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Install Windows 7 from Network Share

cover-windows-network-install

Image via  HP


Ever wondered how Windows is deployed on a large number of computers in the industry? If you are thinking of CD/DVD or USB drive then you are wrong. It is installed over a network using WAIK. While this method gives a lot of flexibility it is certainly overkill if you want to install Windows to a single PC.

See Also: Install Windows 7 or windows 8 from USB drive

In this article we will show you how to install Windows 7 from network using a much simpler method. We will be using software called Serva. You do not require any DVD or USB drive.

Note: While this article is written for Windows 7 it is equally applicable for Windows 8, Windows XP and Windows 2000.

Requirements:

  1. Two computers connected to the same network – source and target computer. In our setup the computers were connected to the same router. Though computers can also be directly connected.
  2. The source computer has Windows setup files while target computer in on which we will install Windows 7.
  3. The source computer must have a password. Blank password is not allowed.

On source computer

Step 1:

  • Head over to this site and download the appropriate version of serva. In our case we downloaded Serva_Non-Supporter_64_v2.1.3 . Non supporter is the free version. It displays a nag screen every time you start Serva but is fully functional.
  • Extract Serva in a folder lets say ‘D:\serva’. Make sure the path is short and has no space.
  • Also make another folder ‘D:\servaroot’ where we will store Windows setup files.

Step 2:

  • Start Serva and make the initial settings.
  • In the DHCP tab select proxyDHCP, BINL and Bind DHCP options. These options are for router setup. In case you are directly connecting the computers without any router then set Serva as ‘DHCP Server’ also assign start IP (172.16.0.4), mask(255.255.255.0) and pool size.
  • In the TFTP tab select TFTP server, bind TFTP to this address and give path to the root directory we have created in previous step.
  • Close Serva to save the settings. Some files and folders will be create in WIA_WDS

See images for clear understanding. Click to enlarge.

Step 3:

Copy Windows 7 setup files in a folder inside ‘D:\servaroot\WIA_WDS’. Make sure you copy it inside a folder, say ‘Windows7’, not directly in the ‘WIA_WDS’ folder. The folder structure should look like this:

WIA_WDS\
         Windows7\
                  BOOT\...
                  SOURCES\...
                  SUPPORT\...
                  ...

If your are installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 use the folder ‘WIA_WDS’ otherwise for Windows XP and Windows 2000  use the folder ‘WIA_RIS’. Even Linux can be installed using this method. For that use ‘NWA_PXE’ folder.

Step 4:

Share the folder ‘WIA_WDS’ as ‘WIA_WDS_SHARE’. Make sure you use this exact same name.

share-windows-setup-files

Step 5:

Start Serva again and leave it running on the source computer.

On target Computer

Step 6:

Boot the target PC and select Boot from LAN option (Nvidia Boot Agent in this case). You may have to enable this in BIOS.

nvidia-boot-agent

Now select the OS. Since have copied only one OS we will get only one option.

5-servar-screen

 

Now enter the username and password of the user account on source computer on which we have shared the folder.

enter-usename-password

 

Step 7:

Proceed with Windows install as you normally would.

Conclusion

It took 20 minutes for the install to complete. The target PC was connected to router by cat5 cable while source PC was connected to the router via WiFi,  though it doesn’t matter how source PC is connected to the router. Also note that the IP address we are using (172.16.0.3) is assigned by our router. If your router assigns any other IP address address like 192.168.1.2 use that.  We came up with the above method after many retries. If you face any problem the just drop a comment.

About Aamir Rizwan

Aamir Rizwan is a passionate blogger and the founder of TechAnger.com. He likes staying at the top of latest technology. In his free time he enjoys listening music, watching House MD and playing third person shooters.

  • Tushar Singh

    till yet this was the best post

  • Vivek Upadhyay

    I’ve seen installation for RedHat like this, but wondering how windows will be..?
    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Star Rocky

    i have 32 bit serva and i connect directly the 2 computers but the setting was not save and there is no folder make in servaroot folder…..any idea about

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Make sure that folder path is correct. Save the settings. Close and start again. This should create the folders. Also you can try disabling your antivirus during this process.

  • Renos

    Thanks a lot for that precious piece of info! While I was able to apply the procedure involving a router, I have trouble doing it by directly connecting the two pcs with a crossover cable. Although I have carefully followed your instructions in step 2, I’d appreciate if you could be more explicit on the direct connection setup. Thanks again!

  • Seth

    This was great. Thanks!

  • niransg .

    Thanks a lot…. works great… you are the best….

  • Goutham Raj

    I have connect two systems like p2p… and made one as source and another one is client… what is my problem is the source system can able to recognize the client but the client couldn’t accepting the offer..
    and I can’t able to find what will be the problem…

  • Carlos

    There is another alternative for installing Windows 7/2008 over a network. Can be used where the client pc, a previous windows version can not read the windows 7 dvd installation. First make the drive (from the computer supplying the dvd (server)) dvd shareable. Then read the drive DVD over the network the client pc .Then start setup. Once setup is running, the next time it boots or subsequence boots would be from the client (This is windows procedure.)

  • Bhanu Nath Aggarwal

    hey there it’s a nice post but I am getting an error that is DHCP request was not processed something like that please help

  • marioandluigi879

    Sorry but I am a complete noob to this everytime I try to
    network boot the computer it just gives me and Error

    PXE-E53: No boot filename received

    and it gives me 2 errors on serva too

    [01/19 00:03:27.540] BINL Err: Expanding E:serverootWIA_WDSWindows7_SERVA_pxeboot.n12
    [01/19
    00:13:50.736] PDHCP Err: >> Too many clients; “Supporter” license
    required. Ignoring MAC ?/38:B1:DB:0D:C3:9B request

    thanks for answering

    • Reena D

      Too many clients; Supporter license required – Serva Non Supporter – Supports only 1 Client. If You want to connect more Clients at a Time – buy Serva Supporter Edition..
      BINL Err: Expanding – In the Windows 7 Folder Some file is Missing.. Try Deleting the Folder and Create Windows 7 Folder again, then Copy ur Windows 7 Iso, then Extract..

  • digitalsd

    Hi, your guidance is very useful but I received error in the step of loading network resources. No NIC/Driver, Aborting! Please help.

    • digitalsd

      I managed this little issue :)

      • satyam

        how can u resolve this issue

  • Parven

    SERVA SHOWING INITIAL MENU HAS NO LEBEL