LAN Boot ROMs?

Discussion in 'BIOS Optimization Guide (BOG)' started by The_YongGrand, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Oh, I don't know whether this question actually belong to this section...

    I heard that you can boot through LAN cards, if you have a LAN ROM. Is it? Let's say if the whole operating system is down or whatever it is, and then boot thru LAN will be much faster compared to booting thru Floppy disk.

    Is that the way it works? Or is it some kind of professional diskless workstation? Please advise. :D
  2. Bestia(ry)

    Bestia(ry) Mac'ster

    ThinClient/Terminal-usage .. I dun think you'll ever need it. ^^
  3. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    But I heard that you can have your own little operating system in the LAN Boot ROM. So I don't have to use boot disks at all?

    And the procedure of starting the LAN Boot ROM is very difficult. I don't know where to start as these flashing utilities are extremely rare and all I get is a jargon when search Internet for that.

    BTW, what's the Thin Client/Terminal usage thingy?

    I would like to try these LAN boot stuff as I'm very curious. :D
  4. Phut

    Phut Newbie

    The whole lan/boot rom first needs an EEPROM that sticks into a socket on the network card (depending on your card)

    The EEPROM is extremely small, and the most you can do is set up a route for the computer to retrieve information for boot from a remote computer.

    Hence computers that operate in this way are called "thin clients" because with this system the client only needs hardware to run off a remote system.

    A true thin client, however, doesn't even run applications by itself. A host server running a multiuser operating system, such as Linux, does all the processing, while the thin client only relays the user input information and the server sends the outputs to the client's screen, etc.

    These are normally used in places where a large amount of information must be accessed almost simultaneously, however the information between the client accessing them must be in sync at all times, and also sometimes for cost reasons its easier to deploy thin clients and spend more on the main machine.

    Such systems are common for point-of-sale terminals, and callcentre terminals. A home user will generally never use this function unless you need a bunch of computers however have one awesome computer but the others are computers like pentium 100's and stuff.

    P.S and EEPROM is basically a memory chip. Usually around 256KBs in size
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  5. Bestia(ry)

    Bestia(ry) Mac'ster

    I could not have said it better. :thumb: ^^
  6. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Yah, I just ripped out a good BIOS chip (I think it's EEPROM) from a motherboard and stick it onto the Realtek 8139 Network card.

    However, this is very strange. The system cannot boot from LAN or cannot even detect anything about this at all.

    I tried using the flash utility provided by Realtek, but the flash chip did not even budge even flashing it a million times.

    I read all the procedures and they are darn complex. Apparently I should know a lot about Linux before ever doing that. My big mistake. :wall:

    The worse thing is I don't even know how to mount it or something. Don't you have all the simple procedures to follow?

    And I heard that you can mount DOS into the LAN boot Rom. Is that true. I'm very confused as I'm new in this section. :D
  7. Phut

    Phut Newbie


    Generally speaking BIOS chips are EEPROMS but some of them can be other types of ROMS which are not compatible with the EEPROM system. Also, it may come as fairly obvious but make sure that you inserted the ROM chip in to correct orientation or else the ROM wont work.

    You also need to setup the BIOs so that in the boot procedures it will look for a LAN boot ROM, should say something like an INT18 device or a PXE ROM.

    I have never used or tried the functions on any cards whatsoever so I cannot really help you much more.

    I'm guessing as long as you have enough space in the ROM to put DOS into it you can indeed put DOS onto the ROM. Its sounds as though the flash image provided by Realtek is a very slimmed down UNIX kernel, enough to mount a network disk and boot from it.

    I can't really think of a simple explanation of "mounting", but it is sort of preparing the target drive for access by the operating system.

    The procedures to mount and unmount drives in Linux involve using a function called umount from the console. However I would believe in the boot rom you'd need to use some network file system stuff, which is beyond my knowledge.

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