Set up your machine for remote configuration.
On a Windows machine, the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), or NetBoot on Apple/Mac, is an industry standard client/server interface that allows networked computers that are not yet loaded with an operating system to be configured and booted remotely by an administrator. NetBoot/PXE code is typically delivered with a new computer on a boot disk that allows the computer (a client) to communicate with the network server so that the client machine can be remotely configured and its operating system can be remotely booted.
Because a network administrator does not have to physically visit the specific workstation and manually boot it, operating systems and other software, such as diagnostic programs, can be loaded onto the device from a server over the network. The process consists of the client machine notifying the server that it uses NetBoot/PXE. The server then sends the client a list of boot servers that contain the operating systems or software available. The client finds the boot server it needs and receives the name of the file to download and loads the operating system or software.
- The client machine does not necessarily need an operating system or even a hard disk.
- The client machine can be rebooted in the event of hardware or software failure. This allows the administrator to diagnose and perhaps fix the problem.
- Since NetBoot/PXE is vendor-independent, new types of computers can easily be added to the network.