Windows XP PXE booting of first-gen VIA EPIA boards, and how not to get a BSOD

If you found this article, you’ve probably gotten a DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (aka STOP 0x000000D1 or 0xD1) error on fetnd5.sys when PXE booting Windows XP on a VIA EPIA 5000 or 800, or any other motherboard with a VT6103 ethernet controller. This may even apply to any other VIA Rhine ethernet controller. (Really, I’m writing this blog post because I ran into this for the second time, and want the answer to be in search engines, instead of buried in years-old IRC logs.)

You may have even tried the EPIA driver pack, which includes an ethernet driver dated 2002-01-29, and gotten the same BSOD on fetnd5a.sys.

There’s a solution, though: the VIA Rhine Family Driver version 3.87a, dated 2011-05-05. (That link is from VIA’s site.) Feed that thing in the OEM drivers in your preferred PXE server, and things should just work.

You’re welcome.

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