Subject: Re: PXE-on-a-disk Intel EM64T reboot



Hi Josh,

[ I added Etherboot-Users to the list for wider distribution. ]

This looks like a great tool!

ftp://ftp.scyld.com/private/jlehan/pxe-on-a-disk.html

A Universal PXE-on-a-disk floppy is a really neat thing. I have read the thread on the SYSLINUX list, and see how it differs from:

http://etherboot.anadex.de/

Which is another neat tool.

Thanks so much for doing this. I would like to continue discussion of the outstanding issues that you mention, and maybe we can make it even better.

I think that there are a few people on the lists that may be able to help debug the EM64T issue.
Is there any chance of a hardware donation we can offer to someone who is willing to figure it out? We can also offer a small cash reward (although Eternal Glory may be enough ;)

In any case, thanks very much for your work! It's a nice tool, and I encourage you to keep polishing it. It might be something to consider putting on the Etherboot web site.

Everyone who can, please test this tool, and send your findings to Etherboot-Users.

Thanks,

Marty

On Dec 30, 2005, at 11:16 PM, Josh Lehan wrote:
Hello. I've used Etherboot and SYSLINUX to create a "PXE-on-a- disk" implementation: a floppy and CD image that is self-booting. It does what a PXE BIOS would do, and is useful for computers that don't have a built-in PXE BIOS.

The disk is full of compiled Etherboot packages, one build for each supported PCI driver. Ethersel (part of SYSLINUX) autodetects the PCI network card, and selects the proper Etherboot package to load. Works fine from there!

Here's a simple webpage I made about it, and a download link:

ftp://ftp.scyld.com/private/jlehan/pxe-on-a-disk.html

The only problem is on the Intel EM64T (Intel's clone of AMD's 64- bit architecture). After the download of the Linux kernel succeeds, something goes wrong, and instead of starting the kernel, the machine reboots. I'm guessing it's some kind of cleanup issue, or something early on in the transition from 16-bit BIOS to 64-bit kernel.

I've tested on 32-bit machines, and AMD Opteron 64-bit machines, and it works fine there. It's also not related to any particular brand of network card.

On the Intel EM64T machines this problem happens on, I was able to PXE boot just fine from the on-board BIOS, and also from the local hard drive. It worked fine from there, so know it's not a problem with PXELINUX, or the booting process in general, on that particular machine.

This is all probably a moot point, since it'd be a fair guess that all Intel EM64T machines ever made have a working PXE BIOS in them, making this "PXE-on-a-disk" unnecessary, but thought I'd mention it, in case anybody else has seen this.

Thanks!

Josh Lehan
[email protected]

--
Try: http://rom-o-matic.net/ to make Etherboot images instantly.

Name: Marty Connor
US Mail: Entity Cyber, Inc.; P.O. Box 391827;
Cambridge, MA 02139; USA
Voice: (617) 491-6935; Fax: (617) 491-7046
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.etherboot.org/




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