I built and support a DataPerfect database with 8 computers
networked through MS-Client.

Since this network is completely dedicated to the database (i.e.,
it needs not run any other software), I decided to get rid of the
hard disks in all client computers. They now boot from a floppy
disk containing FreeDOS and MS-Client only. The database software
resides in the server machine.

This is working fine, but it would be good to replace the floppy
boot disks by something faster and more reliable. So I must
decide where to go from here, but knowing almost nothing about
booting, this is where I stand now:

- I found and read the instructions on creating a DOS bootable
USB "disk".

- I suppose it is also possible to boot from a CD-ROM.

- Members of our list have been discussing "net booting", but I'm
not sure what it means exactly, and whether it is appropriate in
my case. I remember reading somewhere that "diskless" client
computers need special hardware on their network cards.

A major concern in this network is reliability, as the database
is used by doctors and nurses 12 hours a day to keep track of
some 30,000 patients.

So, my questions today are:

    (1) Which is the best approach to booting client computers
        without hard disks?

    (2) Where do I find the relevant instructions?


Marcos Florence
Sao Paulo, Brazil

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