How to load windows 7 from network

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to install Windows on a laptop or machine and you don’t have a flash disk, USB cd rom or the CD rom doesn’t work? This is what I experienced lately but I stretched my limits and decided to try loading the OS using the network boot option.
So today am going to explain to you how you can load your windows installation over the network. This can be achieved if you computers are on the same network i.e. if you are using a router or using a cross over cable like in my case. Ever wondered how Windows is deployed in big companies with over 50 computers. This is how it’s done.
You need software called SERVA.  Head over to their website and download the NON-Supporter version which is free.
We will refer to the computer that has the OS as the SOURCE and the one we want to install the OS as the CLIENT. Most of the work will happen on the SOURCE computer.

Requirements before starting:

  1. Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows XP whole installation files the way they appear on a DVD.
  2. Source computer must have a username and password
  3. Computers on same network or IP address set with the same range
  4. Network drivers for the client computer extracted. Check for ".inf" and ".cat".
  5. Network cable cross over or straight through cable if using a router
Now that we have ensured all pre-requisites are set we need to extract the SERVA software to a folder on one of our local partitions on the SOURCE computer. D:\Serva
Next thing you do is create another folder named D:\Servaroot remember the folders should not contain spaces or long names. This is the folder where you will store Windows installation files

Step 1

a)Start serva from the D:\serva folder and run it for the first time on the source computer.  Go to settings to configure the settings for DHCP and TFTP. If you are using a router enable Proxy DHCP, BINL and Bind DHCP. In my case I used a cross over to connect my two computers, so I enabled DHCP server and BINL and also enabled Bind DHCP to this address options. This is how I set up my configuration refer to this image
b)Go to the TFTP tab and enable TFTP server also make sure bind TFTP to this address is selected don’t change anything here except the TFTP server root directory which you will set to the folder you created D:\Servaroot\
c)Close serva program and it will configure some folders on D:\servaroot ready for you to copy windows files.

Step 2

Copy your windows installation files on the folder that has been created automatically on D:\Servarot\WIA_WDS\Windows7. If you are installing earlier versions like win XP use WIA_RIS folder or NWA_PXE for Linux installation
The next thing you need to do is make sure you share the WIA_WDS. The exact name for the share name should be WIA_WDS_SHARE.
Also very important copy the Network drivers you extracted for the client computer on the following folder D:\servaroot\WIA_WDS\WINDOWS7\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC.

Step 3

Start serva program on the source computer and don’t close it.
Boot the client computer and select the Network boot option, Boot from LAN or PXE boot. Remember you can set it as first priority clients BIOS.    

Step 4

If everything goes successfully you will see some activity on the Serva program as it binds the Clients IP address and starts communicating with it. You will be prompted to choose the Operating system you set i.e. Windows 7 and press Enter. After successful network drivers installation you will be prompted to enter the source computer log in details and the installation will run just like a normal windows installation.



If you encounter any problems you can always comment and i will try my best to assist. Most errors occur if you don't configure the IP address correctly or if you the clients Network drivers are not detected.Make sure you have the correct NIC drivers for you network card.
How to load windows 7 from network How to load windows 7 from network Reviewed by Elvis Msmart on 02:55 Rating: 5
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