USB NIC w/o PXE Support, 64 Bit UEFI

  • Hi everyone,

    I’ve been using FOG (both .32 and 1.0) for a while now, but I’ve run into a problem I’ve been trying to tackle.

    I have a system with only one USB port that only supports 64 bit UEFI. Also, it has no NIC so it doesn’t have PXE support, so I’m trying to use a USB nic (the StarTech USB21000S2) which doesn’t support PXE boot.

    I’ve come up with a few possibilities:

    1. Using iPXE or gPXE standalone on a USB, but they don’t support the USB nic.
    2. Use a USB version with bzImage on it with the IP address of the FOG server, then swap it out with the USB nic.
    3. Use a 64 bit version of WinPE with WOW64 support for ghost32 with this tool ([url][/url])
    4. Using an UEFI capable version of Clonezilla.

    I know option 4 will work but the process will be extremely slow since I have quite a few of these systems.

    Any recommendations or help would be greatly appreciated!!

  • So, after spending two days trying to figure it out, I came up with a solution that works best for my situation for the moment until I can figure out how to use syslinux with uefi boot. The USB NIC works after loading bzImage which is great.

    I forgot to mention but this has been something I’ve been trying to figure out with the Surface Pro 1 from Microsoft since I don’t have the funds to purchase a crapload of $40 Microsoft Ethernet to USB adapters which are the only ones that support PXE boot natively.

    I used this [B][URL=‘’]guide [/URL][/B]as proof of concept to see if I could hit the FOG 0.32 running in a VM, and it seems like I can but unless I replace syslinux.cfg every time I create a task for a new host since the MAC address changes. I could use the capone plug-in I guess, but that doesn’t solve my problem of booting with UEFI and syslinux and bzImage/init.gz. I was able to run everything in the boot menu, but anything that required a reboot (hence an imaging task) required me to overwrite syslinux.cfg manually. At least if I could get an EFI bootable stick to hit the FOG server (1.1.0) then I could do a hardware inventory on it instead of having to manually add the MAC address of all the devices.

    My solution for the time being seems to be using CloneZilla and DRBL using samba to individually image or multicast image, or, use an ISO that I created with Win8.1SE on a USB which will load a ramimage of Win 8.1 as a live OS that even allows for wireless imaging since I have a licensed version of Ghost 11.5 copied into the image.

    Lastly, I still want to use FOG to pick these up and join them to the domain / printer management / snap in management so once they reboot and sysprep, they should connect and do these once they boot into the OS.

    In a perfect world, I’d be able to use an EFI bootable USB like the guide describes using a bios bootable version of syslinux with bzImage to hit the FOG server, register so I can create an imaging task, then reboot and hit the FOG server again without having to replace syslinux.cfg to customize the mac for the over 100 tablets that I plan on imaging :).

  • Senior Developer

    Have a look at this site, see it it can shed any light on your issue. I’ll also keep looking around.

  • No luck. It looks like iPXE boots from outside of the Clonezilla Live environment. In other words it’s just a copy of the iPXE iso which doesn’t support USB. Is there other way to boot to the FOG server to create an imaging task using USB? I remember reading you could do it with FOG .32 and non uefi systems by copying tftpboot to the root of a USB, but it doesn’t look like the same method could be used with FOG 1.0.

  • The version of clonezilla I’m using - 2.2.3-10 doesn’t have that option in the boot menu for some reason? I’ll try a few versions to see if I can get it to work. I would much rather stick to using FOG than having to image locally with a USB in any regard.

    Thanks for the direction Tom!

  • Senior Developer

    I would recommend using Clonezilla. Not because it will do the imaging, but you can choose, from the cd, to do pxe boot which could allow you to boot to FOG if you’re willing to try. So you wouldn’t be needing the USB NIC support in iPXE as clonezilla’s method should try loading any nic found and pass through that.