Introducing PXE Boot
Usually, when a computer fails to boot, the method to resolve this is using a bootable CD, DVD or USB memory stick, which may contain a Linux based boot image or a Windows PE boot image. When we need to install or run software on too many computers, for example, there are 100 computers that need to have system installed or run on, it becomes impractical and very time consuming to do this machine by machine. In this case, there also be machines that do not have a CD drive or cannot boot from a USB device.
What is the easiest way to solve this problem?
In such a scenario, the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool can provide the solution. The only thing you should do is to run the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool on one computer (maybe a server) within the LAN, and boot other computers (some clients or target computers) on the network.
About AOMEI PXE Boot Tool
The AOMEI PXE Boot Tool can boot many computers on the network from a centralized boot image held on the designated server machine. Broadly speaking, You can create a Windows PE boot image using AOMEI PE Builder software or with a third party tool, also, you can easily create a bootable Linux image or Windows PE image file with the tool provided within AOMEI Backupper.
You can use the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool and make other clients or target computers boot from these images. After booting, you can backup, restore or maintain the client machines with tools offered with the image file.
IMPORTANT COMPATIBILITY NOTES
To use a PXE boot, each client computer must have:
1. A network card (NIC) capable of “Wake on LAN” mode.
2. The network card must support PXE booting.
3. A wired Ethernet connection to the network (WI-Fi wireless networking is not supported).
The Advantages of the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool
Comparing with other PXE tools standard features, AOMEI PXE Boot Tool offers additional useful features:
The AOMEI PXE Boot Tool can directly create a Linux bootable ISO or Windows PE bootable ISO image file. Alternatively, you can create a bootable ISO file by using the AOMEI Backupper -> Utilities -> Create Bootable Media option.
If you want to use powerful Windows PE image with desktop, you can create an ISO file with AOMEI PE Builder, which is freeware offered by AOMEI, and then, you can use it with AOMEI PXE Boot Tool.
You don’t need to deploy other plug-ins or programs. Just install AOMEI Backupper and you have access to this powerful network administration feature
How to use the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool?
Start AOMEI PXE Boot Service
Step 1. Install AOMEI Backupper on a server or PC that can boot normally. Select “Tools” and then select “AOMEI PXE Boot Tool”.
Step 2. Choose the one of the Preboot Execute Environment to start your PC.
Boot from AOMEI Windows system: This is a recommended option, so the tool helps you to easily create a Windows PE system image for network boot.
Boot from AOMEI Linux system: This option can be useful for booting older or Linux based computers on the network.
Boot from a custom image file: You can load the special micro-system created by AOMEI PE Builder or Bart PE.
Step 3. After clicking “Start Service”, the AOMEI PXE Boot Tool will configure related data automatically and start the service to wait for target computers.
Setting Clients within LAN for Network Boot
Set client computers within LAN for network boot.
Power on the client computer while repeatedly pressing the required key to enter the computer’s BIOS (usually, the F2 or Del keys, but this depends on the PC manufacturer, so please check the documentation if needed), then enable “Network Boot” in the BIOS setting. If your computer is UEFI compatible, please make sure legacy boot mode is enabled.
Restart the client computer and enter the BIOS/UEFI screen in the same way as described above.
The following steps describe how to configure PXE network boot.
Boot mode selection
Click Bios Features -> CSM Support -> Boot Mode Selection, and press Enter in “Boot Mode Selection” and a pop-up window will appear, and you should choose “UEFI and Legacy” or “Legacy Only”.
Enable the PXE boot option
Choose “LAN PXE Boot Option ROM” with down arrow, and turn its status from “Disabled” to “Enabled”.
Set the PXE option as the first boot device
You can select “Boot Option # 1” in “Boot Option Priorities”, and then select “Realtek PXE B02 D00” as well as press Enter.
Alternative to setting the first boot device
You can also reboot the computer and hit a key (may be F12 or F11), then a window will pop-up below, and then select the first boot device: “Realtek PXE B02 D00” and press Enter.
Finally, you can see the following screenshot, this means your computer is booting from PXE over the network. You may need to wait for a few minutes depending on the speed of the network and the size of the bootable image file.
It may take a few minutes for the PXE boot process to complete.
All computers requiring PXE boot must be on the same network.
If there are many computers using PXE boot, the network speed may be impacted. It may be advisable to divide the PXE boot clients into smaller groups to boost network performance.
The AOMEI PXE Boot Tool can support booting UEFI machines currently but only the WIM file can be used for UEFI (not the ISO file). If the file is an ISO file, then it is suggested the computer boot mode is changed to “Legacy Boot Mode”.
The AOMEI PXE Tool contains a DHCP server that can be used if an existing DHCP server is not available. DHCP is usually offered by the LAN router.