SiS-900 based NIC

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A bad designed PXE stack in the SiS 900-based NIC causes FOG to hang on the pxelinux-phase (before the menu appears). In order to get things working without replacing the NIC Etherboot comes in handy. Etherboot is an open-source PXE stack, supporting quite a range of NIC's. In order to load Etherboot you have basically three options:

  • Boot from a floppy, to load the PXE stack (not ideal).
  • Chainloading Etherboot
  • Flashing Etherboot into the system BIOS

The first option basically explains itself, you'll find pre-compiled images at the Rom-o-Matic website. Write them to floppy using rawwrite or rawwritewin.

The second option basically loads Etherboot using the NIC's built-in PXE stack (Loading PXE using PXE). When Etherboot is loaded, it will attempt a PXE boot again and will load FOG. To avoid an endless loop, some tricking with the DHCP configuration is need. You'll find an Howto on the Etherboot website.

The third option is a bit tricky, it involves tampering with the system bios which could lead to a bricked mainboard! The PXE code needed to boot from LAN is stored as part of the system bios (in case of onboard NIC's). On some mainboards, you'll be able to replace the existing (buggy) PXE code with Etherboot. Try it at your own risk, you'll find an howto here.

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