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NetBooting NetApp & N-Series

April 4th, 2009

Quick guide on how to NetBoot a NetApp FAS / IBM N-Series.

First of all you’ll want a netboot image and a home for it. You can get these from either NetApp or IBM, and you’ll want to make sure it’s the relevant ONTAP version for you. You’ll need either a web server, or TFTP server to put this on so that the filer can access this remotely and download it. The best bet to avoid any complications is to put this into the root directory of the TFTP / Web server, but if you are going to use this as a general storage area and refer to it more often, then you may want to drop it into it’s own folder, it will cause no issue.

At the CFE / Loader prompt on the filer, first thing is to configure some networking.

For DHCP on e0a…

ifconfig e0a -auto

To setup static networking on e0a…

ifconfig e0a -addr= mask=

If you need, you can set a gateway “-gw=…”, dns server “-dns=…”, the network speed “-speed=1000fdx”, and also the MAC address “-hwaddr”. Please refer to [cref ifconfig] for further details on “ifconfig” at the CFE prompt.

Now we tell the filer to NetBoot from the image on the TFTP / Web server. In this example our Web server is Please refer to [cref netboot] for further details on “netboot” at the CFE prompt.


This will then download and boot the filer into ONTAP that I have placed on my local web server.

Once it has been NetBooted, don’t forget to re-install ONTAP again in full. The NetBoot contains only enough for the filer to function and boot, but doesn’t contain things like the FilerView and some other functions of the system. If you need to 4a (completely re-initialise) the system, NetBoot it, hit CTRL+C on boot when prompted, and 4a from here before again doing a full ONTAP install afterwards.

NetBooting can really get you out of a pickle sometimes, so it is a very useful tool to know about.

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