hyoenmadan wrote on 2020-11-25, 06:01:
Baoran wrote on 2020-11-25, 05:09:
Thanks. That kind of makes it difficult to see a situation where using that would be useful in normal use. I assume the roms used would be network card specific and such roms would be likely to be hard to find nowadays.
Generally Realtek's, Davicom's and some other compatibles have the ROM bundled with the driver disks. Not sure about high ends... I have seen some 3coms with roms in driver disks too, but not sure. I guess you had to buy the rom separately for PCI models. You can also make them for some network cards with packages like Etherboot and Netboot.
Few years ago I found a boxed ROM for cheap on eBay for a 3com etherlink 3 (and I think it can also work on other cards)
Soon after I uploaded its content and the floppy disk that came with it here http://www.win3x.org/win3board/viewtopic.php? … le=30&f=8&t=281
There's also a manual but I didn't take the time to scan it ... Maybe someday ?
Unfortunately I never figured out how to do RPL boot using modern Linux. I have looked everywhere online but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer on what to do.
However I managed to do PXE booting. I made a DOS 7 disk image with Microsoft network client 3.0 on it and so when the PC is booting on that image from the network, then I can log into my "old pc" Nas and finally run some nice software such as Norton ghost to image HDDs or simply copy windows 98's setup files very quickly to the hdd and then install it 😀
I think the next step would be figuring out a way to boot from the network and then run windows 98 from the network directly that way my retro PCs wouldn't require HDDs/ssds anymore and I could swap in and out images or files just like virtual machines 😁
It's not that much hard work, there are tutorials online to make PXE servers. However the true hard work is getting Microsoft network client 3.0 to fit on a floppy image (2.88 image works very well) because it seems that mounting a CD-ROM image from the network using pxe crashes a computer having just a hundred megs of RAM (maybe there's something else wrong here but I haven't found the solution).
As for the retro pc Nas, I created it long before doing pxe booting on my PCs. And finally, I'm using it often on many of my PCI equipped PCs, I just make sure to use the same kind of NICs each time because otherwise msnc3.0 would have a driver issue.
There are other cool things that can be run from the network are testing utilities (such as memtest). That way if you have to often test new parts what you can do is create a set of "hardware testing" images and then put together the hardware you want to test and a nic and you're good to go. No need of big flat cables, floppy disks, CD-ROMs, HDDs. Just a nic with a rj45 cable and you're set.