Burning gPXE into Intel EtherExpress cards

<referback>This page is part of the ROM-burning tutorial.</referback>

Intel provides a utility called IBAUtil which allows you to update the expansion ROM images on many Intel NICs.

Renaming the ROM image

Intel's IBAUtil ROM-burning tool requires filenames with a .iba extension rather than a .rom extension. Give your gPXE ROM image a name suitable for IBAUtil:

  cp bin/8086107c.rom bin/8086107c.iba

where bin/8086107c.rom is the gPXE ROM image that you have just built.

Preparing the tools

Download and save the two files:

Copy your gPXE ROM image to the FreeDOS boot disk:

  mcopy -i dosboot.img bin/8086107c.iba ::

where bin/8086107c.iba is the renamed gPXE ROM image as created earlier.

Run PROBOOT.exe. This is a Windows application; if you don't have a Windows installation available then you should be able to extract the files embedded in it using p7zip or cabextract. PROBOOT.exe will extract several files to the directory C:\Intel13.3; the only file that you need is C:\Intel13.3\IBAUtil.exe.

NOTE: Be sure to get the latest version of PROBOOT.exe. Tested with version 14.3, but older versions are unable to burn images > 64kB in a correct way. Symptoms: 2nd prompt freezes system, no gPXE boot device in bios, but 1st prompt (ctrl+B) works and also autoboot within 1st prompt.

Copy IBAUtil.exe to the FreeDOS boot disk:

  mcopy -i dosboot.img /path/to/IBAUtil.exe ::

where /path/to/IBAUtil.exe is the path to your extracted copy of IBAUtil.exe.

Creating the boot disk

Transfer the boot disk image to a floppy disk:

  dd if=dosboot.img of=/dev/fd0

If you do not have a floppy disk available, you can create a bootable CD-ROM using

  mkisofs -b dosboot.img -o dosboot.iso dosboot.img

and then burn the ISO image dosboot.iso to a recordable CD-ROM.

Burning the gPXE ROM

Boot from the floppy disk (or CD-ROM). At the DOS A:\> prompt, type

  ibautil -restore -all

You should see something like

  A:\>ibautil -restore -all
  Intel(R) Boot Agent Utility
  IBAUtil version
  Copyright (C) 2002-2007 Intel Corporation
  Restoring image on NIC 1 from file 8086107C.IBA..done
  NIC Network Address Series  WOL Boot ROM Type      Version
  === =============== ======= === ================== =======
   1  001B210A7760    Gigabit YES PXE/RPL            98.113.250

Reboot the machine and enter the BIOS setup. You should see gPXE show up as an option in your BIOS's boot selection menu.

Congratulations on successfully burning gPXE into your network card!


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