WDS and PXE boot, stuck!
I'm still using our venerable WDS server to deploy images and it works fine with PCs on the same subnet, but since the network was split into seperate subnets the PXE boot won't work on anything other than the same subnet as the server itself. Ok - this is where you're supposed to configure DHCP etc but I've done everything I can think of and still no luck!
Heres what I've done:
- WDS Server - set to accept all requests
- DHCP Server (same subnet as above but seperate sever)
Option 60 - PXEClient
Option 66 - server name of WDS server
Option 67 - boot\x86\wdsnbp.com
- Core switch - DHCP Helper is on (all subnets work fine as 'normal' dhcp clients)
Try and PXE from any other subnet and it just hangs at the DHCP... prompt. I've searched and looked around but I can't find anything else I've missed! Our core switch is an oldish Netgear L3 with fairly basic management setup but PXE is the only thing not working! PXE and WDS work fine on the same subnet so I know the WDS server is responding.
If you have DHCP on a different server you should take out option 60 as from what I read that tells the client that the DHCP server is the PXE server. I had the same problem yesterday but everything was on the same subnet, in the end I plugged the clients into a switch off a wall socket and they connected, it was crazy.
Do you have an IP helper specified on the routing switch for each VLAN?
IP Helper is specified on the core switch - all subnets get DHCP no problem!
Now - I removed the Option 60 and it did change. If I specify the boot file as boot\x86\wdsnbp.com then it does actually PXE boot (hurray!) but it sticks in a loop saying:
TFTP Download: boot\x64\pxeboot.com - this repeats endlessly.
If I change the boot file to boot\x86\pxeboot.com it comes up with and error saying the Configuration file could not be read.
I feel like I'm so close!
From the looks of Detailed information regardint PXE booting clients across subnets to Deployment Server? you may possibly need to set the WDS as an iphelper address as well (not tried it myself, but as PXE works on DHCP broadcast and the WDS should respond to this it may be the cause).
You need the WDS server listed as an iphelper address on the switch for each VLAN. We don't have Options 60, 66, 67 set as WDS sorts itself out.
It looks like it was nothing to do with routing after all!
After removing the Option 60 - I started to at least get a PXE response, although with errors. It seems that the machine I was PXE booting (x64) was looking for a boot file in the boot\x64 folder on the WDS server. Now, I've only ever used a 32bit boot image (works fine on both x86 and x64) and have various x86 and x64 install images. So as soon as I created a 64bit boot image it started to work!
Why it is happy to boot from a 32bit boot image on the same subnet, but has to have a specific 64bit boot image when on a different subnet I will never know - but at least I'm a step forward!