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I want to try and setup a PXE boot server for a laptop that has a damaged hard drive. I have a custom built desktop with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and I want to make it my server so I can use my laptop to boot from an image. I have been looking all over the internet and could not find a clear article that shows step by step. I have heard of CCBoot but I am not sure how to use it. Can someone point me into the direction I need to go or show me an article?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You would need to setup a DHCP server for handling the assignment of the IP address to the laptop, and then set up a PXE server to handle the boot file transfers.

To do both of these functions, I would recommend you install TFTPD, available here:

Basic steps are:

  • Download and install TFTPD, and then add port 69 to the Windows Firewall exceptions list (Control Panel - Security - Firewall).

  • Assign your computer a static IP address.

  • Configure TFTPD with the bootfile location and DHCP range.

  • Connect the two computers with a crossover cable, or use a switch and patch cables.

  • Boot the laptop with the network boot (PXE) option enabled.

To boot a Windows image, I recommend Steve's answer: How to install Windows 7 from the network?

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Thanks! im looking into it now... – Moussa Harajli Mar 22 '13 at 22:49
That's okay. Please 'up vote' my answer if you've found it helpful. – Jake Elsley Mar 22 '13 at 22:50
This was my 3rd time on here so i dont have much rep all i could do was accept your answer. – Moussa Harajli Mar 23 '13 at 3:40
No problem - that's okay. – Jake Elsley Mar 23 '13 at 13:40
I don't have a crossover cable. Can I do it using my wifi router? It has DHCP I believe. (edit: oops, is that what you meant by "use a switch and patch cable"?) – André Neves Jul 24 '13 at 12:35

Just set up and configure WDS (Windows Deployment Services) and it automatically sets it all up for you. Just boot your client PC from LAN and it will automatically find the server and then boot from it. You can then choose what to install.

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WDS is severely limited when it comes to PXE booting non-Microsoft operating systems and should only be used for Windows environments, although you can install a completely different operating system from Windows PE.

TFTPD32/64 is a usefull tool if you can get it to work. It allows for a lot more flexibility but it requires some experimenting.

Personally like CCBoot a lot, since I also use VMWare to prepare installations, which images can be loaded as boot images.

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WDS is a windows server role that can accomplish what you are asking.

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please state on your answer at least the key requirements for the desired effect instead of just using the link as an answer. if the link ever gets broken, so does your whole answer. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 30 '13 at 17:59
@bob WDS does not work on Windows 7 Ultimate x64 as required by the question – Pat Apr 2 '13 at 23:11

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