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 PXE Boot Guide using Windows XP server, Install 2K/XP/2K3 (RIS), Vista/2008/7 + boot PE, WinPE, Parted Magic
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post Aug 20 2009, 10:41 PM
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New draft completed - available here

Draft v2 includes instructions for using grub4dos as the PXE boot loader/file.

Setting Up A Windows XP PXE Server (DRAFT v2)

Guide covers -
  • Install Windows 2000/XP/2003 (RIS)
  • Install Windows Vista/2008/7 from a network share
  • Boot disk images
  • Boot WinPE (XP/2003 based - e.g. LiveXP, PEBuilder)
  • Boot WinPE 2.*/3.0
  • Boot Linux (Parted Magic example included)

Includes download link for an offline version of the guide (in .htm format). Some scripts are included (in the offline download) for automating various sections.

Feedback welcome - please remember it is still in draft.




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post Nov 28 2009, 04:55 PM
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Hi diddy

Thanks for the guide.

I have been trying to PXE Boot WinPE 2.1 (bootfile pxeboot.n12) in VirtualBox with little success - a 'Windows failed to start... \Boot\BCD... 0xc0000001" screen.

Researching the matter, I came across a message by Bubble here relating to the problem with Boot Manager entry names, i. e. "Ramdisk options" for all entries.

The solution? Delete '{ramdiskoptions}'s description, something like:

> Bcdedit /store /deletevalue {ramdiskoptions} description

And now, the boot entries have no description to inherit, and so display their own.

I haven't tried it, so can't vouch for it - just stumbled across it and recalled the note in your guide.

Also, I can't seem to locate your batch files in the downloadable version of the guide. In particular, I was wanting to look at your 4a_WinPE.cmd and 4b_WinPE.cmd. How do I find them?

Regards smile.gif

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It's not a bug; it's that green thing hanging out of your snotty nose.
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post Nov 28 2009, 05:06 PM
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QUOTE (allanf @ Nov 28 2009, 06:55 PM) *
Researching the matter, I came across a message by Bubble here relating to the problem with Boot Manager entry names, i. e. "Ramdisk options" for all entries.


Just for the record, it seems that different versions of BOOTMGR behave differently:




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post Nov 28 2009, 08:49 PM
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Yes, Windows 7 bootmgr list {ramdiskoptions} description, if available.

remove /d "Ramdisk options"
bcdedit.exe /store C:\PXE\tftpboot\Boot\BCD /create {ramdiskoptions} /d "Ramdisk options"
bcdedit.exe /store C:\PXE\tftpboot\Boot\BCD /create {ramdiskoptions}

In addition you may use different {ramdiskoptions} parts.
Imagine there are different \boot\boot.sdi used in future, this is not required so far.

{ramdiskoptions} is a predefined guid variable.
Use "BCDedit.exe /create /device" to create a second {ramdiskoptions} guid.

call :add_W7RE \sources\BOOT7_86.WIM x86

for /f "tokens=1-3" %%a in ('BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /create /device') do set guid_options=%%c
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid_options% ramdisksdidevice boot
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid_options% ramdisksdipath \boot\boot2.sdi

for /f "tokens=1-3" %%a in ('BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /create /application OSLOADER') do set guid=%%c
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% description "Windows 7 Recovery Console %2"
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% osdevice ramdisk=[boot]%1,%guid_options%
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% device ramdisk=[boot]%1,%guid_options%
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% systemroot \windows
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% path \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% detecthal Yes
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /set %guid% winpe Yes
BCDedit.exe /store %BCD% /displayorder %guid% /addlast
goto :eof

Or use different {ramdiskoptions} always.
Set description to both ramdiskoptions and OSLOADER section.
This should work at all different bootmgr.
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post Mar 24 2010, 01:30 PM
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South Africa

Hey Diddy

Greate Guide, there is no cmd scripts though. Please can you update
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post Mar 24 2010, 09:07 PM
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I second that. There are no scripts in the download. Can you readd them?
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post Mar 24 2010, 10:46 PM
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Sorry for the mix up with the scripts.

I've re-uploaded the guide - scripts are included this time.


p.s. Child commitments continue to keep me busy so appologies for lack of responses over the past few months.

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post Mar 26 2010, 08:23 PM
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A very nice guide. The RIS "INF file XXX is corrupt or missing, status 21." error has been addressed in Syslinux 3.83, so anything newer should be fine.

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post Mar 27 2010, 04:21 PM
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Aviad Raviv
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ok, i don't wanna sound rood and trash all your hard work.

but all of this has been done before into a very well working virtual appliance call UDA.

the creator has incorporated a lot of the stuff you show in your guide into a Linux free VM that can be used using a simple webGUI.

with that said, both I (as a long time user of this product) and its creator have moved on because we found two things to be true:

1. if your going to install windows with a flat install over the network (witch both of us no longer recommend) your better off using MSs RIS\WDS as reverse engineering the process doesn't bring anything new to the table, and doing it just gets harder with every new release and you can implement the additions done with PXElinux like boot ubuntu and acronis just fine on a server thats hosting WDS\RIS with a regular MS server.

2. flat installs are a thing of the past... images are way easier to get running with less effort and take a fraction of the time to deploy.

i have moved from the UDA project to the FOG one because of these two reasons and i have added to it all the additions i have done to UDA in my youtube films.

my youtube channel (shameless self promotion):

the UDA home page (homage):

the FOG page (recommended):
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post Mar 27 2010, 07:23 PM
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Note - due to an error the menu entries created above will not display properly when bootmgr.exe (the WinPE boot loader) loads the BCD store. The entry for x86.wim should display WinPE (x86) and amd64.wim should display WinPE (amd64), however both entries read as Ramdisk options

You can solve this by using the bootmgr.exe from vista rtm

Robert Collewijn
Deployment Solutions
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