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How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using PXE in Configuration Manager

Updated: October 1, 2012

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Use the procedures in this topic to support PXE-initiated deployments in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. These procedures include how to configure a distribution point to accept PXE boot requests from clients, how to create the boot images that must be distributed to a PXE-enabled distribution point, and how to create an exclusion list to ensure that specified computers do not run a Configuration Manager PXE deployment.

Use the following sections for more information:

To deploy operating systems to Configuration Manager clients that make PXE boot requests, you must use one or more distribution points that are configured to respond to the PXE boot requests. The distribution point then responds to the PXE boot request and determines the appropriate deployment actions to take.

You can add the distribution point site role to a new site system server or add the site role to an existing site system server. This site can be a primary or secondary site server.

ImportantImportant
Before you install the distribution point, ensure that Windows Deployment Service is installed on the site system server. For information about how to install Windows Deployment Services for when you deploy operating system by using PXE, see Planning for PXE-Initiated Operating System Deployments in Configuration Manager.

To create a distribution point that accepts PXE boot requests, see the Install and Configure the Distribution Point section in the Configuring Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Use the following procedure to modify an existing distribution point so that it can accept PXE requests.

  1. If there is a risk that critical computers might accidentally PXE boot, create an exclusion list and specify the MAC addresses of these computers. For more information, see How to Create an Exclusion List for PXE Deployments in this topic.

  2. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  3. In the Administration workspace, expand Overview and click Distribution points.

  4. Select the distribution point to configure, and then, on the Home tab in the Properties group, click Properties.

  5. On the property page for the distribution point, click the PXE tab.

  6. To enable this distribution point to respond to the PXE boot requests, select the Enable PXE support for clients check box.

  7. To confirm that you want Configuration Manager to use the ports that are required for PXE deployments, in the Review Required Ports for PXE dialog box, click Yes.

  8. To enable Windows Deployment Services so that it responds to PXE service requests, select the Allow this distribution point to respond to incoming PXE requests check box. Use this check box to enable and disable the service without removing the PXE functionality from the distribution point.

  9. To deploy operating systems to computer that are not managed by Configuration Manager, select the Enable unknown computer support check box.

  10. To provide additional security for your PXE deployments, select the Require a password when computers use PXE check box, and then specify a strong password.

  11. In the User Device Affinity list, specify how you want the distribution point to associate users with the destination computer for PXE deployments.

    • Select Do not use user device affinity to not associated users with the destination computer.

    • Select Allow user device affinity with manual approval to wait for approval from an administrative user before users are associated with the destination computer.

    • Select Allow user device affinity with automatic approval to automatically associate users with the destination computer without waiting for approval.

    For more information about user device affinity, see How to Associate Users with a Destination Computer

  12. Specify that the distribution point responds to PXE requests from all network interfaces or from specific network interfaces. If the distribution point responds to specific network interface, you must provide the MAC address for each network interface.

  13. Specify, in seconds, how long the delay is for the distribution point before it responds to computer requests when multiple PXE-enabled distribution points are used. By default, the Configuration Manager PXE service point responds first to network PXE requests.

  14. Click OK to update the properties of the distribution point.

Before you use PXE to deploy an operating system, you must create the boot images to support a PXE deployment. You must have both an x86 PXE-enabled boot image and an x64 PXE-enabled boot image that are distributed to one or more PXE-enabled distribution points.

Use the following procedure to create boot images for PXE deployments.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Boot Images.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Add Boot Image to start the Add Boot Image Wizard.

  4. On the Data Source page, specify the following options, and then click Next.

    • In the Path box, specify the boot image WIM file. Click Browse to locate a specific boot image file.

      The specified path must be a valid network path in the UNC format. For example: \\servername\<sharename>\bootimage.wim.

    • Select the boot image that you want from the Boot Image drop-down list. If the WIM file contains multiple boot images, each image is listed.

  5. On the General page, specify the following options, and then click Next.

    • In the Name box, specify a unique name for the boot image.

    • In the Version box, specify a version number for the boot image.

    • In the Comment box, specify a brief description of how the boot image is used.

  6. Complete the wizard.

  7. Select the boot image that you just created.

  8. On the Home tab, in the Properties group, click Properties, and then select the Data Source tab.

  9. Select the Deploy this boot image from the PXE service point check box.

  10. Click OK.

You can now distribute these boot images to any distribution point that accepts PXE requests.

When you use PXE to deploy operating systems, you can create an exclusion list to limit which computers are included in the deployment. The exclusion list contains MAC addresses of the computers that you want the distribution point to ignore if these computers send a PXE boot request. These computers do not receive the deployment task sequences that Configuration Manager uses for PXE deployment.

Use the following steps to create the PXE exclusion list.

  1. Create a text file on the distribution point that is enabled for PXE. As an example, name this text file pxeExceptions.txt.

  2. Use a standard text editor, such as Notepad, and add the MAC addresses of the computers to be ignored by the PXE-enabled distribution point. Separate the MAC address values by colons, and enter each address on a separate line. For example: 01:23:45:67:89:ab

  3. Save the text file on the PXE-enabled distribution point site system server. The text file can be saved to any location on the server.

  4. Edit the registry of the PXE-enabled distribution point to create a MACIgnoreListFile registry key that contains the string value of the full path to the location of the text file on the PXE-enabled distribution point site system server. Use the following registry path:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\DP

    WarningWarning
    If you use the Registry Editor incorrectly, you might cause serious problems that might require you to reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using the Registry Editor incorrectly. Use the Registry Editor at your own risk.

    There is no need to restart the server after you make this registry change.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for Configuration Manager.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For instructions and examples, see Search the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
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