Short question: I need to use a laptop that the hard drive connector is broken with Linux or Windows by booting through the network cable.

Full question and background:

We have 2 desktop systems and 3 Laptops (Dell, Large Acer, and a Small Acer). My kids use the laptops the most. One of hard drives crashed (large Acer) and another the bottom case fell off the small Acer and the drive swung loose on its cable. So my son pulled the drive and placed it in the large Acer. I ordered a replacement drive and system disks from Acer. Then I found that the cable broke a couple of pins in the little Acer and cannot use the hard drive.
I purchased half a laptop from EBay (only motherboard and half the case) a year ago. I purchased memory, a keyboard, a 120 GB SSD, and a USB3 PCMIA card. This system runs Linux Ubuntu server 14 with my 6.5Tb external drive and hosts my personal files, media, MySQL, UTorrent, and a Webserver for me to learn PHP.
I found a tutorial and setup a PXE boot with NFS and TFTP routed through my router (router uses DD-WRT). (http://www.serenux.com/2011/04/howto-create-a-diskless-workstation-that-boots-from-pxe-using-ubuntu/). The laptop boots and will run Ubuntu desktop through an network wire however I cannot get it to connect to the internet though I understand that the wire might not work but when I try and connect with the wireless adaptor for internet it will not accept my network. So I decided to look into Windows 7 since I found another tutorial (http://windowsdisklessaoe.wordpress.com/). This one uses Windows servers though. I am happy with my server setup as it is now it streams video to my raspberry pi and an android TV stick both running XBMC and my other systems.
Any help in either connecting to the internet with Linux or a windows boot from a Linux server would be greatly appreciated.


eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr b8:70:f4:ef:59:55  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::ba70:f4ff:feef:5955/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:367213 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:222810 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:1
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:481273230 (481.2 MB)  TX bytes:23550846 (23.5 MB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
          RX packets:183 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:183 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:13297 (13.2 KB)  TX bytes:13297 (13.2 KB)

wlan2     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 60:d8:19:1a:76:1e  
          inet6 addr: fe80::62d8:19ff:fe1a:761e/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

  • When you PXE boot to Ubuntu can you run ifconfig and post up the results? You should have an entry for eth0...
    – Kinnectus
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:05
  • I added the ifconfig
    Jul 28, 2014 at 20:23
  • Is a valid IP for your LAN?
    – Kinnectus
    Jul 28, 2014 at 20:34
  • yes it is. the computer will boot from eth0 but cannot connect to the internet either through eth0 or wlan2
    Jul 28, 2014 at 20:36
  • Go into Ubuntu network manager and check your network config to see if your router IP is added as a gateway. You may want to try a static IP, subnet and gateway IP. Set the Ubuntu IP just outside your DHCP range.
    – Kinnectus
    Jul 28, 2014 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


Use could try using gpxe which is a network bootloader, which works by mapping a network drive (eg: iSCSI) as a boot drive to install and boot Windows or Linux over the network

Check it out here http://etherboot.org/wiki/index.php

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