Unable to PXE boot after upgrading DS for Dell
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Unable to PXE boot after upgrading DS for Dell


Article ID: 176923


Updated On:


Deployment Solution


After upgrading Deployment Solution for Dell Servers client systems no longer boot via PXE.  The following message is displayed on the client system:

"PXE-E74b: Bad or missing PXE menu and/or prompt information"


The PXE server used by Deployment Solution has a maximum limit of about 250 characters for the PXE menu. If the sum of characters (including spaces) in the names of all PXE images is greater than 250 then PXE cannot send the menu to the client system.  For more information on this limitation please see Altiris Knowledgebase article 26130.

This can occur if Deployment Solution for Dell Servers is used to generate new PXE images (such as the default Dell Linux and Dell WinPE images) on a system that already has several PXE images (such as a previous installation of Deployment Solution for Dell Servers).

Please be aware also that PXE has a limit of the number of menu items (images) that it can handle. For more information see Altiris Knowledgebase article 22464.


There are two possible solutions:

Solution 1

Delete any unused PXE images

If you know that you will not be using any of the existing PXE images, they can be removed via the PXE Configuration Utility.  If you have problems removing PXE menu items, please refer to Altiris Knowledgebase article 23829 If it is not desirable to remove PXE images, continue to Solution 2.

Solution 2

The PXE Configuration Utilty provides a method for changing the names of PXE images (select the image and then select "Edit", here you may change the name.), however if you are already beyond the 250 character limit you will need to change the names of the PXE images manually so that you are under the 250 character limit.

Please note that changing the names of PXE images will NOT affect job associations in your DS console.  Jobs are associated by PXE ID number, not by name, thus jobs will maintain there same associations after editing PXE image names and jobs will still function as expected.

To do so follow these steps:

1) Stop the 'Altiris PXE Config Helper' and 'Altiris PXE Manager' services

-Open up the start menu and select 'Administrative Tools>Services'
-First find and stop the 'Altiris PXE Config Helper' service
-Then find and stop the 'Altiris PXE Manager' service

2) Open 'PXEManager.ini' for editing (default location "C:\Program Files\Altiris\eXpress\Deployment Server\PXE\PXEManager.ini").

3) Look for sections in the ini file that match the following format:


Where {ID.EN_US} is the PXE menu item number

For example:

Name="Dell Linux v3SP1 Retired"

NOTE: Do NOT edit sections above the line ";All entries below are created by PXEConfig.exe"

4) It is the "Name" field that you will be editing.  What we want to do is change the name of these menu items so that the total number of characters in all the names is less than 250 characters.  Thus select a name that is very brief but such that you can still identify the PXE image if needed.

For example: 


I have changed "Dell Linux v3SP1 Retired" to "DL3SP1".  DL for "Dell Linux" and I maintain the version number with "3SP1".  I can still identify the PXE image, but have saved 18 characters overall!

Do NOT edit any values other than "Name".

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 editing PXE image names until you are below the 250 character limit for all PXE images.

NOTE: We recommend editing only those sections corresponding to previous DS for Dell images if possible.

6) Once you have completed editing image names, you need to restart the services

-First restart the 'Altiris PXE Manager' service
-Then restart the'Altiris PXE Config Helper' service

You should now be able to boot via PXE once again.

Applies To
Deployment Solution 6.9 SP1

Deployment Solution for Dell Servers 3.1 SP2