Remote-booting Diskless Windows Workstations from OS/2

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Original work by Micho Durdevich

These articles will describe in detail the design of various types of diskless Windows machines, that remote-boot from OS/2 Warp Server and eComStation. This includes Windows 9x/ME clients, as well as Windows NT/2000/XP machines, using both RIPL 802.2 and DHCP/PXE as boot methods.

I was fascinated by the internal structure of the OS/2 Warp Server remoteboot subsystem. My intention is to extend this beautiful technology, as much as possible, in order to achieve the complete management of all possible thin-client Windows workstations from OS/2 Warp Server and eComStation.

As we know, OS/2 is an example of a very stable, consistent, object-oriented and flexible operating system. It is designed from the ground up to run diskless over networks.

On the other hand, Windows is an example of a not very stable, inconsistent, non-object-oriented, and unflexible operating system. And it is not designed to run over networks. Surprisingly, in spite of all these properties, Windows operating system turns out to be very friendly-especially when playing a RIPL game.

Two operating systems are somehow complementary one to another. Many non-trivial and amazing phenomena appear in the study of their interplay...

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank all the people who have supported my work, in various ways. In particular, I am very grateful to Kim Cheung, Bob St. John and Glenn Hudson from Serenity Systems for various technical and conceptual explanations regarding OS/2 RIPL, managed client solutions and related business models.

Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to Serenity Systems, as well as to US-Mexico Foundation For Science, for a generous support.

Muchas gracias, to Carlos de Luna for getting me interested in the managed client/RIPL aspects of Warp Server.

Several people kindly sent me very interesting comments/suggestions (I have incorporated some into my articles). In particular, Bob Greenwald sent me valuable remarks concerning the use of Microsoft redirection software, and related problem of long filenames. I would like to thank Tony Brewer for bringing to my attention a very nice idea (by Andre Moreira) of mounting DRVSPACE-compressed volumes from a RAM-drive.

Articles
Remote Boot of Win95 from OS/2 Warp Server
RIPLing Windows: Further Variations
RIPLing Windows: Some Technical Issues
Big RamDrives and Beyond
Virtual Superfloppy Configurations
RIPLing Windows Millennium Edition