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Creating a DOS Client Boot Disk for Windows 2000 Server

Working complete PC
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Windows NT 4.0 Server OEM"
The student will become familiar with:
The interoperability of NT family executable programs,
The manual extraction of an executable from the CABs,
The usage of the NT Client Administrator,
The creation of a network boot diskette,
The modification of the network boot diskette to load 3rd party NIC drivers.
The student will learn how to extract an executable from the CABs and how to use the Windows NT 4.0 Server NT Client Administrator to create a bootable DOS diskette that can logon to the network even when the local system's HDD has completely failed. The student will learn how modify the network boot diskette's configuration files so that it can use any network interface card's drivers.

The system needsto already have Windows 2000 Server installed along with DHCP, DNS and WINS. The administrator will need a copy of the Microsoft OEM Windows NT 4.0 Server installation CD-ROM to perform this exercise.

Procedures - Installing the Client Administrator
  1. This package was included with the Windows NT 4.0 Server but it is not included with the Windows 2000 server. The MS DOS Client 3.0 provides a method for DOS to load a protocol stack and NIC drivers and logon to a domain regardless of whether it is controlled by a Windows NT 4.0 server or Windows 2000 server. The client fits on a single boot diskette which makes it a very powerful network administrator's tool allowing for the capacity to boot up a failed system with a diskette that will provide the ability to connect to the network and login and access any shared resource. This would allow the administrator with a single diskette to boot the system, logon, access shared directories on a server and then run anti-virus software or Norton Ghost and perform a complete restoration of the failed system over the network.

  2. Since the Client Administrator tool is no longer included with Windows 2000 Server it will have to be copied from the Windows NT 4.0 Server installation CD-ROM. The Clients folder of that CD-ROM will also be necessary in order for the Client Administrator to access the actual files with which it will build the boot diskette.

  3. Insert the Windows NT 4.0 Server installation CD-ROM into a working Windows 2000 Server that is running a domain. (See The Windows 2000 Home Page for tutorials on how to install and configure a Windows 2000 server as a domain controller with a complete network infrastructure.)

  4. Create a folder in the root of the C: drive named TEMP and copy the files: Ncadmin.cn_ Ncadmin.ex_ and Ncadmin.hl_ from the i386 folder of the Windows NT 4.0 Server installation CD-ROM into the C:\TEMP directory. Now open a DOS box and change to this directory and execute this command:

    C:\temp>expand -r ncadmin.*
    Microsoft (R) File Expansion Utility Version 5.00.2134.1
    Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1990-1999. All rights reserved.

    Expanding ncadmin.cn_ to ncadmin.cnt.
    ncadmin.cn_: 526 bytes expanded to 1308 bytes, 148% increase.

    Expanding ncadmin.ex_ to ncadmin.exe.
    ncadmin.ex_: 59343 bytes expanded to 151312 bytes, 154% increase.

    Expanding ncadmin.hl_ to ncadmin.hlp.
    ncadmin.hl_: 23532 bytes expanded to 41590 bytes, 76% increase.

    Total increase: 3 files, 83401 bytes expanded to 194210 bytes, 133% increase.


  5. Procedures - Using the Client Administrator
  6. Now double click on the file ncadmin.exe. It turns out that even though it was written for and included with Windows NT 4.0, it is perfectly functional in Windows 2000. Ncadmin.exe will open and look like this:

  7. Select the first choice "Make a Network Installation Startup Disk" and click the "Continue" button. The following screen will appear the first time that you use the Client Administrator. This program will ONLY use a network share as the source for creating the client diskette and it will NOT use a local directory. What this screen wants to do is copy the Clients source files from the NT 4.0 Server CD-ROM to a local folder and automatically share it so that it can then use the share to create clients for you. If the Path box at the top is blank, be sure that the NT 4.0 Server CD-ROM is inserted and browse to the Clients folder on it and then click the OK button:

  8. You will see this file copy progress indicator as the utility copies the files from the CD-ROM to the folder:

  9. You will see a message box when the file copy is complete like this one. Click OK:

  10. There will be a brief flash of a message box as the utility shares the folder and then you will see this window. Be sure that Network Client 3.0 for MS-DOS and Windows is chosen and that the target is 3½" drive A: Do not worry about the adapter card dropdown unless the NIC that you plan on using is listed in this very small set of possible choices. Mine was not there so I left it pointing to "3COM Etherlink" and when we tweak the diskette we can change the NIC driver also. Click OK to create the diskette:

  11. This screen needs some network parameters that will be needed by the network protocol stack drivers on the diskette. You need to give the PC a NetBIOS host name that it will use when attempting to access the network. Fill this in at the top, I used "NET_RESTORE" but you can name the PC whatever you want. This will be the name that appears under the PC icon in the Network Neighborhood (of other machines on the network of course). User Name, Domain name, and network protocols are all defaults. You can leave it Administrator (of the domain) but you would never hand a diskette like that out in the real world, of course, and you can leave the domain name, and you must leave the protocol set to TCP/IP since that it the one we are learning how to make. It should be noted that this utility will create a diskette that can use NetBEUI, or MS IPX/SPX compatible protocols as well, but not all on the same diskette. If you have a domain controller up and running (which you need for this exercise, then you have also made it a DHCP server (following the tutorials on the Windows 2000 Home Page) so you can leave the setting "Enable Automatic DHCP Configuration" checked. Click the OK button:

  12. You are presented with a confirmation message box, click OK:

  13. This file copy progress window will appear as the diskette is created:

  14. This message box will appear when the diskette is complete, click OK:

  15. This final warning has to do with the fact that all of the DOS executable files that form the protocol stack on the diskette as it boots will crowd each other out of memory and it will not work. It also warns you that the person who will be logging in will have to have the proper permissions to access the shares. Since you will be logging on as Administrator that will not be an issue but the memory problem will be. Click OK:

  16. Procedures - Loading Other NIC Drivers on the Diskette
  17. The diskette has been built but it is not functional at this point. First we have to find the driver file for the NIC that we are using. Then we will have to configure the diskette to load a memory manager, and to load the driver file of the NIC that we will copy to the floppy.

  18. Sometimes the floppy will not have the entries in the CONFIG.SYS to load the memory managers. Open the CONFIG.SYS file in Notepad and check for the lines:

    device=a:\net\emm386.exe noems
  19. If they are not in the file, type them in and save the changes. Next change into the A:\NET folder and delete the file elnk16.dos unless your NIC can use the driver that you selected in the creation phases of the Client Administrator Utility. In our case we will use the SiS 900 NIC built into the motherboards of the systems in Room 6360. Now remove the Windows NT 4.0 Server CD-ROM and put the Room 6360 Student CD-ROM in the drive. When it opens browse into the folder Drivers\Lan\NDIS\DOS and copy the file sis900.dos to A:\NET. Now open the file A:\NET\SYSTEM.INI in Notepad and locate the line that reads:


    and change it to read:

  20. Save the changes and open the file A:\NET\PROTOCOL.INI in Notepad. In here change every single occurence of the group of letters "elnk16" to "sis900" So if you see a line that reads:


    Change this to:

  21. There is a section called [ms$elnk16], change it to [ms$sis900] also. When all occurences of the old driver name have been changed to the new one, save the changes to the file and open A:\AUTOEXEC.BAT. The third to the last line reads:

    net use z: \\SVR6\Clients

    Your server's name may be different of course. Change this to read:

    net use z: \\SVR6\C$
  22. This will give you access to the root of your server's C: drive. Now delete the next line that starts with "echo " and change the last line so that all it says is "z:" without the quotes of course.

  23. Save the changes and close Notepad. Take the diskette to the test client machine and be sure that a network cable is attached to the SiS 900 NIC port at one end and the jack under the station worktable that connects to the hub that the server is attached to. Boot the system with the floppy diskette and after many drivers load (and none of them display error messages!) you will be be presented with this prompt:

    A:\>a:\net\net start
    Type your user name, or press ENTER if it is ADMINISTRATOR:_
    Type your password:*****
    A:\>net use z: \\SVR6\C$
    The command completed successfully

  24. At this point you have successfully logged on to your server with nothing but a DOS boot diskette and you are currently in the root of the server's C: drive as well.

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Copyrightę2000-2004 Brian Robinson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED