Performing an upgrade of Windows XP across a network is simple because you probably already have network connectivity. All you have to do is log on, connect to the appropriate share, and launch the upgrade. However, without an existing operating system installed, installing XP across the network is a little more difficult.

To perform a clean installation of Windows XP across the network, the computer must have a Network Interface Card (NIC) that contains a boot ROM that meets the PXE protocol standards. The PXE Network Boot option can be enabled through the computer BIOS.

Alternatively, if the computer does not support booting from the NIC, you can use a PXE emulator boot floppy. The boot floppy can be generated using the Remote boot disk-generating utility (rbfg.exe). You can create the disk using the rbfg.exe utility. Insert a blank floppy, type in the path to the rfgb.exe utility (located in the REMINST\Admin\I386 directory) and click create disk. Once the disk is created you can use it to boot the computer.

[tags]xp,network device,install,upgrade,nic[/tags]