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Universal Network Boot Disk FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions about this boot disk:


Check this FAQ, and the README.TXT.

Some content reprinted with permission from nu2.nu

Where can I get the latest version of your boot disk?
Blue Net Universal Network Boot Disk. Click on the disk icon.
While you are there check out some information about Blue Net, Inc. We are a full service consulting service in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area with a focus on infrastructure consulting and architecture (Virtualization, VMware, SAN/iSCSI Storage, Citrix Xenapp, Hosting, High Availability, DR Planning)

Ok, How do I MAKE the bootdisk? I've got this .DRJ file and flopmake.exe
More recent versions of the boot disk archive (BD354 and BD355) contain a batch file called makeboot.bat. This will automatically create a disk for you.
Otherwise here is more detailed instructions:

First you need a formatted 1.44MB floppy in your A:\ Then you need to use the flopmake program on the .DRJ file you downloaded. There are two ways you can do this:
First (recommended) is to copy the flopmake.exe into your system folder:
NT4/2000 (C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32)
Win 9x/Me (C:\Windows\Command)
XP (C:\Windows\system32)
then create a file association to associate .drj with the flopmake.exe
Now you can double-click on a .DRJ file and then follow the prompts to create the floppy.

Second method is you can put both files in a folder, and run flopmake from DOS
C:\bootdisk>flopmake

Will this disk support my card? I have a "[...your network card brand]"

This boot disk comes with drivers for some of the more popular brand of cards already. This includes: PCI:3COM 3C90x,Linksys 10/100,Intel Pro 10/100, and Pro 1000 series Compaq gigabit (Q57 3com chipset),CardBUS:3COM 575 and 556,Xirxom/Realport series The disk also comes with a way to add support for additional network cards. Someone with some technical background should be able to do this fairly easily. The file A:\newcard.ini provides instructions on how to add additional card support. You will first need to obtain the DOS driver from the vendor. The DOS driver is often a file with a .dos extension. (Sometimes called a LANMANAGER driver). You also need to look at the sample protocol.ini to find out the driver name for the card (this often times is a name with a $ at the end).

While I can't guarantee that this disk will work with EVERY card, I have had great success in adding additional card support using the method indicated in the A:\newcard.ini file.

I tried the option of network and cdrom support and was informed there was not enough memory. I have 128MB RAM Whatís going on?
The memory you are running low on is conventional RAM ( below 640k so it is regardless of how much RAM you really have). It is very difficult (with any boot disk) to load CD-ROM, and network drivers, and still have enough conventional RAM left to run an application like ghost or drive image. Unfortunately this is a limitation put on us because of the original design of DOS. I can only recommend using the Network only option (skip the CD-ROM drivers) which usually leaves enough RAM available. To get network and CD running may take a lot of tweaking, or the use of some alternate memory managers (like Quarterdeck's QEMM). This would definitely be more advanced functionality, and take a lot of trial and error to get working well.

I have to give network configuration like IP, Hostname, Domain, etc. every time I boot from this floppy. Is there a way to save these settings so that it doesnít ask for config every time I boot?
Glad you asked! Yes there is. I have included an answer file on the disk. Open the file A:\answers.txt remove the # from any lines you wish to automatically provide an answer for. Then save the file and rename it to A:\answers.inf Any required answers that you did not provide will be prompted for during boot. If you provide answers to all the prompts, the disk will fully boot automatically without any input from you. It also provides for the option to add your own custom fields that will then construct and execute a batch file after the boot process completes.

I need some additional utilities, like ping, FTP, TELNET, tracert etc. Is there any way to add those to the disk?
I began experimenting with some of those utilities. Many of the ftp/telnet/tracert utilities (like the ones on the Windows 9x CD) are DOS utilities, but when run in a DOS only environment they say they require Windows to function. I will continue to look for DOS functioning utilities to add. There is now (BD353) a working ping utility included on the disk.

I'm not accessing a Domain, just a single workstation in a Workgroup. Can I simply enter the workgroup name instead of a Domain?
If you are connecting to a single workstation, use the name of the workstation as the domain. Make sure you supply a local username that has access to the folder and the share on that workstation.

How do I get DNS resolution to work?
Once the boot process has completed you need to manually run DNR.EXE. DNR.EXE may be loaded high. Example: C:\NET>lh dnr.exe

When I use the network boot disk and map a drive, Why does it only shows 2GB of free space?
This is normal, there's nothing wrong, it's just that DOS does not see over 2GB, which is the maximum file size for DOS. You can still use the entire 40GB but you cannot create a file greater than 2GB, so if you are using ghost images, you must split them around 2GB.

How do I check what network adapter is in my PC?
Download 'PCI SCAN' from Bart's Utilities Page

I've loaded the network drivers all OK. When I use "net use f: \\192.168.10.15\c$" I get "Error 53: The computer name specified in the network path cannot be located".

You cannot use IP-based machine names when using Microsoft client. You need to enter the real machine name: "net use f: \\servername\c$".

I cannot connect to a server called "fileserver100".
The name is to long, in DOS it's 8 characters max.

If I try to connect to a resource with "net use \\server\share" I get an error message, "Error 3652: This command is only available on enhanced workstations".
You cannot connect without using a drive letter in dos, so you must use "net use f: \\server\share".

You may observe a long delay when you copy a file from an MS-DOS client to a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer using the TCP.
This behavior does not occur when you copy a file from a DOS client to a computer running Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 95/98/Me, or when you copy a file from Windows 2000 based computer to a DOS based computer.
For a solution to this problem see Microsoft KB Q244826

Using a 3Com 3c905b network adapter the following error may appear: Error: Network adapter not found or responding Error: try using SLOTENABLE driver keyword in PROTOCOL.INI Error: Initialization failure. Driver will not be installed.
Disable Plug and Play in the BIOS of the 3com card using the DOS utility 3C90XCFG.EXE.

What version(s) of Norton GHOST does this disk support?
This disk is not version specific, and should work with all/any versions of ghost. Remember that the PE (personal edition) of ghost does not allow you to create or load images across a network, so technically I guess you need to be using an enterprise/corporate edition of ghost if you want to create/load the ghost image from a network share. I have personally tested this disk with Ghost 6.51 and 7.5.

Can I use this boot disk to SHARE drives/folders from a workstation I boot with it?
No. This disk has only the client-side network functionality. To do that you would need to install a full version of LANMANAGER, or NWLITE, or use Linux with samba to share a DOS partition. If anyone else has any suggestions on how to make a lightweight DOS sharing system, please let me know!

Is there a bootable CD version of this disk?
Not yet, but we are working on one. Please visit the discussion forums on the website so voice your suggestions. The boot CD should sport a larger list of supported drivers (as space wonít be a limiting factor) as well as many other free/shareware utilities and programs.

Can I add additional configuration options that specify the duplex, line speed, which slot etc for the NIC?
This has recently been implemented on the development disk. These options are now configurable via the answers.inf file (see a:\answers.txt) for more info. However each You do need to find out from the NIC manufacturer the commands for setting these options. This is because each manufacturer specifies their own syntax in their driver for speed and duplex, slot etc, so it's not always the same.

Iím loading your DNS resolution support, and I can ping (by name too) but I canít connect to shares that are routed or across a VLAN
Unfortunately the Microsoft Network client doesnít use DNS for name resolution, it uses a broadcast method to look for NetBIOS names, and therefore will not span a router or VLAN. The way to solve this is to add the server to the LMHOSTS file (as of BD355 It is now on the A:\) DNS support was added in anticipation of adding an FTP client in the future.

Why have you spent so much time developing a FREE network boot disk?
It all started primarily because I wanted a nice boot disk for myself when ghosting at a client site. So why not share it with other IT folks out there? As far as free, well who the heck is going to PAY for a boot disk? I would also like to give a special thanks to all the people who have emailed me comments, suggestions, bug reports, and other helpful information that has contributed to making this disk a better product.

 

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