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

Steve Cross hairlesshobo at stevecross.org
Thu Jan 3 15:15:53 UTC 2013

I didn't realize that this routing issue had already been worked
around in iPXE. Is this something that I have to specifically enable
somewhere or is it supposed to happen automagically?

On a side note, I just realized that this is the devel mailing list
and I am only a user. Please let me know if I need to unsubscribe and
leave everyone alone since I am not actively developing iPXE - I would
hate to be intruding where I should not be.


On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM, Michael Brown <mbrown at fensystems.co.uk> wrote:
> 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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