot environment

Step 1 – Insert your CnSRK into your laptop, and boot up

Step 2 – Assign an IP Address to your laptop
Code: Select all
   System / Preferences / Network Connections
   Select ‘Auto eth0’, Click Edit
   Click ‘IPv4 Settings’ tab
   Click the ‘Method’ drop down, and select ‘Manual’
   In Addresses, enter
      Address   Netmask      Gateway
   Click Apply

Step 3 – Start DHCP Server
Code: Select all
   Applications / System Tools / GADMIN-DHCPD
   Click Activate button

Step 4 – Connect your crossover Ethernet between your Laptop and Server

Step 5 – Boot your Server
Note: Check your server’s BIOS to ensure Boot from PXE is enabled

That’s all there is to it – your Server is now booted and you can now get on with the real work of recovery.
Download your Free copy of the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit from http://www.kleobackup.net

DHCP Caveat

We recommend you not have your Laptop connected to your network while you are running PXE or it might interfere with your organization’s central DHCP server. When you connect the Ethernet crossover cable, make sure you disconnect any other network cables. You should also turn off your Laptop’s WiFi radio just to be safe.
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