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Installing a PXE server 



What does a PXE server do?
A PXE server is a kind of NAS (network attach storage) on which you can put software.
From there, you can install the software on a PC or laptop.
Operating Systems, Windows 10, a Server edition, etc.
By starting up a PC or laptop with PXE and changing the BIOS settings, the PC or laptop will find the PXE server when it is connected to the network of that server.
On that PC or laptop you will see the menu of that PXE server with the software that is present.
For example, by choosing Windows 10 it will be installed via the network.
You can also install a PC or laptop without having to open the machine.
There is no need to remove the hard disk.

First the (stable) Server 2008R2 needs to be installed.
You could also try it with Server 2016 or 2019.
The trial ISO 2008R2 can be used 180 days for free and therefore no activation code is needed.
More than enough to learn how to install it.
To install a PXE server you need 3 hours or more, depending on the software you want to put on it.

For that PXE server you also need the program Serva v2.1.4
Download the free 64 bits version Serva_Community_v2.1.4

The limitation is that it takes 7 sec. before booting up and after booting up, you can use Serva for up to 50 minutes, and then you have to boot it up again.

More than enough to install a program.
You can also buy the Pro version for 70 euros.


Installation

  • Install Server2008R2

    After installation:
    Turn off the firewall.
    Type in the searchbox: firewall and turn it off


    Check firewall status


    Turn Windows Firewall on or off


    Type network in the searchbox

  • Click on network and sharing center

    Change advanced sharing settings


  • Network discovery should be on.
    Also the other options.
    Password option off
    Then you can check whether network discovery has stayed on.
    If not, change that.
    If it keeps jumping back to off  
    Type in the search box: services.msc 

    There must be 3 services on automatic.
    Probably they are on manual.
    1) Function Discovery resource 
    2) SSDP discovery 
    3) UpNp device host

    You have to set it to automatic and start it up.
    Then check whether network discovery is switched on or not.

        Install Firefox or Chrome and also 7zip and Search Everything
       

  • Download Serva free 
  • Create a folder on D:\ with the name  SERVA_ROOT
    And a folder Serva


    Create a folder on D:\ called SERVA_ROOT.
    And a folder Serva

  • Click on Serva64 which should be on the desktop.
    Windows FireWall can give a warning, allow Serva to open ports (!).
    Then you have not disabled the firewall. Turn it off.
    In Serva: click on Settings in the top left corner of the screen with the right mouse button.
 

Click on TFTP. Enable TFTP Server.
For TFTP Server root directory, click on Browse.
Select the created folder SERVA_ROOT.



Click on the DHCP tab.
Then tick proxyDHCP and BINL


You don't have to do anything with the other fields

  • Restart Serva
  • There are now a number of additional folders in the SERVA_ROOT folder at WIA_WDS  

  • Right click on the folder SERVA_ROOT\WIA_WDS and choose Properties.

         

Click on advanced sharing

Add

Typ share name. OK

Then click on permissions and tick full control.

Apply, OK

  • Create 3 folders in the SERVA_ROOT\WIA_WDS folder
  • Windows_10, Windows_7, and a folder Macrium. (image program)
  • If you are creating folders with Serva, do not use spaces in the text.
  • Put the iso´s of 7 and 10 in those folders and unzip them with 7zip (click on extract here)
    Or copy the contents of the DVDs or USB to there.
  • Copy the files from the Macrium rescue CD to the Macrium folder.
    Restart Serva
3.3. Installation   
  • Connect a PC, and in the bios choose PXE first, and then let it start up with PXE.
  • Which then connects to that Serva Server
  • Then you will see the Serva Menu 
  • Menu Click on the program you want to install or start up
  • Log in with Administrator and the password you entered during the Server installation.
Macrium Reflect
Macrium is not a program you can just start with Serva.
The PXE server can generally only work with Microsoft.
You have to make the program bootable for that server.

Go to the WIA_WDS folder of Serva.
Click on the Windows_7 folder and open _SERVA_ and click on the boot folder and remove ServaBoot.wim.
Go to Macrium/sources
Now copy the boot.wim from Macrium reflect to that Windows 7 boot folder.
And change the name from boot.wim to ServaBoot.wim.


Restart Serva64
Boot a PC with PXE as the first boot option in the bios, so that it makes contact with the PXE server.
On the PC you will see a menu with Windows 10 and Windows 7.
If you then click on Windows 7, you will see that Macrium is booted.

Then you can change the menu name from Windows_7 to Macrium.

Look up the menu.def file in the BM folder (or use Search Everything) and make a shortcut to the desktop.
Open that file with notepad. (Notepad).

Then you should see the following:


Menu title Serva Community v3.2.0 multi-OS PXE Boot/Install Menu (BIOS)
Menu notabmsg Select an option and press ENTER to boot/install, or F1 for Help

LABEL WIA_WDS\WIN10\
menu label ^ 1) Windows 10, AMD64
menu default
kernel pxechn.c32
append ::WIA_WDS\WIN10\_SERVA_\bootmgfw.efi

LABEL WIA_WDS\Win7\
menu label ^ 2)
Windows 7, AMD64 Macrium_Reflect
kernel pxechn.c32
append ::WIA_WDS\Win7\_SERVA_\bootmgfw.efi

Change the text Windows 7 in Macrium_Reflect and save that file.

Click on what you want to install or start up.


 

After selecting Windows 10, you get the corresponding files that still need to be loaded into the ram memory. (3 minutes)
If you want to install something, click on an item in the menu.
After some time you will get a log-in window
Log in with:
[Domain]User : Administrator Password : Default password
The password you entered during the Server installation.



Then click on 'Connect' and the installation will start.
If an error message appears, check the share settings of the WIA_WDS folder.
That path may still want to change unsolicited.