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About choekstr

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  1. If you have a persistent disk writing/reading application like Bittorrent or MCE then putting that application's disk activity on a separate spindle can be a huge performance increase. With today's NCQ drives it isn't as bad as it used to be but the constant disk writes/reads can really hose your OS performance if they are on the same drive. Some people fully believe in putting the swap file on a separate spindle as well but IMO any system that NEEDS to use a swap file would benefit more from a memory bump and not clever positioning of the swap file. Same can be said about temp space with Photoshop et all but I do concur that sometimes our hands are tied and that isn't a bad idea when more memory isn't an option. However, should you have just a "standard" system with typical disk access and usage then I personally would go with the faster (transfer rate + workstation performance) drive. I always opt for the fastest HD as my main OS drive and then will only put in a second drive if I have persistent writing apps.
  2. I just received my WD7500AAKS (16Mb cache) and so FWIW I ran HD Tune on it for comparison. My Access time is an appropriate 13.4 on a bare drive and using it as a second drive with no activity: HD Tune 2.54: I was wondering if there was something wrong with the 2.53 version you were using so I found an old copy and tried it as well and it is virtually identical results as the 2.54 version: At this point I can't say what is your problem but I agree your access time is horribly high compared to what it should be.
  3. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    In my testing, I noticed that sometimes I saw the client not getting an IP when I had issues with my tftp server not running. I think it was actually getting an ip, but since it couldn't make the next step, it go any further and report it got an IP. I didn't get to do enough testing of this, so it just stuck in my mind, but that is all. After you disabled the smoothwall DHCP, did you re-activate, re-authorize, restart the services on your other DHCP server? When someone put up a linksys on my network I had to coax my 2k3 dhcp server to start back up. It isn't that hard, just gotta make SURE it us up and running since it wants to gracefully give way to any other stubborn dhcp servers.
  4. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    Ahh, yep, this is the exact same program that I have with my DABS software. At least it is available online.... Good find, Chris
  5. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    So I have to have a ghostcast server running for each and every image, right? I guess I don't see how to use the ghostcast method more efficiently... If we build let say 10 different configurations of machines.... I go to the server and start a ghostcast server. I give it a short name since I have to remember and type that later on the client, and then I browse to where my image is stored and pick the one I want. I leave this running. Then I go back to the client, boot via any number of ways with network support. Run ghost, choose multicast, type in the name of the instance I started earlier, and then say go. OR, boot via any number of ways with network support. Run ghost, choose multicast, and....wait? Then go over to the server (already more work than mapping a drive!) and start the ghostcast server, type a name, pick an image, and then my client shows up? I can then choose to push to the client? INSTEAD, I boot from any number of ways with network support and launch ghost from the share, all automatically. I choose disk from image, and pick what image I want. Within 10 seconds I am in ghost, within 20 seconds I have a machine being ghosted. 1 step, no visiting 2 machines. Help me understand what other ways I can accomplish this... Thanks in advance, Chris
  6. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    David, The file is a 5k binary file with many things in it. I can see error messages if it can't find the tftp file, and about not having local disk, etc. I also see the filename in there in plain text, so I am almost positive you could sector edit a new filename in there. I did not have to choose a nic type since PXE is a standard. All I chose was the boot file and it wrote the bootstrap file and named it itself. Honold, I would imagine that the ghostcast server would work well in a single image, many client environment. I am in a many image, single client (at a time) environment and therefore it doesn't do what I want. I think it could be really slick if it just let use browse the images from the client and choose the one we want, and go. Oh well, I will continue to choose via the "Disk from Image" option. Chris
  7. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    Ok, So I worked until 11:30 last night perfecting my pxe boot scenario. I have it down pat now and have moved beyond the normal ghost image they create for you and have made my own. But first, let me explain the process as I know it: 1.) The NIC starts the PXE boot and broadcasts for a DHCP address. A simple MS DHCP server gives my client an IP. 2.) The DHCP server also has 2 more entries in it. TFTP Server and TFTP Filename (This is the "Bootstrap", <512k file that is so hard to generate). Since I am running the TFTP server on the DHCP server, it makes it easy (no DHCP Proxy necessary). So now the NIC grabs these 2 values from the DHCP server and requests the "Bootstrap" file that you defined earlier. 3.) The NIC downloads the bootstrap file, which is a tiny OS that just tells it what the name of your floppy image (this is the 1.44 - 16Mb file) is and downloads it. 4.) From there, your floppy/boot image is anything you want it to be. At first I started with the generic ghost image disk, and that works well. That's it. Done. Very easy. However, the ghost floppy/boot image only supports ghostcast servers and personally I find that 2x the work if I have to visit the server and set it up and then visit the client and set it up. No, a network boot image is where I want to be, yet the ghost pxe image doesn't have any drive mapping functions (cmds.exe/net.exe) and the network drive mapping solution from ghost doesn't allow you to create that version as an image, only a floppy. So, I used the handy dandy tools that come with 3com's boot assist version 7.0 and edit the image. The tool is horrible, doesn't support copying directories, and barely works. But it does, so enough complaining. So I added the right stuff from the network drive mapping floppy with the ghost image it created, and it was finished. I can now turn on a new machine, change the nic to boot first, have it boot to the network, download the image, map a drive and run ghost so I can pull/push the images using windows networking instead of using the limited ghostcast solution. Sweet. Except that I stopped using the ghost network mapping disk years ago since it barely works and there are 0 tools on that disk and since it uses pcdos, you will have trouble finding the tools for it. So I use barts network boot disk ( instead. It is a GREAT modular solution, very easy once you get the hang of it, and it supports any nic, any network, domains as well as workgroup authentication, retrying of username/passwords, and even saving of common profiles. Good stuff. The migration of the ghost image and barts disk is very easy. You just HAVE to use the system files from the ghost disk (msdos.sys, io.sys, I believe) and all the rest is from barts boot disk. I found it handy to get the disk working the way I wanted it, and then move it over to the image. Most of the time I spent was modifying barts disk to remove unecessary features, trim down the chattyness, and remove some of the popup configuration dialogs. Ok, so this is really long, and I should get to my point. My point is, You DON'T need a pxe server, just that one really hard to get bootstrap file. IMHO I think I could just send you the bootstrap file and that is everything you need. Just use pumpkin or any other tftp server and that is it. If you can get by with the ghost cast server solution that the ghost image gives you then you are finished. If you want to modify the boot image, then you need a pxe image editor, which I got from the 3com boot services. It really is a pretty simple and easy procedure. They make it sound so tough and charge a TON of money for a tftp server and a bootp server (which a dhcp server works just as well). They know that that little 20k bootstrap file is the hard part. Chris
  8. choekstr

    Pxe Boot Server For Windows

    Ok, I was wrestling with this exact same thing yesterday. I was reading this whole thread saying, yup, went there, yup, been there. Yup, figured that out. Here is where I am at: I firmly believe there are NO freeware pxe boot servers for windows. They only exist for unix and eventhough that is the route I would choose, the shop I am in is anti-linux eventhough I could easily support it. 3Com Boot services are no longer available and do not come with Ghost. It hasn't been since 7.0 AFAIK. It has been replaced by Argon's PXE services which cost a TON of money for what it does! The program too big to fit in memory is indeed a bootstrap vs floppy image issue. The bootstrap has to be under 512k, but the floppy image, I believe can be up to 16Mb in size from what I have read, but since it emulates a floppy, I thought 2.88Mb was the limit. Since ghost 8.0 creates a 3Mb image file (ghost.exe is a whopping 1.4Mb itself) I don't think I am right about the 2.88 limit. RIS is indeed a PXE server. However, the machine running RIS HAS to be either a member server in a domain, or a domain controller! So my ghost standalone 2k3 server is now a AD server. Also, RIS has to have 2 partitions, or 2 drives. One for the system, and any other one for the RIS images. You can NOT put the images on the same drive/partition as the system. So, I can't get RIS configured at all. Stupid RIS! Plus, that is WAY to complicated for ghosting, takes 20x the time, doesn't retain settings without a TON of customizing, etc. I actually got the PXE nic to boot the ris bootstrap file, then it needs ntldr (I used the 2k3 one from c:\), and it stopped at a grey screen since I didn't have any of the other files like a menu or the images. I just didn't know what came next. The ntldr I knew it needed because it was asking for it on the tftp server after the I dug through some of our older disks and found ghost 7.0 and it had a 3com boot services cd with it. I just installed it and sure enough, it has a pxe server, a menu creator, etc. Good stuff. It will fix my problem, but still isn't a freeware PXE server like we want. So please let us know if you get the 3com boot services cd with your new copy of ghost 8.0, or even the argon technologies official replacement tool. Hope this helps, Chris