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Multi-OS Installation: Windows Final Steps

This is my second attempt at writing this post. I was using ecto this morning for the last time while writing the first iteration of this post and when switching between html and text mode the app decided to eat the post for me. Hopefully this iteration will be as good as the first, if not better…

So, there are a few things left to do before we can attempt a network boot. Primarily we need to add/create the winnt.sif configuration file, update the binl daemon files and restart the daemon, and then we need to test the components to make sure that everything is in order.

An absolute minimal winnt.sif created by the addnewos.sh script looks like the following:

floppyless = "1"
msdosinitiated = "1"
; Needed for second stage
OriTyp = "4"
LocalSourceOnCD = 1
;DisableAdminAccountOnDomainJoin = 1
OsLoadOptions = "/fastdetect"
; Needed for first stage
SetupSourceDevice = "\Device\LanmanRedirector\\REMINST\\W50AA"
ComputerName = *
FullName = *
OrgName = *
ProductID = *

Briefly, the [data] section specifies where the media will be coming from and what type it is. The [SetupData] stanza contains any arguments to be passed to the kernel, as well as establishing the source device from which setup is to pull the additional datafiles. The listed path corresponds to the samba share that was setup earlier.

Finally, the [UserData] section allows for the customization of the computer name, the user name, and the company name, as well as provide a slot to prefill the appropriate license key obtained from Microsoft.

This sif file will allow setup to execute in a fully interrogative mode, asking the user performing the install the same series of questions as if they’d used the CD media for the installation. There are quite a few options available for the sif file allowing for the full unattended installation of windows. If there is an interest I can expand on it in a future piece.

Once the w50aa.sif file is in place, we can go refresh the binlsrv.py database. Assuming the copies of binlsrv.py, infparser.py, and windirs.conf.sample were obtained from this site, this is accomplished by doing the following:

  • edit windirs.conf and add the new directory name, i.e. W50AA
  • run infparser.py
  • run binlsrv.py

With the binlsrv.py script running, we can begin to do the testing on the system. Of course you could at this point simply reboot the box you wish to install, cross your fingers, and hit F12 to netboot while hoping for the best. Those of you willing to use some methodology in their testing, please read on. Please note: I’m assuming the path to your install tree is /export/install/ and you have the windows image in images/W50AA. You’ll need to adjust it for your environment otherwise.

First we need to make sure dhcpd is running:

ps -ef | grep dhcpd

Next we ensure binlsrv.py is running;

ps -ef | grep binl

Now we make sure that the repository is in proper order:

ls -al /export/install/pxelinux	   # check for pxelinux
ls -al /export/install/default     # check for the default menu file for pxelinux
ls -ald /export/install/images/W50AA/i386 # make sure the i386 dir is there
ls -ald /export/install/images/W50AA/w50aa* # we should get 3 files back, w50aa, w50aa.0, w50aa.sif.

Now we make sure that tftp is working as expected (remember that tftp was chrooted to /export/install so everything will be relative to that path):

tftp localhost
cd images/W50AA/boot
get w50aa.sif

Now we ensure that the rewriting rules for the tfpd map files worked properly

grep W50AA /var/log/messages  # on linux
grep W50AA /var/adm/messages  # on solaris

You should have seen several log lines spit out as a match to the grep statement. If not, there is the possibility that the mapping isn’t working. Try a tail -f on the logfile and run a few tftp fetches by hand looking for the matches.

At this point the only thing left to do is the actual boot of the computer. So, reboot the test machine, netboot it, and if all goes well you will be greeted by the pxelinux menu. From there pick the entry you created for the windows installation and you will soon be greeted by the windows setup program.

Hopefully there is enough in here to allow you to troubleshoot any issues which you may run into. If this is not the case, please post in the comments and I’ll do what I can to assist you.

>>> Karl