Install Windows over network with PXE

Step 4: The WINNER Way part 2

  1. If you did not enter a Windows serial number when building your own DVD with the DVD Generator, then you have an opportunity to enter it now. Else, you won’t even see this screen. (If you still do not enter it, or enter a wrong serial number, then Microsoft genuine Windows Setup will finally ask or re-ask for a valid one later.) and click OK.
  2. Select what you want the Computer Name to be and click OK.
  3. Enter computers owners name and click OK.
  4. Enter the name of the your organization and click OK.
  5. If the Windows XP source you used to generate your DVD was the English version, then it is multi-language-capable. In this screen, you can choose several MUI (multi-language interfaces) to be added, so the computer users will be able to have Windows menus displayed in their languages. If your source is not the English version, any choice made here will be ignored.
  6. Subsequently, if you are to build a MUI system, you can choose here what will be the default language for the future users of the computer which Windows is going to be installed. If your source is not the English version, any choice made here will be ignored.
  7. Many people find it useful to have the Windows i386 directory copied into the C:\ drive, so that they don’t have to look for the CD each time a new driver needs to be installed. Click on Yes if you want a C:\i386 folder too.
  8. The system can install SUN Open Office on your computer. All available versions will be displayed for you to choose. (On the screenshot, there’s an old French one, and a more recent English one.) If you plan to use your own Office distribution (say, MS Office), choose “nothing”
  9. Some people (clearly, dotnet developers) like to have MS .Net SDK on their PC. Click Yes if you do too. Note that the SDK has nothing to do with the .Net Framework. The Framework will be installed on your computer even if you click on No here. Most people should choose the No option.
  10. Basically, there are two ways your DVD can install Windows. If there’s already a NT, 2000, 2003 or XP bootable system on your PC, you can say Yes there. In this case, the system will be able to keep the boot sector, which is safer in some cases. The data you’ve got on your C partition will be kept. Only the C:\Windows and C:\Program Files folders will be deleted, and replaced with new, clean ones. Old “Documents and Setting” will be renamed to “Documents and Settings.OLD”. The Windows setup will not format anything.
  11. On another hand, you might want to format the whole drive, so to start with something as clean as possible. In this case, say No there, and the system will format the whole drive. Afterwards, it will create two partitions: a C: drive for the system, and a D: drive for your data. The C: drive will have to be at least 6 GB. All remaining space will be given to the D: drive.
  12. Even if you’ve chosen No in the previous screen, it’s worth avoiding the writing of a new bootsector if there’s already a working one on your system. Say YES if your PC can currently boot Windows NT4, 2000, 2003 or XP (even if the Windows system does not work after the boot has begun.)

So hopefully this is the last step, and you should have a working XP Install :) However, that wasnt the case for me, if the windows install screen comes up telling you to press Enter to Install Windows, R for recovery or F3 to quit, when you press enter it says it cant detect a cdrom and tells you to press F3 to quit, then dont worry, carry on to the next page.

If you reboot back to sysangel, quit and make sure that your boot options arent set to boot to PXE/Network first.

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Related Posts


  1. July 30, 2010, 11:53 pm   / 

    [...] Your netbook seems to support PXE install. You can google 'windows pxe install' These are instructions for doing it if you've got another machine running windows:…work-with-pxe/ [...]

  2. trw2010
    June 23, 2010, 11:13 am   / 

    i am stuck at just after
    trying to load: pxelinux.cfg/default
    could not find kernel image: linux
    then it stops i can type but it does nothing
    and i dont know what to type if i did
    any suggestions welcome on what i could do next
    thank you in advance

    • Kode
      June 23, 2010, 11:59 am   / 

      Check the link in the first paragraph (in red) that leads to the easier method, that might help you

  3. shivaprasad
    December 24, 2009, 6:35 am   / 


    Im facing problem in windows installation. My Intel atom PC is downloading linux images and launching Sysangel installer correctly. After that my PC is not getting ip from the DHCP server. Driver for my network card is not there in the launched linux.
    Could you please tell me how i can procede……


  4. September 8, 2009, 11:37 am   / 

    Had the problem with SysAngel crashing every time it tried to slipstream SP2 into the WindowsXP disc so had to do this manually myself (nLite worked fine for it).

    Then it finally made the bloody ISO!

  5. June 25, 2009, 1:47 pm   / 

    [...] Install Windows over the network with PXE

  6. June 24, 2009, 11:38 pm   / 

    [...] Install Windows over the network with PXE

  7. June 20, 2009, 9:40 pm   / 

    Just to let everyone know it takes a long time to download every thing :p. Ha My captcha word is frustrated

  8. June 20, 2009, 9:07 pm   / 

    nice information :)

  9. June 20, 2009, 8:41 pm   / 

    how big is the initrg.gz

  10. RobSailsOn
    March 31, 2009, 2:11 pm   / 

    Awesome! Saved my laptop for me.

    Had a couple of minor glitches which I managed to sort:

    First where DVD Generator hung looking to download WinXp Service Packs so I slipstreamed SP3 to my install files using:

    Also needed to keep the c:\output\tmp\i386 folder from being deleted by saving and maintaining a text file open in the folder using notepad until DVD G had finished doing its stuff.

    Thanks for your help!

  11. February 28, 2009, 9:18 pm   / 

    Extremely useful how-to. Thanks for it. Really saved me from swapping disks between computers and so on. Thanks again!

  12. Florin
    February 8, 2009, 3:19 am   / 

    this is great … are right about the coffe and book ….i needed a full night …. bot worked ;)…thanks a lot …good luck

  13. Quirino Cardozo
    February 7, 2009, 2:03 pm   / 

    Hi Kobe,

    Thanks for your response. After I posted my question, I did a bit of picking & prodding around and decided to skip sysangel altogether and jump ahead to your step 5. Didn’t exactly work like a charm but I finally managed to get the full WindowsXP installer and ran got it to start the installation. Am now popsting from my newly-installed lappie! Thanks a bunch!

    Will definitely give ur other easy installation a whirl when I have the time, but this lappie had to leave with my M-I-L by tomorrow… lol!

    Just a coupla typos/suggestions, check the text in the default file matches with the file names in the dos folder. And yes, Chris’ tip for amending/including the slashes helped as well…

    For troubleshooting network booting issues, keep ur eyes on tftp’s log screen – VERY useful! That’s all really.

    Cheers to all who helped!

    Quirino Cardozo,

  14. Quirino Cardozo
    February 6, 2009, 10:41 am   / 

    Guys, I was really thrilled to find this post as I’m trying to re-install windowsXP on an old lappie (Dell C400) for my dad to learn computers. It had XP mind u, but I HAD to be the smartass and remove the internal hdd and go and format it thinking I’d install the “lite” version of WinXP as I’ve had amazing performance with it past many years. Problem is, while installing sysangel DVD Generator I get this “Source file C:\DOCUM…(full install temp path)…pskill.exe file not found”. So I can’t go beyond step 1.. :o(

    Anyone else face this? And any fixes? Would appreciate any help peeps…

    P.S.: Before anything else, a BIG THANKS to the guy who posted this! Cheers m8!

    Quirino Cardozo
    Dubai, U.A.E
    Originally from (Goa & Bombay, India)

  15. GigiAUT
    January 22, 2009, 7:00 pm   / 

    I give up. I selected followed the steps on page 1 and 2, but when i set my other laptop to network boot, it waits and then it just goes back to my grub like it cant find anything. You think its my i.p address’s cos the cables fine, i network fine with it in windows. Or maybe i made a mistake?

  16. leseiD
    January 6, 2009, 1:27 am   / 


    I’m trying to do a network install since i dont have cd/floppy or USB. I follow the instructions but end up at stage 3 where my boot get an error stating it is unable to locate configuration file. It is trying to load pxelinux.cfg/default.
    Now,i thought then i had named the default file wrong, but i have have tried to do it right a couple of times now without luck. I’m close to giving up:(
    I see that some others here had the same problem but they have not gotten any answers to their problem.
    Anyone that can help?

  17. Tubalcain
    December 18, 2008, 5:41 pm   / 


    I really would like to get this to work but I’m new to networking and stuff. What is the “IP Pool Starting Address”? Also is the the “default gateway” the same as “default router”?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  18. gabe
    December 5, 2008, 8:50 pm   / 

    KERNEL memdisk
    append initrd=w98senetboot.IMA

    to those who had trouble with the memdisk file for loading

  19. taz
    November 29, 2008, 9:18 am   / 

    I have a cd-rom problem too… Maybe the 12. step is wrong, beacuse there is the i386 folder path.

    I am trying some possibilities for the 12. step. :S

  20. Salient
    November 27, 2008, 11:54 pm   / 

    Hi, thanks for a very, VERY useful guide. I successfully installed windows on my r100 laptop which has no floppy or cd drive. I also found this site handy:
    Just some problems I had. I had to use my router, not a direct cable. I had to create an admin account with a password for the “release repository” part using smb to work. I had to use “20000″ of my hard drive (not the whole thing). The sys angel image includes heaps of little programs (undelete, reader, clamwin antivirus, gimp, xchat etc etc) I would have not included these had i the choice. The total time it took me was 2 days! (inc time to solve problems) 3 hours for sys angel to dl all the data. 2 hrs for the installation process. However, now i have a working laptop :) cheers.

  21. Questionz
    August 30, 2008, 1:26 am   / 

    When i set the pxelinux.cfg folder and the pxelinux.0 in my c:\OUTPUT folder, setting up the tftp, on my test computer, it detects the dhcp, and the ip address, but after that it exits the pxe rom. anyone able to help?

  22. edgar
    August 28, 2008, 1:48 am   / 

    Hello everybody, hey Cris,i saw your post, i solve my last problem with the default file, let me say that we have to put the default name inside “”, when save the file write: “default” and done.

    but the system could not find kernel image, i read your post and i have no idea where i can find that information, can you tell me please how i can solve the kernel image, thanks so much to write back. my e mail

  23. August 18, 2008, 9:27 pm   / 

    so…yes sysangel is badass… everything is working for my install, except the final throw, where I’m getting the same issue with “no valid windows source could be found in local CD rom” It cannot find a valid i386 dir” Looking for C.72, C.tar.gz

    I have tried everything rebuild iso, re-slipstream, and just copying flat i386. Still no worky:( followed the instructions to a t at least 10 times.

    I found another post that mentioned maybe corrupt file or driver conflict? just wanted to mention iI’m having issue also… any suggestions welcome

  24. Bobby
    August 15, 2008, 10:02 pm   / 

    Did all of it getting unable to locate configuration file during pxe boot.

  25. Goldmar
    August 6, 2008, 4:30 am   / 

    I am stuck at step 2 at the end. the pxe loader on the destination machine keeps coming up with the error “Unable to locate configuration fail” Thanks

  26. Ionut-RO
    July 28, 2008, 9:12 am   / 

    I followed all the steps of this tutorial but…. when it comes cu search for I386 folder, sysangel try, as the only option, to search on cd-rom, even i don’t have one.
    What should I do to make sysangel use the I386 from the OUTPUT folder ?!
    Thank you !

  27. Niall
    July 24, 2008, 5:29 pm   / 

    Tried that it hangs unfortunately. I’m now upto the point in text mode of selecting Windows source media and I get No valid Windows source could be found in your local cd-rom drive.

  28. Kode
    July 24, 2008, 4:38 pm   / 

    If you are having trouble with this guide, try the easy guide linked in the first paragraph

  29. Niall
    July 24, 2008, 4:32 pm   / 

    I’m unable to get this working in graphical mode, does anyone have any guide for Text mode?


  30. July 22, 2008, 7:10 pm   / 

    For some reason my laptop will not boot the graphical interface, i get a message saying that eth1 signature incorrect an then it goes into standyby?

  31. Babyface1980
    July 10, 2008, 2:31 pm   / 

    I’ve tried step 1 to step 4. And I still get the same problem. I get to step 3 where it askes me for user name password ect it connects and tells me to insert a cd rom. It doesn’t even start the steps of asking me anything about the windows installation itself.

    Any ideas?

  32. Kode
    July 4, 2008, 9:37 am   / 

    @Rupert what tweaking did you need to do and what typos did you need to correct? If any of you guys have any suggestions for improving articles please let me know, you can email me directly: change the -at- to the at sign of course :)

  33. Kode
    July 4, 2008, 9:34 am   / 

    @Greg what was the problem and how did you solve it? In case any others have the same problems :) But glad you got it working

  34. July 4, 2008, 1:24 am   / 

    You are a genius
    After a bit of tweaking…
    and correcting a few typos…
    It worked beautifully!

  35. Greg
    July 3, 2008, 11:36 pm   / 

    I left a message earlier. I solved the hdd not found problem. Thanks

  36. Greg
    July 3, 2008, 11:02 pm   / 

    When my sysangel dvd gui starts, it says no hdd could be found. How to solve it?

  37. Ali Ekri
    May 27, 2008, 11:53 pm   / 

    dvd generator it’s take lot time to complete prepation for DVD setup,then its need so many answers to complete installations without inf file same winnt.sif to complete unattenad installation

  38. May 27, 2008, 11:11 pm   / 

    also share the DOS directory :P

  39. May 27, 2008, 11:02 pm   / 

    one note though,
    in this part
    “kernel memdisk
    append initrd=w98se-netboot.IMA”
    I had to put slashes for netboot to load like this

    “kernel /memdisk
    append initrd=/w98se-netboot.IMA”

    easy fix though thanks again

  40. May 27, 2008, 10:59 pm   / 

    Hey “steve muller” kiss my ass this guy gets a full round of beer free on the house for posting that last tidbit of info on bypassing the “need windows cd” No other site has that info and the other sites are useless without that piece. /cheers for a good guide

  41. Steve Muller
    May 9, 2008, 12:57 pm   / 

    would have been nice to know that dvd generator was going to use all my internet time to download needed software and file updates BEFORE I started.

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