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Planning for PXE Initiated Operating System Deployments

Updated: February 1, 2012

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

When you use PXE to initiate an operating system image deployment to a target computer there are several configuration decisions that must be considered depending on your network environment.

The sections below outline the various configuration and installation options that should be considered if you plan to use PXE to initiate operating system image deployments.

PXE Service Point

The PXE service point is a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site role that responds to PXE requests from computers that have been imported into Configuration Manager 2007. The PXE service point must be configured to respond to PXE boot requests by Configuration Manager 2007 clients so that those clients can interact with the Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure to determine the appropriate installation actions to take.

Consider the following issues when creating a PXE service point:

  • A PXE service point can be installed on a primary or secondary site.

  • Individually, each primary and secondary site supports up to 10 PXE service points.

  • Each primary site supports a combined total of up to 75 PXE service points. This total includes all the PXE service points at the primary site and all the PXE service points that belong to the child secondary sites of the primary site.

  • Installing a PXE service point on a site system that is configured as a branch distribution point is not supported.

  • Only boot images are distributed to the PXE service point. For more information about distributing boot images to a PXE service point, see How to Add Boot Images to the PXE Service Point.

  • The boot image that is distributed to the PXE service point must also be distributed to the standard distribution point, branch distribution point, or server share distribution point where the operating system image is distributed.

Consider the following configuration issues as well.

 

PXE Service Point Configuration More Information

Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

The Transport Server WDS role service is required for PXE support.

  • Windows Server® 2008 - WDS is included in the operating system software. The PXE service point site role must be installed on a server with WDS installed. The Transport Server is a component of WDS and can be installed using the Add Roles Wizard. WDS services can be provided by a primary or secondary site server. For more information about WDS on Windows Server 2008, see: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=129528.

  • Windows Server 2003 - For Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 1 you must first install the Remote Installation Services (RIS) and then install the Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Server 2008 version of Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). RIS must be installed however no additional RIS configuration is required.

  • For Windows 2003 servers running Service Pack 2 and higher, the Windows AIK installation is not necessary. The WDS role can be added by using Add or Remove Programs. Use the following link for more information about the Windows AIK: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=81030

WDS Configuration Considerations

The WDS installation requires that the administrator is a member of the Local Administrators group on the server where Windows Deployment Services is installed. In addition, your computing environment must meet the following technical requirements:

  • Active Directory. A WDS server must be either a member of an Active Directory domain or a domain controller for an Active Directory domain. All Windows domain and forest configurations support WDS.

Network PXE Requests

By default, the Configuration Manager 2007 PXE service point is configured to respond immediately to network PXE requests. You can configure a delay when setting up the PXE service point if there are multiple PXE servers on your network so that the Configuration Manager 2007 PXE service point will wait the specified amount of time before responding to network PXE requests.

Available NTFS partition

The PXE service point running WDS requires an available NTFS hard disk partition to store boot images. The stored boot images will be used with the PXE initiated operating system deployments.

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and DHCP

You should consider the following configuration options if you plan to co-host the PXE service point on a server running DHCP.

 

PXE Service Point Configuration Item More Information

DHCP considerations

You must have a functioning DHCP server with an active scope. WDS will utilize PXE which requires a DHCP server.

Whether you plan to co-host WDS and DHCP on the same server or use two different servers you must configure WDS to listen on a specific port. DHCP and WDS both require port number 67. If you have co-hosted WDS and DHCP you can move DHCP or the PXE site role to a separate server or use the procedure below to configure the WDS server to listen on a different port.

Modify the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\WDSPXE

Set the registry value to:

UseDHCPPorts = 0

For the new configuration to take effect run the following command on the co-located DHCP and WDS server:

WDSUTIL /Set-Server /UseDHCPPorts:No /DHCPOption60:Yes

DNS Considerations

A DNS server is required to run WDS.

Firewall and server port settings

The following UDP ports must be open on the WDS server and on the firewall:

Port 67 (DHCP)

Port 69 (TFTP)

Port 4011 (PXE)

Installing WDS

 

Task More Information

WDS components

The WDS installation installs the following components:

  • The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) service

  • The Windows Deployment Services service

  • The Windows Deployment Services Management snap-in and tools

WDS Installation Procedures

If you plan to install WDS on a server running Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 1:

  1. Install RIS.

  2. Download and install the Windows AIK.

  3. Perform one of the following tasks:

    1. Locate and double-click the Windows Deployment Services installation file (windows-deployment-services-update-amd64.exe or windows-deployment-services-update-x86.exe), and complete the wizard.

    2. From a command prompt type the following for amd64 installations: Windows-Deployment-Services-update-amd64.exe /quiet /forcerestart, for x86 installations: Windows-Deployment-Services-update-x86.exe /quiet /forcerestart

    3. When the installation is complete restart the server to ensure the most current files are available.

  4. If you plan to install WDS on a server running Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 2, WDS is already installed:

  • Install RIS and then install WDS. Restart the server so the correct file versions are available.

noteNote
The Windows Deployment Service (WDS) on Windows Server 2003 SP1 and earlier versions requires that the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) be installed. Windows AIK requires 1 GB of disk space and 1.4 GB of disk space during installation. For more information about Windows AIK, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=81030.

PXE Advertisements

The following section describes general PXE advertisement configuration planning considerations.

 

Advertisement Type More Information

Mandatory advertisement

Computers that receive a mandatory advertisement that is enabled for PXE will boot using PXE without any user intervention. The user will not be given an option to bypass the PXE boot.

noteNote
If a user cancels the PXE boot process before the PXE service point responds, the computer will not receive the advertisement.

Optional advertisement

For computers that receive an optional advertisement that is enabled for PXE, a user must be present at the computer to press F12 to continue the PXE boot process or the computer will boot into the current operating system or using the next available boot device.

Clear last PXE Advertisement

If for any reason you want to re-advertise a mandatory advertisement enabled for a PXE device or assigned to a collection you can select this option by right clicking an existing Configuration Manager 2007 collection or a device with an existing PXE advertisement and selecting Clear last PXE Advertisement.

ImportantImportant
Selecting this option will reset the status for the last mandatory PXE advertisements for the collection or device. The most recent mandatory advertisements will be rerun on any computers or devices the advertisement has been assigned to.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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