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Old 12-19-2002, 03:36 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2002
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etherboot on a 386dx


I want to etherboot my old 386dx (has a ne2000 compatible card).

My bios can only boot form c: and d: harddrives, i know that i do not need a bios able to boot from network card, it is done with some "eprom burning".

Can anyone explain me if it will work, what hw do I need (what eprom chip, or if it is cheaper to by some special network adapter) and how should i setup bios?

Thanx, Peter
Old 12-19-2002, 03:49 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2001
Location: Left Coast - Canada
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You can get boot roms, but only if your card supports them. You may have a card with an empty IC socket where a boot ROM might live, but I have no idea how to go about this route. If it's just for a hobby then you should pusue it just to see what comes of it. If it's a more pressing matter then I'd start looking into the Micro-ATX market. The VIA board I'm using cost me about CDN$139. It's got the CPU built-in (C3/533 more like the K6/2 cpus) with 133 FSB. That and a stick of RAM and you're set.

There are lots of How-To's either in your local documentation or over at Also have a look at the Linux Terminal Server project (

I have seen older diskless workstations, one of which I believe was a 286 (or maybe '386...) which was remote booting over a Novell network.

I've been working on something like this all week, but I'm using PXE to get etherboot up. I got it going last night on a VIA Micro ATX board. Ran fluxbox and mozilla. Unfortunately I was messing with permissions and managed to change ownership of the /usr directory and its subordinates - making gnome and kde stuff kinda broken.


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