Author Topic: Old notebooks - no nic, how to set it up , maybe eaven with (wirelss) pxe boot ?  (Read 1555 times)

roberto99

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Hi all

I have  a couples of old notebooks without onboard nic - network cards.

The best I would like to achieve is to set them with wireless pxe boot (maybe I will then only be able to use them as picture frames, but its ok)
Else, I would like to set them up with cabled pxe boot
and last and at least as a cabled md

but unfortunately they all dont have an onboard network card
some do have a usb port, some only card bus, all have a cd rom

I have meanwhile found this list: http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Hardwaredatenbank/Verbindungen#Netzwerk
Where i find pcmcia / card bus network cards compatible with ubuntu, but is this the only bossibility (if at all) ? Cause non seems to be availabel in Switzerland

any ideas?

thanks and cheers
Roberto
« Last Edit: July 04, 2008, 10:35:21 pm by roberto99 »

pigdog

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Holy Cow roberto99, what are you up to now?

Anyway, there is the possibility of doing a grub HDD boot but unfortunately I couldn't find the link.

It seems digg is slowing things down a bit.

But, I remember reading about if you could not do a NIC PXE boot there was a way to setup a grub boot.

I don't know if that was what you where looking for.

Go for it.  Have fun.

Cheers


roberto99

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Thanks for your anwser pigdoc

I am not sure about your anwser. My problem is that these old notebooks do not have a network card onboard. So how do i connect to the lan??
some do have a usb port, some only card bus, all have a cd rom

I have found this list: http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Hardwaredatenbank/Verbindungen#Netzwerk
Where i find pcmcia / card bus network cards compatible with ubuntu, but is this the only bossibility (if at all) ? Cause non seems to be availabel in Switzerland

pigdoc, what ist a grub HDD boot?

Thanks
Roberto
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 11:52:59 am by roberto99 »

roberto99

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Hey, I have found this usb ethernet card apparently working with ubuntu: http://www.dlink.co.uk/?go=gNTyP9CgrdFOIC4AStFCF834mptYKO9ZTdvhLPG3yV3oUYl7jqltbNlwaaFp6DQoHDrvzCRA+owIBd4=

Now if this is true, how to make it work for pxe??? Or will I have to install on HD? Cause I think the hd's will be to small for an installation

any ideas?
thanks
Roberto

pigdog

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Hi,

If your notebooks don't have ethernet ports your BIOS may not even support NIC access.

I looked at the site. 

I don't see how you could get the device to PXE boot because it's going to be recognized as a USB adapter not as a NIC card.

If you could get this to work as a plug and play device under Kubuntu it would give you access to hard wire ethernet but you couldn't PXE boot (GRUB might work).

Doing a grub boot requires a HDD in the notebook.

What about going via wireless adapter?  Here's the LAN link http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Internal_LAN_setup

Hope this helps.


roberto99

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Hi and thanks for the hints.

On this list http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/WLAN/Karten I have fount Netgear WG511T  pcmcia wireless adapter to be working from Ubuntu 7.04 on. And I have it at home! Together with a Netgear wgt624 v2 Wireless Router.
Looks good so far. But now, I guess I need the driver to make the adapter work? The problem is that the hd's are too small for an installation (my hd's must be 2 or 4 GB). Maybe ist possible to put the driver (how??) on a cd, boot from the cd so that the adapter is recognized and connect (to start with) without any wireless security to the wlan router?

What do you think?
thanks
Roberto

elspic

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Roberto,
Booting from PXE works through the bios/firmware of the card, independent of the operating system; this is why it's possible to do a diskless install. If there is no built in NIC in the laptops, my guess would be that they can't boot from a nic directly, but they may be able to boot from usb or pcmcia. If that's the case, then the best way to find out is to plug your network adapter in, check the bios for any boot settings relating to that, and if you're that lucky, try booting from it first. Honestly, I don't think your chances are that good of succeeding, but if you do, please let us know. -elspic

tekoholic

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Roberto,

Not sure if this will work for USB or Cardbus NIC's, but can't see why it wouldn't, so long as your chipset is in the supported list and your bios detects the device...  Highly doubt that it would do anything for WiFi, though.

I use gPXE to boot older systems with cards that are either PCI (no boot-rom) or integrated (etherboot).

You'll ONLY have to install Grub to MBR, create VERY small boot partition on HDD (50-100MB is what I use), and place gPXE image in the boot partition, direct Grub to it as if it were a standard Linux Kernel...

I use the image generator at:

http://rom-o-matic.net/gpxe/gpxe-0.9.3/contrib/rom-o-matic/

I always select gpxe:all-drivers in the drop-down for a generic load, and it gives me PXE on ALL my old garbage!!  Haven't run into a 10/100 NIC yet, that it wouldn't boot.  I'll have to play with it in the next few days, and see what I can get it to do with wireless devices!!

BTW, in the case that this does work for ya', you've got the rest of the drive for use as swap-space...  Not enough room for much else, I guess.

Good luck!

ASquared21

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Hi,

Try something like this:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=5526.0

I never tried it, but it might work.

Good luck
,