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When you try to install Windows 2000 using a Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) client with a Remote Installation Service (RIS) server, you may never be prompted to press the F12 key to perform a network boot.
This behavior can be caused by version .99j of the PXE boot ROM on the network adapter.
If a client computer has revision .99j of the PXE boot ROM and is referred to another RIS server that is located across a router, the client cannot contact that RIS server. This prevents you from receiving the prompt to press F12 to perform the remote installation.
To resolve this issue, contact the manufacturer of your network adapter or computer and obtain an updated version of the PXE boot ROM. At the time this article was written, revision .99N was known not to cause this problem.
When a client is pre-staged in Active Directory to use a particular RIS server, another RIS server may pick up the PXE client's request. This server refers the client to the correct RIS server, and provides the client the IP address of the server and the name of the first file (Startrom.com) to download.
If that server is across a router, the PXE client should first send an ARP request for the Default Gateway (router) IP address, and then send an ARP request for the destination RIS server's IP address. However, with the .99j PXE boot ROM, this does not occur. The PXE client begins by sending an ARP request for the IP address of the destination RIS server, not the Default Gateway (router). This causes the client to time out because it is never answered, and the F12 prompt is never displayed.
If the RIS server to which the PXE client is being referred is on the same subnet, the .99j client may work, but Microsoft recommends that you update to version .99N or later to prevent this problem.
For additional information about PXE client communication, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
244036 Description of PXE Interaction Among PXE Client, DHCP, and RIS