[Soekris] Booting the net4526

David Witten wittend at wwrinc.com
Tue Oct 26 18:42:03 UTC 2004

I have had very good results from almost all of the  currently shipping  
Soekris products, and am generally a very happy customer.  But I am 
having  particular difficulty getting a bootable image into the net4526 
I purchased recently.  I have read everything I can find on PXE booting  
any variant of 'BSD and such PXE documentation as I have been able to 
find but cannot get past  a  particular error.  The com output  I get 
after a reset is as follows:

#= Start output =========================================
comBIOS ver. 1.24  20040312  Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Soekris Engineering.
0064 Mbyte Memory                        CPU 80486 133 Mhz
Pri Mas  064MB ATA Flash Disk            LBA 977-4-32  62 Mbyte
PXE-M00: BootManage UNDI, PXE-2.0 (build 082)

Slot   Vend Dev  ClassRev Cmd  Stat CL LT HT  Base1    Base2   Int
0:00:0 1022 3000 06000000 0006 2280 00 00 00 00000000 00000000 00
0:16:0 1260 3873 02800001 0117 0290 10 3C 00 A0000008 00000000 10
0:17:0 13A3 0020 0B400000 0116 0280 10 3C 00 A0001000 A0002000 11
0:18:0 100B 0020 02000000 0107 0290 00 3F 00 0000E001 A0010000 05

 1 Seconds to automatic boot.   Press Ctrl-P for entering Monitor.

BootManage UNDI, PXE-2.0 (build 082)
BootManage PXE-2.0 PROM 1.0, NATSEC 1.0, SDK 3.0/082 (OEM52)
Copyright (C) 1989,2000 bootix Technology GmbH, D-41466 Neuss.
PXE Software Copyright (C) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Intel Corporation.
Licensed to National Semiconductor

CLIENT MAC ADDR: 00 00 24 C2 B6 C0
PXE-E79: NBP is too big to fit in free base memory
PXE-M0F: Exiting BootManage PXE ROM.

No Boot device available, enter monitor.

comBIOS Monitor.   Press ? for help.

#= End Output =========================================

Other  net4526 info:
#= Start Output =========================================

     > show
    ConSpeed = 19200
    ConLock = Enabled
    ConMute = Disabled
    BIOSentry = Enabled
    PCIROMS = Enabled
    PXEBoot = Enabled
    FLASH = Primary
    BootDelay = 5
    BootPartition = Disabled
    ShowPCI = Enabled
    Reset = Hard


#= End Output =========================================

I am particularly troubled by the line:
   PXE-E79: NBP is too big to fit in free base memory

While I assume NBP means something like 'network boot prom', I have not 
been able to find it defined anywhere - especially in Intel's 

On the server side I have DHCP and PXE set up as indicated in the 
m0n0BSD Hacker's Guide, the m0n0Wall documentation, the PXE etherboot 
HOWTO, and the FreeBSD documentation, and various other 'authoritative' 
sources both great and small. Where they (frequently) contradict each 
other, I have attempted to try all the permutations and combinations.  I 
am using a FreeBSD 4.10 machine as the PXE boot host.

But somewhere there is something I just DON'T  get. So I find myself 
peering into the abyss of despair.

Can anyone point out the obvious point that I must be missing?

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