Network Stack BIOS – What is it, and Should I enable it?

Most users aren’t aware, but Network Stack is an option in the BIOS menu. Upon activation, the user can boot the computer through the network without using the hard disk.

But this function is useful to a limited number of users only. If you are one of them and want to navigate through the complicated BIOS menu seamlessly, you are at the right place. Check out the following guide, where we discussed the Network Stack feature and how to enable and disable it.

What is BIOS?

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is a program used by the microprocessor inside your computer that helps to start the system after turning it on.

But it has more functions. BIOS also manages the flow of data between the operating system and the connected devices. For example, keyboards, flash drives, printers, hard disks, and more. BIOS has four main functions.

  • It checks the hardware before loading the OS.
  • It locates the OS.
  • It also locates the necessary drivers and software.
  • Lastly, it plays an important role while altering hardware and system settings.

What is Network Stack in BIOS?

Network Stack is essentially an option in the BISO menu. Enabling this option means the users can load the operating system through a network card from a remote computer or a server (PXE Boot).

This option is available in the Boot options under the BIOS settings. But users can only find it if the onboard LAN Boot ROM is enabled. This option is also known as Network Boot and Internal Network Adapter.

Even if you are aware of the Network Stack option, it is not easy to enable in BIOS. Most users are not aware of the ways to operate within the BIOS menu. It is very tricky and risky. So, be sure to check out the guide below.

Network Stack BIOS

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How Do You Enable Network Stack BIOS? 

Enabling network stack BIOS is an exceptionally delicate process. BIOS is the part of the system that is only accessible to a seasoned operator. 

But to execute this process, you have to open the BIOS menu or the UEFI settings on your computer. The procedure is split into two parts. The first part is to open the BIOS settings, and the second part shows how to enable the network stack BIOS.   

Part 1: Opening the BIOS Settings 

Windows 11

  1. Click the Start button and navigate to Windows Settings
  2. Select System on the left side of the panel. 
  3. Click Recovery on the right side. 
Recovery Option Under Windows 11 Settings
  1. Click Restart on the Advanced Startup Tile. 
Advanced Startup
  1. After your computer restarts, select Troubleshoot
Select Troubleshoot Option
  1. Click Advanced Options
Advanced Options
  1. Then, select UEFI Firmware Settings
UEFI Firmware Settings
  1.  Then, click Restart
Click Restart

After the restart, your system will enter BIOS. 

Windows 10

  1. Click the Start button and navigate to Windows Settings
  2. Select Update & Security
Windows 10 Update And Security
  1. Click Recovery on the left side of the panel. 
  2. Click Restart Now, under Advanced Startup, on the right side of the window. 
Advanced Startup Restart Now
  1. After Windows restarts, select Troubleshoot
Click Troubleshoot
  1. Select Advanced Options
Select Advanced Options
  1. Then, click BIOS or UEFI Firmware Settings, whichever one shows up. 
  2.  Lastly, click Restart

After Windows restarts, the BIOS menu will show up

Part 2: Enable Network Stack BIOS 

  1. Once you are in the BIOS, look for Advanced Boot Options. It will probably be on the top left side of the window. 
  2. You can use the Arrow Keys on the keyboard to navigate through the BIOS menu. 
  3. Locate the Network Stack option. 
  4. Activate it by choosing the Enable option. 
  5. Now, hit F10 on the keyboard to save the changes and exit BIOS. 

Lastly, restart the computer, and you have successfully enabled Network Stack BIOS on your computer. 

Why Should You Enable Network Stack BIOS? 

Do not enable Network Stack on your home computer, which is used for general work and content consumption. It’s totally unnecessary. 

Enabling Network Stack BIOS will help if your computer can’t boot from the Hard Disk Drives. It also enables PXE. It is also useful while updating and installing OS via a network. Most of the time, it’s the client-server which requires a strong internet connection.  

This feature is used by people who work in a company where they have to tackle PXE booting. And, if you are not an advanced Windows user or a professional like an IT admin, stay away from it. Also, from the network security perspective, it leaves your system vulnerable.

How Do You Disable Network Stack BIOS? 

We have discussed how to enable Network Stack BIOS, but ultimately, it is necessary to know whether this feature will help you. From what we have learned, this feature is only helpful to a select number of people. 

So, if you have enabled network stack already, it’s best to disable it, and the steps are pretty simple. 

  1. Open BIOS on your computer. Use the guide we have previously discussed. 
  2. After opening the BIOS menu successfully, navigate to the Advanced Boot Options
  3. Disable the Network Stack option. 
  4. Click Apply
  5. Now, press F10 and exit BIOS. 

Now, reboot your computer, and Network Stack will be disabled.

Where is Network Stack in ASUS? 

The location of the Network Stack option varies as there are multiple brands like ASUS, Acer, MSI, and more. Each of these brands uses a different BIOS setup configuration. So, locating the Network Stack option can be a bit tricky.

ASUS is one of the most popular computer brands in the market. Satirically, there is a large number of ASUS users globally. If you use an ASUS laptop or a motherboard on your PC, you can locate the Network Stack option under Advanced Settings in BIOS. As usual, enabling this feature will help to boot your computer via internet/network connections instead of hard disk drives

Where is the Network Stack Setting on Ubuntu? 

You can also access Network Stack settings on Ubuntu or Linux systems easily. Restart the computer and while doing so, press the F2 button. You will have access to the BIOS settings.  

Now, you have to locate the Network Stack option. Look for it under the Advanced Menu. It will be there; enable it and initiate the PXE services. 

How to enable Network Stack on OptiPlex 7010 BIOS? 

You can easily enable Network Stack on OptiPles 7010 vis UEFI Settings or BIOS Settings. We recommend updating the drivers; if you cannot boot your computer using this method. But for best practices, refer to the official Dell website. 

What is PXE Network Stack?

PXE stands for Pre Execution Environment and is also popular as Pixie (Fairy Dust) in the industry. It is a process that involves booting a computer through the network card only. It is only possible by using PXElinux NBP.

Should the Network Stack be enabled in BIOS?

Enabling Network Stack in BIOS is recommended only for specific users. There’s no need to enable Network Stack in the BIOS if you do not work in an environment where you have to deal with PXE-related tasks.

Enabling this feature will prevent you from booting the computer via the hard disk.

Find out more information about the advanced BIOS settings in the below video. It clearly explained the settings for the most famous brands every computer user must know.

Saurav is an electrical engineer, a Microsoft Windows enthusiast and an avid gamer. He likes tinker with old and new versions of Microsoft Windows, fixing errors, and writing tutorials.

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