[ipxe-devel] Create rom image with embedded script [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Tue Mar 1 12:35:50 UTC 2011

On Tuesday 01 Mar 2011 04:15:33 Andrew Dwyer wrote:
> Dwyer, Andrew <Andrew.Dwyer at ...> writes:
> > I'm hitting ctrl+b at the first prompt because that's the only one I
> > get.  After that the screen goes blank and then the devices in the boot
> > order attempt to boot.
> >
> > I'm doing this on a HP Z400 which has a HP branded BIOS.  The network
> > card definitely appears in the boot order selection with the stock Intel
> > pxe rom, but when I replace it with iPXE it disappears.
> >
> > The BIOS detection line:
> >
> > iPXE (http://ipxe.org) 37:09.0 1000 PCI3.00 PnP PMM+004D1200+004E1EF0
> > D740
> Does anyone have any suggestions for me on this issue?  I'm still having
>  the same problem of iPXE on my network card not showing up as a bootable
>  device.

HP BIOSes are known to do some strange things, such as using random unmarked 
areas of system memory to hold critical BIOS data structures.  You could try 
the attached patch, which will convert iPXE to a dumb pre-PCI3 ROM that 
doesn't do *anything* on initialisation except inform the BIOS that it is a 
bootable device.  It should then show up as "iPXE" (rather than the usual 
"iPXE (PCI 37:09.0)").

Note that this may prevent other option ROMs in the system from functioning, 
since the iPXE ROM will no longer shrink itself in order to take up less 
option ROM space.  You should check that you can boot the system without 
relying on option ROMs that are loaded after iPXE before you apply this patch.

(As an illustration, on one of my machines I had to boot from a SATA disk in 
order to recover, because the unshrunk iPXE ROM prevented the IDE controller's 
option ROM from loading.)

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