PXE network boot to USB install anything

  9 years ago

I just made a lengthy tutorial and tried to backspace some text in a image I uploaded and it deleted everything. This time I'm going to be brief for practicality's sake.

I have a Toshiba Portege M200 which won't USB or USB CD/DVD boot so I borrowed a friends Windows laptop to PXE boot from. This allows me to actually install something onto the Portege M200 instead of having a paperweight.

  • Download and extract ploplinux-latest-pxeboot.zip to c:\. There should now be c:\tftpboot
  • Download and extract ploplinux-4.1.1.zip to c:\tftpboot\ploplinux. Renaming ploplinux-4.1.1\ to ploplinux\ in the process
  • The folder will now show like this "C:\tftpboot\ploplinux\ploplinux\ploplinux"
  • Right-click ploplinux in C:\tftpboot. Properties > Sharing tab > Advanced Sharing > "Share this Folder" checkmarked > Permissions > give "Everyone" Full control including change and read access > ok > ok > apply and close
  • Open c:\tftpboot\ploplinux\pxelinux.cfg\default with Wordpad.
  • Now at the bottom add this line and change WINDOWS PC IP ADDRESS to your own: smbmount=//WINDOWS PC IP ADDRESS/ploplinux:"":""
  • Save and close the file
  • Download, extract and run Serva from anywhere you wish with an administrator-level account (tftpd, dhcp, dns server)
  • Temporarily disable DHCP on your router
  • Click "Settings" and go to TFTP. Configure as shown

  • Go to the DHCP tab and here is how mine looks:

The settings here show my local IP as which is what my router assigned via DHCP when it last gave me a IP. Windows retained the IP without me manually needing to set it.

  • IP pool 1st address starts at which the DHCP server will assign to the PXE client. Size (/) is 10.
  • Boot file has to be: \ploplinux\pxelinux.0
  • Copy the same subnet mask as shown "/24". My router's IP address is I put that under "Router".
  • Set the Domain Name Server to your own Windows PC IP address
  • Go to "DNS" tab and checkmark 'DNS Server'
  • Hit "Ok" > Close Serva > Open Serva.
  • Now boot your computer with LAN/Intel boot agent/PXE/network
  • Delete the shared C:\tftpboot folder to prevent networked computers from filling up your disk space
  • Turn your routers DHCP server back on

The PLOP boot manager will now load allowing either USB, CD or Floppy installs.

In case USB disk's won't boot/freezes/crashes because the computer does not support USB 2.0 for some reason: Go to Settings > options > change USB mode to 1.1 'Mode 1'. Then go back and hit USB to load your OS.


Format the USB disk with gparted to fat32.

I downloaded and installed unetbootin to make an iso of "linuxmint-xfce-201104-dvd-32bit" successfully. Install would always crash unless I ensured the / (root partition) was ext4 (not ext4dev or btrfs sadly).

patpat 9 years ago

"Temporarily disable DHCP on your router"

This is not really necessary, if you already have a working DHCP server you can select "Proxy DHCP" instead of "DHCP Server".
This way Serva DHCP won't assing IPs; it will only provide the PXE commponets (boot file & TFTP server) for the PXE client to boot from.