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O/S Deployment Thread, PXE TFTP Timeout on Certain Machines in Technical; We have a weird issue where certain machines are getting "PXE E32 TFTP Timeout" when trying to PXE boot from ...
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    telnet's Avatar
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    PXE TFTP Timeout on Certain Machines

    We have a weird issue where certain machines are getting "PXE E32 TFTP Timeout" when trying to PXE boot from our FOG box.

    However, PXE booting works just fine on said machines if we use a gPXE boot disk - which implies the problem lies with the NICs on the machines. The strange thing is that (so I'm told) this has never been an issue in the past and only started when they moved from a *nix dhcp server to a windows box.

    We are using server 2008 for dhcp and have options 66 and 67 set correctly. PXE booting also works fine on the majority of machines, its just several types of machine causing us issues. One thing we have noticed is that the machines with this problem always have Realtek based NICs...

    I've had a look around on the forums and googled a fair bit, and whilst some people have had similar problems, we have been unable to find a fix. Can anyone offer any insight?

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    diggory's Avatar
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    I assume your non-realtek machines are pxe-booting fine?

    Sorry for stating the obvious - but have you tried a firmware upgrade for you real-tek NICs?
    (I think that helped me with a laptop somewhere along the way with FOG)

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    telnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diggory View Post
    I assume your non-realtek machines are pxe-booting fine?

    Sorry for stating the obvious - but have you tried a firmware upgrade for you real-tek NICs?
    (I think that helped me with a laptop somewhere along the way with FOG)
    Thanks for your reply. Yes the non-realtek machines do boot fine, however so do other machines with Realtek chips. Updating to the latest firmware and bios versions was one of the first things we tried, but to no avail unfortunately - although the 'latest' in some cases is several years old.

    The odd thing is they can PXE boot just fine if you do it via a gPXE boot CD. The issue seems to be with PXE booting from the boot rom on the NICs, what we don't know is why.

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    I have some old laptops like this, and the only way I can get round their dodgy PXE non-booting is by using gPXE boot - sigh.
    Sounds like the best you can do is carry on using gPXE, or get some new PCI NICs...

    I suppose it might be possible to have gPXE as a separate boot partition on the HD, but there are realms of complexity... ho hum

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    telnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diggory View Post
    I have some old laptops like this, and the only way I can get round their dodgy PXE non-booting is by using gPXE boot - sigh.
    Sounds like the best you can do is carry on using gPXE, or get some new PCI NICs...

    I suppose it might be possible to have gPXE as a separate boot partition on the HD, but there are realms of complexity... ho hum
    Having a gPXE boot partition isn't a bad idea and - once it's set up - would be less hassle than booting each machine in a 50-pc suite from a flash drive I suppose.

    I wonder if there's a way to flash the boot ROM on the NICs with gPXE...

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    diggory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telnet View Post
    Having a gPXE boot partition isn't a bad idea and - once it's set up - would be less hassle than booting each machine in a 50-pc suite from a flash drive I suppose.

    I wonder if there's a way to flash the boot ROM on the NICs with gPXE...
    Apparently there is...
    romburning - Etherboot/gPXE Wiki

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    telnet's Avatar
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    I'll give it a shot, thanks.

    Edit: after much trying it seems you cannot flash the boot rom on our particular machines, alas.
    Last edited by telnet; 26th June 2010 at 11:17 AM.



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