[ipxe-devel] Issues installing Windows 7 to iSCSI with iPXE

Michael Brown mbrown at fensystems.co.uk
Thu Jan 3 15:03:21 GMT 2013


On Monday 31 Dec 2012 16:19:31 Steve Cross wrote:
> First, I have found that the number one problem so far is on boards
> that have nVidia ethernet controllers. From what I read on the old
> etherboot site, there are some problems with iSCSI and nVidia because
> nVidia cards require a couple special services in order for the card
> to act like a normal ethernet card does. Now the very strange part is
> that once I am booted into WinPE, the system can pull an IP address
> and communicate with the network, but it appears that due to the lack
> of the nVidia service in the PE, there are troubles with Windows
> reading the iBFT.

Windows reads the iBFT and initiates the connection to the iSCSI target very 
early on in the boot process.  It's quite possible that the nVidia services 
have not been started at this point, which would explain your symptoms.

> And this lead me into my final problem, which i purely blame on
> Microsoft. I noticed that when I was installing, it was taking an
> extremely long time and that the transfer speed on the iSCSI server
> was only a couple MB/s, which made no since because everything is on a
> gigabit betwork and the iSCSI disc was running from a striped SATA
> RAID. Well it turns out that when you are installing to iSCSI, Windows
> automatically adds a route for the iSCSI server using the default
> gateway, EVEN if the iSCSI server is on the same subnet as the client.
> In my case, my linux router is running a 10/100 ethernet card (no need
> for gigabit on a 25MB/s internet connection). This forces ALL iSCSI
> traffic (and in my case, also the installation source) to flow through
> the router. Obviously this is pretty annoying but can be easily worked
> around by adding "option routers <ip_of_iscsi_server>;" which forces
> the client to communicate directly with the server.

sanbootconf includes code to explicitly work around this "feature" of Windows:

  http://git.ipxe.org/sanbootconf.git/commitdiff/76f7a9e

Michael


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