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How to boot operating system in case of failure?
Posted by on 18.07.2017 13:55

Sometimes we have to handle a software issue, a file system failure or an unrecognized system disk. To deal with these kind of situations, we can use our iPXE bootloader and its tools (eg. SystemRescueCd, Clonezilla, mfsBSD, or some popular Linux distributions installers).

To boot system over the network, we can use a remote console in the Admin Panel and enforce booting into iPXE bootloader. We do this during the initial phase of the boot, by pressing F12. Please keep in mind you have to do it quickly and repeatedly, because the instance starts immediately (in order to return to proper operation after a reboot as soon as possible).

The screenshot below show the point at which you must press F12.

 

booting_process

 

After performing the above steps, PXE should start booting.

 

pxe_boot

 

Next, we will see a list of available tools and operating system images, ready to be installed. We can also boot the system from a local disk and this will happen after 10 seconds if we don't choose other option.

 

pxe_menu

 

We can use SystemRescueCD to fix broken GRUB, analyse system logs, perfom fsck scan or post-hack analysis.

 

system_rescue

 

system_rescue2

 

It is also worth mentioning about an additional tools included in our PXE bootloader.

  • Clonezilla - useful in performing system deployment, backup and recovery. You will find more information in official documentation.
  • mfsBSD - a set of scripts that creates minimal installation of FreeBSD deployed in RAM.
  • iPXE Shell - an interactive PXE shell; you can find exemplary commands here.
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