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I am completely lost here. I'm trying to install linux onto a very old laptop that has no CD drive and won't boot from USB. My only option is a network (PXE) boot. Except... I have no idea how to setup the required tftp server. I tried using tftpd32 on Windows; the laptop seems to connect but then it says

PXE-E53 No boot file name received.

And then reboots. I have the required files in the tftpd folder and I have the boot file name in correctly, but it doesn't seem to be working. Is there another way I can do a network boot? Different program? Anything?

I've googled a million different tftp tutorials and they all use tftpd32 and all of them make no sense to me.

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Did you set the correct DHCP settings (server and filename)? – ZippyV Jan 30 '12 at 20:21

While not a direct answer to the QUESTION ASKED, this is a solution to the problem at hand. I think the easier way to do this would be to install the drive from the laptop into a machine that DOES have CD and install your linux onto the drive that way. Once installation completes, remove the drive from the machine and put it back into the older computer. Ubuntu and it's derivatives are quite versatile. You should have very little, if any, problems when you boot up the installation on the new hardware, the environment should re detect the hardware and adjust accordingly. Would be MUCH less of a headache than trying to get a PXE boot to work.

This is how I would do it placed in your situation. I have moved installs of Linux Mint (ubuntu spin off) from computer to computer on a hard drive for testing purposes with no issues.

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I've managed to get it to boot from floppy, in which I installed a bootloader that would allow me to boot from USB (It's called PLOP Boot Manager), and now the OS is installed and running fine. Thanks for the help though. – Jon Jan 31 '12 at 23:00

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