3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2013 7:43 AM by jwilliams

    What am I missing about PXE booting for WinPE Provisioning


      I started working with LANDesk about 8 months ago and started provisioning machines about 6 months ago. When I first started with it I just followed the templates that were out there for LDMS 9 SP3 and didn't make many changes at first. During this time when I would schedule a prvisioning task and turn a machine on it would automatically begin the provisioining process without having to press the F12 key. These were all machines that had been on our network before and we always configure the BIOS to network boot last in the boot order, yet they still automatically PXE booted if they were in a scheduled provisioning task.


      I had to stop working on this for about 3 months and have really just gotten back into it since about the first of the year, and now machines will not PXE boot without physically forcing them with F12. I have no idea what has changed. I'm the only person that deals with this part of LANDesk and I didn't make any changes as far as PXE reps or anything else goes and honestly the other two people that work with LANDesk with me don't even use it yet, so I'm fairly confident that neither one of them made any changes. The only changes I made are I finally nailed down how to get the "golden image" captured and set up the way we need it, I now have a detailed unattend file that runs, and we just upgraded to 9.5 a couple of days ago, but the problems started well before the upgrade. I use the same provisioning script, same reps, etc that I've been using from the beginning. The problem is, now we are getting ready to do a mass reimage of about 1000 machines to upgrade from XP to Win 7, and there is no way that we can touch every one of them to change the BIOS to configure network boot as the first boot option, as I work in a very small department. We would also like to be able to provision machines when we get them straight out of the box and only have to hook them up to the network and power them on and off they go. I already use the csv file to import all of the machines I'm going to image rather than doing them one at a time. I even use it for single machines, seems to work better for some reason.


      I'll be the first to admit that when I started working with LANDesk I had never even heard of it and was pretty much told "Here Learn how to use this and start working with it". In our training provisioning isn't something we focused very much on either, so I don't really have a granular understanding of how exactly it works and haven't been able to find any explanations that have helped, at least not as far as my issue described above is concerned.


      One thing that popped into my head as I was writing this is I used a boot.wim that I pulled off of a windwows 7 disc and I'm not sure if that is the one that was being used before. I remember reading about there being one on the LANDesk core and maybe that one is "special" for this purpose.?.


      I should probably also add that we are a HP shop and use the mid-enterprise level HP models; the 6200 pro sff is our highest model desktop and the 4530s is the highest laptop model.

        • 1. Re: What am I missing about PXE booting for WinPE Provisioning
          Frank Wils ITSMMVPGroup

          Out of the box machines without any OS installed should choose PXE boot by default. For all your other machines, you can create a Provisioning Template that includes a System Migration - Reboot action that tells devices to Vboot, reboot to WinPE. This will work even without PXE.


          When you talk about the Boot.wim, do you mean you replace the boot.wim on the PXE representative? That won't work, because as you say, the LANDesk Boot.wim file has been LANDesk-ified with LANDesk Agent functionality...



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          • 2. Re: What am I missing about PXE booting for WinPE Provisioning
            bnelson Employee

            FYI With LDMS 9.5 you have some integrated HP tools that can help you manage the BIOS of devices from the console.


            As far as the PXE booting issue, your core has a boot.wim that has been modified for use with LANDesk OSD and Provisioning. It has a Startnet.cmd that points you to your core and kicks off the provisioning process. I am not clear on how scheduling a task would cause a device to PXE boot unless you, as Frank mentioned, had a reboot action in the System Migration section of the template. The System Migration section of the template is there mainly for backup purposes. You can capture profiles, save files and directories, and vBoot (Virtual Boot to WinPE) so that the machine will start the Provisioning process.


            Go check out the LANDesk Provisioning Landing Page at http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-23470. That should help provide some answers to your questions. Should you not find what you are looking for there, come back here and expand what may have you a bit confused.

            • 3. Re: What am I missing about PXE booting for WinPE Provisioning

              Thanks to both of you!


              I'm not sure what could have caused the PXE booting initially when I started working on provisioning. Like I said that was a while ago and I had to stop working on it for a while due to other job responsibilities and I've made a few changes to things since then.


              I have a ticket in now for the HP BIOS tools, because everything works perfectly with them except chaning the boot order; that portion gives an access denied everytime I run it, while any other changes I have set actually change in the BIOS. Once we get that figured out, I think my problems will be solved. I will just have to go on not knowing what was different in the beginning that caused the machines to PXE boot. It was so long ago now and I have everything running smoothly, so I'm happy, just need to get all of my machines PXE booting and I'll be set.


              Thanks again for your help!