How to make MikroTik router boot using PXE (netboot) / BOOTP

My experience is that PXE on MikroTik devices only works properly when you trigger it using the hardware reset button. You can also trigger it using System -> RouterBOARD -> Settings but this reproducibly didn’t work for me.

This method was tested on the hEX PoE Lite (i.e. RB750UPr2)

Method of triggering Netboot using the RESET button

  1. Unplug all (!) power supplies from your router. This includes PoE if used. Check if all LEDs are off.
  2. Press the reset button, you should hear a small click sound. Sometimes these are a little bit hard to press, sometimes you think you’ve pressed it but you didn’t since the button is sometimes smaller than the hole. I use tweezers to press it. Keep the reset button pressed until you’ve finished the procedure.
  3. Keep pressing the reset button while plugging in the power supply
  4. While still keeping the reset button pressed, wait for the following phases of reset:
    1. After ~5 seconds one of the LEDs will start to blink
    2. After a further 5 seconds, the LED will stop blinking and turn on permanently
    3. After a further 5 seconds, the LED will turn off permanently.
  5. Only after you see the LED go dark after these three phases (approximately 15 seconds), release the reset button
  6. The router should now boot using PXE