How to install Windows 8 from network

Well today I was putting together a new home PC for my parents since the current one has 8 years (!!!) and, when I finished assembling it, a question arised spontaneously…. how can I install the OS without a dvd player? Well I install it from a USB pen, I've done a lot of times! Too bad that at home the only usb pen I found was a little old…. 256 MB di spazio 😐

Ok let's see what we can do over the network in the simplest possible way… I find a great video that explains step by step how to do:

All that we need is a network card that can boot from network (all by now…), a second PC on which to run tftpd (integrating tftp server and dhcp server) and a network share containing the unpacked iso of windows 8 (or, as shown in the video, simply share the dvd player that has inside the DVD installation).

I summarize the steps to follow here, but I do not go into detail so have a look at the video because it's really clear:

1) Enable network boot in bios PC on which you want to install the operating system

2) Download and run tftpd on the second machine (it is free and there is also a portable version)

3) Configure tftpd options, choose a directory as a repository, make sure that it will also act ad dhcp server and send to the machines the file pxelinux.0 at boot (the file can be found here: http://itfreetraining.com/downloads/tftpdfiles.zip or here tftpdfiles it is a zip to unpack in the directory you choose as a repository of tftp service)

4) Download from Microsoft site Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit http://www.microsoft.com/it-it/download/details.aspx?id=39982, and install it (it takes a little bit because data are downloaded during the installation process and are about 6 giga).

5) Create a WindowsPE x86 or x64 iso through windows ADK (depending on the architecture of your PC) and put it in the repository of the tftp server

  1. The commands are “copype x86 C:Winpex86” or “copype AMD64 C:Winpex64”

6) Boot the pc, automatically, it will boot by network, take an ip from dhcp server, download the file pxelinux.0 and run it. The file is nothing but a boot loader with even a simple graphical interface that shows you all the iso available in the tftp repository.

7) Select the desired image and run the WinPE operating system

8) Once booted your WinPE should have an ip address and then it should be able to reach the network share that contains the installation files for Windows 8.

9) With a simple “net use * \server_ipshare_name” (it may ask for credentials based on how you have set the share) map the share to a local drive (i.e.. Z:), go into the newly created drive and run setup.exe that will launch the operating system installation

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