[ipxe-devel] Compatibility Between iPXE and Microsoft WDS

Geert Stappers geert.stappers at hendrikx-itc.nl
Wed Dec 5 14:51:32 UTC 2018

Preamble: this posting contains a compliment

On Fri, Nov 30, 2018 at 04:59:32PM +0000, RAMSEY, ROBERT T II CTR USAF AFMC AFLCMC/EBO, Armament Operations wrote:
> Hello,
> I've been trouble-shooting an issue were I was unable to PXE boot/install
> Windows 10 in a RHEL 7.4 KVM VM from a Server 2016 WDS.  Note that RHEL
> 7.4's KVM VM uses iPXE v1.0.0+ for its PXE boot loader.  
> After many hours of trouble-shooting, I finally came up with a work-around
> that allowed an unattended iPXE boot/install within the KVM VM.  I had to
> change the (DHCP Server Option 67) "Bootfile Name" on the WDS from this:
> C:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86\wdsnbp.com
> to this:
> boot\\x86\\wdsnbp.com
> I've attached screen captures of the healthy KVM iPXE boot process and WDS
> server "Bootfile Name" setting.
> Although the solution I came up with was to make a modification on the WDS
> server, that doesn't make it a Microsoft/Windows problem.  The WDS
> configuration change is a work-around specifically for iPXE compatibility.
> The "C:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86\wdsnbp.com" syntax previously used works fine
> with a multitude of other PXE boot loaders.
> A friend and I just spent 60+ labor hours trouble-shooting this issue that
> seems to only exist between iPXE (used in KVM) and Server 2016 WDS.

Wow, respect!  Thank you for making the extra effort for reporting
a documentation request. You are my example. Previously I did use
unexpect long searches as an excuus for _no time for doc improvement_

> Any chance you could add some compatibility information to your website

Website https://ipxe.org/ is actually a wiki.
However not all page are writable for each registered user.

A possible way to get "protected pages" changed,
is changing a duplicate of it and report that here on the mailinglist
with the request for merge.

> concerning this issue (to help others with a similar issue)?  Any chance
> you'll release a version if iPXE that is more compatible with or tolerant of
> possible WDS "Bootfile Name" syntax?
> Thanks,
> Rob
> Server_2016_WDS_Bootfile_Name.png
> Server 2016 WDS "Bootfile Name" configuration
That screenshot plus the text
> boot\\x86\\wdsnbp.com
is the important information

Geert Stappers

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