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 soonis already out. 😛
(!) You should temporarily disable your firewall to avoid potential conflicts.
- 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.
- Create a root folder for Serva (e.g. C:\SERVA_ROOT).
- Run Serva and click on the Settings button at the bottom.
- 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).
- Click on the DHCP tab, set proxyDHCP and tick the BINL box.
- Save your settings and restart Serva.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Quit and re-run Serva again.
- 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.
- ServaPENet will start with the familiar Windows look. 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.
- 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.