Using the PXE_Diag.exe utility to capture a PXE boot network trace

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Article ID: 181531

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Question
How do I use the PXE_Diag.exe utility to capture a network trace from a PXE boot process?

Answer

The PXE Diagnostics utility was designed to simulate the PXE boot process on a Microsoft Virtual Client while a stripped-down version of Ethereal (an earlier version of Wireshark) captures network packets from the virtual client, the DHCP server and the PXE server. This process can be run on any Windows workstation connected to the network.

  1. Run the attached PXE_Diag.exe on an available workstation to install ethereal and the Microsoft Virtual Client.
  2. Open Program Files\PXE Diag\Ethereal directory and run ethereal.exe. From the Capture menu, choose Start and choose the correct NIC in the Interface. When you click OK, network tracing will begin.
  3. Open Program Files\PXE Diag\VPC and run the PXE_Diag.vmc. This will start the Microsoft Virtual Client which is set to PXE boot automatically. During this boot process, Ethereal will be capturing network traffic between the virtual client, the PXE server and the DHCP server.
  4. Once the virtual client has PXE booted at least once, stop the Ethereal trace, wait for the capture to load into the Ethereal console and save the captured file by choosing Save from the File menu.

The network trace information from the PXE boot process is now available for review.

Attachments

PXE_Diag.exe get_app