TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: When it Rains, it Pours ....

Re: When it Rains, it Pours ....

William Warren (
Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:10:53 -0400

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: On the older Think Pads (models 770
> or 770x at least) F1 at time of booting brings up a BIOS menu and a
> choice of options i.e. boot from CD, from hard drive, from floppy
> (and other choices I do not understand, such as from 'network', from
> 'PCMCIA card' and other places. Exactly how one boots from 'network'
> or from 'PCMCIA card' when those devices do not come to life until
> Windows turns them on confuses me. [snip] PAT]


It's asking if you want to start a bootp request from your Ethernet
card, which would broadcast for a "boot" server to provide the
operating system for you over the network.

In other words, it's giving you the option that's used for "Diskless
Workstations", which don't have a hard disk, to download your OS from
another network node and start it in memory. It's the same process
your BIOS performs during boot, except that the image that's loaded
into your machine's ram comes from another computer on your LAN, not
from your hard drive.

Bootp is one of the core protocols from the early days of the
internet, when disk drives were too expensive to be installed in every
workstation, and they had to be able to leverage the common disk drive
storage available on a central server just to get their operating
system started.

Believe it or not, it's gaining in popularity again, but this time for
public-access or school computers that are prone to misuse. With BOOTP
machines, curing a virus or adware or whatever is as simple as turning
the machine off and back on, and the clients I've set up this way
always swear they'll never go back.



(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But I still do not understand _how_
the network card, or PCMCIA or whatever is able to do that job without
first itself getting installed by (for example) Windows or whatever OS
is in the terminal/workstation. I mean, that would be great if I could
just turn on the laptop and have its OS installed by the desktop Win
2000. But how? PAT]

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