Windows 7 PXE Network Installation Tutorial


If you’ve bought a Lenovo S205 without pre-installed OS – FreeDOS doesn’t count 🙂 – you must’ve wandered how you could install Windows on this device without an internal optical drive. I have good news: you can install it in three different ways.

  • via External (USB) DVD drive
  • via Pendrive
  • and via Network (PXE)


  • Router: you can connect your computers directly if you have an Ethernet crossover cable, but you have to configure your server differently.
  • Computer with Windows installed: you can use any computer-OS combination as a PXE Server as long as it has a TFTP software (even your smartphone can be a server :)). In this tutorial I’m going to use  a Windows 7  PC with Serva because I think this configuration would suit the S205 owners the best. There is an alternative TFTP software for Windows called TFTPD which is more popular than Serva but in my opinion also harder to set up.
  • Windows DVD: you can install other OS’s as well using different settings. You don’t neccessary need a physical disk, you can also  use a downloaded ISO. A Ubuntu 12.04 LTS network installation tutorial is coming soon is already out. 😛

(!) You should temporarily disable your firewall to avoid potential conflicts.


  1. Download and extract Serva to a folder (e.g. C:\Serva_Non-Supporter_64_v2.0.0). Choose the appropriate Serva version based on the Windows edition you are about to install (x64 – 64 bit,  x86 – 32 bit). I recommend installing Windows 7 64-bit edition (you can upgrade memory to 4GB+ and S205 drivers are provided as well, see a comparison here) . Use the selected architecture consistently throughout this tutorial.
  2. Create a root folder for Serva (e.g. C:\SERVA_ROOT).
  3. Run Serva and click on the Settings button at the bottom.
  4. On TFTP tab tick TFTP server and select the TFTP Server root directory you have created in the previous step (in my case C:\SERVA_ROOT).Serva #1
  5. Click on the DHCP tab, set proxyDHCP and tick the BINL box.Serva #2
  6. Save your settings and restart Serva.
  7. In your root directory you should see some files that Serva has created. Right click on the WIA_WDS folder and select properties. On the Sharing tab select Advanced sharing. Tick Share folder, set the Share name to WIA_WDS_SHARE and make sure that the access is set for Everyone.Serva #3
  8. Create a new folder inside the WIA_WDS directory and copy the contents of your Windows 7 DVD to it (i.e. C:\SERVA_ROOT\WIA_WDS\Win7_64_SP1).
  9. We are almost finished. 🙂  In order for Windows install to work you have to add the S205 ethernet driver to the install package. First create the following directory structure inside your WIA_WDS’s Windows folder: $OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC\ (i.e.  C:\SERVA_ROOT\WIA_WDS\Win7_x64\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC). Now you have two options to get the required drivers to their place:
    1. Insert your Lenovo Driver CD to your drive and navigate to the LAN driver folder: Win7\4.LAN\WIN7\YOUR_WINDOWS_DISK’S_ARCHITECTURE (in my case it’s F:\Win7\4.LAN\WIN7\64) and copy all files except note.txt to the created NIC folder.
    2. Download the latest ethernet drivers from Lenovo‘s website and extract the contents of the \\WIN7\64 or \\WIN7\32 folder inside the .exe file to the NIC directory using WinRAR or 7-ZIP.

    Serva #4

  10. Quit and re-run Serva again.
  11. Start your s205 and press Fn+F11 to go to the Boot Menu. Select the PCI LAN: Realtek PXE option. If your settings are correct, after a few seconds you should see Serva’s Install Menu (similar to the one below but with only one Windows 7 entry). Select it and press Enter to continue.Serva Multi-OS PXE Install Menu
  12. ServaPENet will start with the familiar Windows look. cool  After it automatically installed the LAN drivers you will be prompted to provide the username and password of your server computer (the one with Serva running on). Enter them (or, in case you don’t have, leave the fields blank) and press Connect.WDS OS requiring WIA_WDS_SHARE user and password
  13. After a few seconds Windows Installer should start. That’s it. If you want to use both Windows and Ubuntu on your S205 make sure you’ve read my tutorial on Dual-Booting before you proceed with the installation.

Source: vercot, rmprepusb

Leave a comment


  1. someone

     /  December 31, 2012

    when i try to logon i get ERROR:connection failed with error 0x35
    any ideas?

  2. titus

     /  February 11, 2013

    see the new Serva 2.1… its awesome…

  3. Thank you very much for this tutorial !

    This works for all computers, just a clarification:

    Create a file “Unattend.ini” in C: \ serva_root \ WIA_WDS \

    Like this:

    Domain = domain name
    Password = your password
    Username = username

    Otherwise, it will not work.

  4. titus

     /  February 23, 2013

    @z0live I think what you say is just only for automatizing the log in; if not you can always enter the user and password on ServaPENet dialog…

    • z0live

       /  February 25, 2013

      @titus: It is perhaps only the latest version (2.1.0) does not allow to connect without login and password …

      • neetah

         /  November 18, 2013

        im currently installing windows 7 using serva.. and I cant seem to get the login credentials right. Please advise

  5. titus

     /  February 25, 2013

    @zolive you always need an user and password you are right, but is not mandatory using “Unattend.ini” you can always manually type the password on ServaPENet dialog and continue the install. BTW Unattend.ini/Unattend.xml are “Supporter” features.

    • z0live

       /  March 4, 2013

      Ah ok! Sorry but my English is bad … As I stuck at this moment, I just created this file and everything works flawlessly.
      I just signal if other people are experiencing this problem.
      Again thank you for your tutorial.

      • You are welcome and I’m glad that your method worked. As titus has already said, normally you don’t need an ini file. “PXE/BINL MS OSs unattended install support” is a new feature of Serva 2.1 but according to its website it’s only available in Supporter version.

      • z0live

         /  March 5, 2013

        Thank you very much for your kindness. I do a lot of repairs computers and it lets me customize installations without having to burn, I can install on computers that do not have a DVD player (or down) or when / and USB is not supported by the BIOS at startup.
        In addition, this installation method is faster than DVD.

        Olivier from France, Paris.

  6. Dave Jarrard

     /  April 1, 2013

    Thank you so much. I tried so many other software packages and just got stuck. A very clear tutorial and now a working laptop with a broken CD..

    Dave from England

  7. You need to enter both 32bit (x86) & 64 bit (x64) if u are using a aio image or disc.

  8. SadSad

     /  May 20, 2013

    Hi i get a 0x43 error: The network name cannot be found

    • 123

       /  July 12, 2013

      Tick Share folder, set the Share name to WIA_WDS_SHARE and make sure that the access is set for Everyone.

  9. Bighead

     /  June 7, 2013

    I keep getting the error:
    0x89A The specified user name is not valid.

    I have typed everything correctly, and I am 100% sure my username is entered properly. I do not know what to do from here…

    • Oli Blake

       /  August 29, 2013

      Hi Bighead, did you ever solve this? I am having exactly the same problem as you!

  10. Hi to all, because I am actually eager of reading this webpage’s post to be updated daily. It contains good stuff.

  11. This is a great article. As I have used Serva many times. And it works GREAT!
    UNTIL you need to install the drivers manually.

    I know where to put the driver files. And I have the proper driver files. – NOW I JUST NEED TO KNOW what my PC is looking for as in the names of the driver? This doesn’t say it in the logs of Serva. Which is what stinks!

    Where can I go everyone? How can I get around this? Can anyone help me PLEASE!
    Brian W.

  12. Indrek

     /  August 18, 2013

    N.I.C.E !!! Ty so much!!!

  13. tom

     /  August 20, 2013

    @Brian, Drivers are made of an xxx.inf, yyy.sys and plus “sometimes” some extra required binary files. The .cat “if exists” is the signature, do not worry about it, the xxx.inf is a text file containing a reference to the binary yyy.sys, then a common mistake is changing yyy.sys name, then xxx.inf will have a reference to a file that you just renamed; that means ERROR… Do not blame Serva; It’s just Windows…. 😉

  14. Hi, when I installed win7, the ServaPENet always stayed in ” Loading Network Resources…” , what’s the problem? Can anyone help me please?

  15. mars

     /  October 18, 2013

    @clixiang it looks like a problem in your network driver don’t you think?

  16. Ankur

     /  October 20, 2013

    how to boot live xp via serva

  17. Omar

     /  October 23, 2013

    I get Error 0x533 😦

  18. torside

     /  November 16, 2013

    thanks!!! just few minutes of my time and works perfectly with acer aspire 🙂

  19. Student

     /  November 17, 2013

    Could you please provide me with the rule for writing the domain , user and password?
    I try to use
    [Domain\]User : //myservername/WIA_WDS_SHARED/myusername
    Password : mypassword
    whole day I try to connect via ServaPENet dialog but none success
    Dialog always said that “The specified user name is not valid”

    But when I try to net use //myservername/WIA_WDS /user:\myusername mypassword
    the console report that the command completed successfully

    • You don’t need the whole path. Just enter your computer’s username and password. Forget the domain.

      [Domain\]User : myusername
      Password : mypassword

      • neetah

         /  November 18, 2013

        I tried to enter my computer username and password but it gives the 0x43 error :Network name not found!

    • mars

       /  February 4, 2014

      0×43 error :Network name not found!
      This error means either:
      1) You did not create the share “WIA_WDS_SHARE” correctly
      2) Correct share name not found in back-to-back situations.
      For solving 2) you need to turn your Serva PC WINS service ON.

  20. Hi there! I’m trying to install russian Windows 8.1 and when the user/password dialog appears i can not switch language to English. All shortcuts seemsNOT to be working. whatever i do it types in russian

  21. Cal MacDonald

     /  January 12, 2014

    Failed for me too. I choose the windows 7 option in the boot / install menu then

    pxechain: usage: pxechain..cbt [[ip address]:]filename appears.

    • mars

       /  February 4, 2014

      Your asset directory name sure contains spaces on it. Spaces are not allowed.

  22. Its really helpful to me. now one thing i want to add. if i want to install some additional software include windows how i can go for ?

    like, i want to install adobe photoshop, Microsoft office etc.. does there any way to add this ?

    • I’m glad it’s helpful to you.

      Yes, it’s possible to integrate software into the Windows installer. The keyword is ‘Windows slipstream(ing)’. You can find several tutorials and software on the internet.

  23. Christo Nieuwenhuys

     /  February 3, 2014

    Hi Guys

    I had login issues too, but managed to solve it. You have to pay very close attention to the “Shared” Name of the folder outlined in Step 7.In your root directory you should see some files that Serva has created. Right click on the WIA_WDS folder and select properties. On the Sharing tab select Advanced sharing. Tick Share folder, set the Share name to WIA_WDS_SHARE (<– My Share defaulted to "WIA_WDS" which was wrong) and make sure that the access is set for Everyone.

    Hope this helps.

  24. adet

     /  March 11, 2014

    0×43 error :Network name not found

    Why ??
    i was make credential//
    when i changed to WIA_WDS_SHARED !!! cannot boot ..

    tertulis No label

  25. bah

     /  March 11, 2014

    hello cant someone help me about de lenova i dont understand???

  26. jan

     /  April 3, 2014

    error 0X5 user doesn’t network resource access…

    for some reason i didn’t make password for my pc….
    sharing…. everyone
    User: my Account name right?
    pass: i didnt make pass on my account

    Serva… needs user and pass….
    put my account name with no pass and i get that error
    no account and pass still same error -_-

    • TheOperator

       /  March 27, 2015

      If you shared to “everyone” your username is “everyone” and there is no password

  27. mars

     /  April 7, 2014

    @adet the share name is WIA_WDS_SHARE (w/o the ending “D” you have added)
    @jan use an account with user “&” password

  28. Thanks for the Tutorial. Worked great! May I post a (german translated) version of this on my blog (with link to your original post of course)?

  29. mohammed.alshereif

     /  November 6, 2014

    What is username & Password? and where get it?

    • Euhen

       /  December 2, 2014

      the password and username are of the computer with the windows files instalation.

      you must have 2 shared folders::

      1. server_root – with the same name
      2. WIA_WDS – with share name WIA_WDS_SHARE

      and then

      in ServaPENet you complete:

      – [Domain]\User -> with the user of the computer with windows files instalation.
      – Password -> with the password of the computer with windows files instalation.

      I tried and it worked.

      • xru

         /  January 27, 2015

        WIA_WDS – with share name WIA_WDS_SHARE (When installing Vista and up)
        server_root – with the name WIA_RIS_SHARE (When installing W2K, XP, Server 2003)

        The user/password required by ServaPENet when installing Vista and up are from any user with minimally reading rights on WIA_WDS_SHARE

  30. Cesar

     /  May 14, 2015

    Estoy tratando de instalar W7 y luego de crear las carpetas y compartir con los parametros que ya he visto en los post anteriores me sigue dando error 0x35 NetPath not found, wrong credentials, or unreliable net.

    WIA_WDS esta compartida como WIA_WDS_SHARE (Con permisos de lectura y escritura)

    usuario: admin
    clave: 123

    no lo hace

    y si coloco

    usuario: \\serividor\admin
    clave: 123

    error 0x89A The specified username is not valid
    WIA_WDS esta compartida como WIA_WDS_SHARE (Con permisos de lectura y escritura)

    usuario: admin
    clave: 123

    no lo hace

    y si coloco

    usuario: \\serividor\admin
    clave: 123

    error 0x89A The specified username is not valid

  31. nobody

     /  June 12, 2015

    I fixed error 0x35 by enabling NetBIOS over TCP/IP under local area network -> TCP/IPv4 properties -> advanced -> WINS

  32. sumit

     /  December 30, 2015

    Error 0x43 the network name cannot be found? 😢

  33. Alexander

     /  June 15, 2016

    Hello, I keep getting error when I enter user / pass.
    I have no username and password to the system
    How can I solve?

  1. Ubuntu 12.04 LTE PXE Network Installation Tutorial « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog
  2. Dual-Booting Windows & Ubuntu on Lenovo S205 « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog
  3. Installing OS over PXE on machine without USB/optical drive | Exciting Stuff Club
  4. Tuto : Installer Windows 7 via serveur PXE (Network install) | Guillaume R.

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