How to set up a "Network Boot" WinPE PXE configuration to test imaging and network connection issues

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Article ID: 178428

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Question
When WinPE PXE Automation fails, sometimes it can be helpful to create a WinPE "Network boot" PXE configuration to allow for troubleshooting since WinPE "Automation boot" configurations will automatically reboot the computer after a failure or error. A test computer can then be booted through WinPE "Network boot" which will load WinPE, map the designated network drives and then stop without rebooting. Minimized command windows can then be maximized and tests for drive mappings or file access can be performed from the DOS prompt.

Answer
1. From the Deployment Server console, choose PXE Configuration from the Tools pull-down menu.

2. Since a Network Boot PXE configuration cannot be created as a "Shared Configuration", it will be necessary to create this as a local configuration by choosing a PXE server from the File pull-down menu --> Choose PXE Server --> Open.

3. On the PXE Configuration Utility window for a individual PXE server (not Shared), click the New button.

4. Under the Name label, give the PXE configuration a name that you will recognize as a Network Boot configuration such as "WinPE Network Boot". Also be sure to choose "WinPE" as the Operating System as well as x86 as the Processor Options and "Boot Disk Creator" as the Image Creation Method. Click the Create Boot Image button to continue.

5. Starting at Step 1, proceed through each step while designation the necessary information until you get to Step 10 of 12. Here it is important that the option for "Network Boot" be enabled. (Note: "Stand-alone boot" will allow WinPE to load from the PXE server but no network drives will be mapped.) Click Next until the configuration is created.

6. After the new Network Boot configuration is created, it is important that the SAVE button be clicked on the main PXE Configuration window so that this configuration will be saved to the PXE server for use.

7. This Network Boot option can then be selected during the PXE boot process so that drive mapping and file access tests can be done once WinPE has loaded on the target computer.