6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2009 2:29 AM by phoffmann

    Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow

    Rookie

      Hi,

       

      We are using L8andesk Management Suite version 8.8 SP2 with OS deployment. For OS deployment we boot the PC's by PXE and download a WinPE image from a PXE representative wich also hosts the TFTP server. As TFTP server we use Solarwinds TFTP server because the build-in TFTP server of LanDesk causes us a lot of trouble. The build-in TFTP can only handle about 7 simultaneously TFTP sessions. When more simultaneously TFTP sessions are started, TFTP downloads get interrupted. And we need to run a lot of simultaneously TFTP session because we have an upcoming migration where we have to deploy about 2300 PC's in a week. The WinPE image is about 200MB in size..8

       

      For the most PC's, the time to download the WinPE image is about 1 minute. However recently we got two types of PC's where the WinPE download takes about 15 minutes. The types of PC's are a Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo D5730 desktop PC and a Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo D9510 laptop PC. Both PC's have a Intel GB NIC 82567LM(-3) onboard.

       

      We have tried replacing the startrom.0 file (as described here http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-2306), but no result. We also tried replacing the startrom.0 file by the startrom.n12 file from Windows 2003 SP2. The download of the WinPE image shows no improvement and still takes 15 minutes.

       

      We also have tried enabling the build-in TFTP server of LanDesk again. The download of the WinPE image shows some improvement but still takes between 8 or 10 minutes, while the other PC's only need about 1 minute to download the image when using the build-in TFTP server. But as I mentioned earlier, using the build-in TFTP server isn't an option for us, because of the limited simultaneously sessions it can handle.

       

      Has anyone encounterd the same problems? Has anyone any other ideas how we can solve this problem?

        • 1. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
          phoffmann SupportEmployee

          This will be pretty much down to the NIC's and their PXE-ROM quality ... you can try flashing the NIC's firmware. If you're talking about LOM's (LAN On Motherboard) then flash the BIOS, as this includes firmware updates for on-board NIC's. That may help along the way some.

           

          Otherwise, check in the basic settings of the NIC's firmware ... I've seen some which (for some obscure reason) switch into 10 MBit / half duplex mode when they're running through PXE (until we can load the driver) ...

           

          As a last ditch, I suppose you could toss in another NIC, but that's quite a bit of manual work

           

          Hope this helps a little.

           

          Paul Hoffmann

          LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

          • 2. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
            Rookie

            Do you get this resolved? There is definitely a fix for the slow WinPE (LANDesk version) download. It's nothing about the NICs.

            • 3. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
              Rookie

              And do you have the fix?

               

              The problem still isn't resolved. We have checked the BIOS of the PC's (we have on-board NIC's) but these are up to date.

              One thing that is different in compare to the other NIC's (which don't have problems), is that the Intel NIC's use PXE version 2.1. The other NIC's use version 2.0.

              • 4. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
                phoffmann SupportEmployee

                Note that "being up to date" doesn't necessarily mean "be free of problems". If you've got machines that use the 2.0 PXE Firmware and don't have the problem, dig up that specific BIOS version and flash a "known problem machine" down to the BIOS + firmware to get it in line with the devices that don't have the problem, and see how it goes.

                 

                Changes in any code (firmware, software, etc.) have the potential to break something or other, and it's one of the reasons why we usually recommend trying to retain a driver/BIOS library of the last 3 releases at least.

                 

                NOTE -- if the BIOS you're after is no longer publically available, contact the OEM in a support ticket. They should have the different BIOS revisions still available to them. Various OEM's only have 2-3 BIOS revs publically available, but they should be fine with being able to provide you a specific "known good" BIOS rev since you do seem to need it for your OSD.

                 

                Hope this makes sense? Let me know if anything's unclear .

                 

                Paul Hoffmann

                LANDesk EMEA Technical lead

                • 5. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
                  Rookie

                  Hi Paul,

                   

                  The problem is that de PC's giving the problem are new type of PC's we have bought recently. So bringing the BIOS levels down to the level of PC's who do not have problems, isn't possible.

                   

                  However I've tried downgrading the BIOS of the PC to the initial version. I also upgraded the BIOS to the newest version. Both didn't bring me the solution.

                   

                  I however think that the Intel Boot Agent is causing the trouble. This is the firmware of the on-board NIC from which PXE is initiated. The version of the Intel Boot Agent is GE 1.3.10. Unfortunately I can't downgrade the firmware of the NIC seperately, because it is on-board and the firmware version of the NIC is controlled by the BIOS of the PC.

                   

                  So it seems it comes down to contacting the OEM or supplier of the PC to see if they have older BIOS-ses or if they have a way to downgrade the Intel Boot Agent version.

                   

                  Thanx for your help!

                  • 6. Re: Downloading WinPE image by PXE very slow
                    phoffmann SupportEmployee

                    Huh - odd - I'd (usually) expect the PXE firmware to be up- and down-graded in accordance to its corresponding BIOS versions (which is why I suggested the downgrade). Sorry to hear that the BIOS downgrade doesn't change the PXE firmware.

                     

                    You've definately identified the right path to take in this scenario - both in the short and longer term. Hopefully, the OEM can provide you a way to downgrade the PXE firmware (as a quick fix), and then they can (hopefully) fix the Firmware going forward as the "proper" fix (longer term).

                     

                    Paul Hoffmann

                    LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead