[ipxe-devel] wimboot issue with server 2012 on physical servers

Amit Shah amit.shah at citrix.com
Wed May 21 18:15:14 UTC 2014

Hi Ian, Michael,
I tried the same hardware with wimboot 1.0.5. But I don't see any error message on screen. The same old blank screen :(

From: Ian Bannerman [mailto:ian at internals.io]
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:39 PM
To: Michael Brown; Amit Shah; Hummel Frank; ipxe-devel at lists.ipxe.org
Subject: RE: [ipxe-devel] wimboot issue with server 2012 on physical servers

On Sat, 17 May 2014 23:01:13 +0100 Michael Brown wrote:
> > On 15/05/14 15:12, Amit Shah wrote:
> >> I had contacted you regarding an iPXE issue with Windows 8 (below). I
> >> see a lot more people complain about this. There is a tool called Razor
> >> by puppet labs. This uses iPXE and people trying this out are facing
> >> this issue.
> >>
> >> Is there any way to escalate this ? Is it possible for you guys to take
> >> another look into this and find a possible solution.
> >
> > I had a thought about this the other day.
> >
> > The blank screen problem derives from a bug in bootmgr.exe: it will
> > switch to graphical mode as soon as it determines that it can drive the
> > VESA framebuffer display. If it later finds that it doesn't have the
> > fonts to display an error message, it will revert to plain text output.
> > However, it _fails_ to reconfigure the display for text output, with
> > the result that the output is invisible.
> >
> > It occurred to me that there is a workaround for this. All real-mode
> > calls made by bootmgr.exe go through wimboot (which is how wimboot works
> > in the first place; it intercepts INT 13 and emulates a FAT32 disk). We
> > could intercept the VESA BIOS calls and pretend that the system does not
> > have a VESA framebuffer. This should cause bootmgr.exe to remain in
> > text mode, which would then ensure that error messages would be visible
> > without requiring any font files.
> I have implemented this in the latest version of wimboot (v1.0.5). I
> have verified that an error messages which would previously be invisible
> due to missing fonts is now displayed in text mode.
> Please retry with wimboot version 1.0.5.
> Michael

Wow! That's pretty epic, great job on that Michael! Amit, I hope you can give this a go and we can see a proper error.

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