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RE: [K12OSN] Etherboot NIC Detection thoughts



> -----Original Message-----
> From: k12osn-admin redhat com [mailto:k12osn-admin redhat com] On Behalf
> Of Dennis Daniels
> Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 8:45 PM
> To: k12osn redhat com
> Subject: Re: [K12OSN] Etherboot NIC Detection thoughts
> 
> After many hours of hunting down boot roms for the assorted NICs I've
> got in donated machines (and donated NICs!) I often found myself saying,
> why can't the server (at least) detect the NIC card on the client and
> then prompt to create a boot-rom disk for the NIC card in question. Is
> that doable? If so, then I'm here to tell you, getting a new network up
> and running would be a much simpler job... PXE cards are still kinda
> pricey and tearing out NICs to look at chip set IDs (if there is one!)
> is very time consuming. Is there such a beast? Is there a way to detect
> a NIC card over the network from the server?
> Denny
[Tim Thorpe] 
That really isn't possible because of how networks work. you can't ping a
card to find out what it is because of the way the transmission works if we
remember the OSI layer we can see exactly how it works and why this solution
doesn't,

7 application
6 presentation
5 session
4 transport
3 Network
2 Data Link
1 Physical

When a NIC receives a frame it needs to know what to do with it, it knows
this by the drivers, PXE cards have this built in, this is why they can boot
off the network like they can, other cards need to be told how to handle the
frame else it doesn't understand and ignores it. You can't do discovery if
the card won't talk back, if it did talk back it would be easy to find at
least the manufacturer by the MAC address of the device.





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