Geoff, is there any update on this issue? I've noticed iDRAC FW 1.56.55 was released on 14th February, but patchnotes don't mention any solution to this.
At this time I am able to provide the following information discovered regarding the issue,
The root cause is a subset of the Microsoft Windows Pre Instillation Environment (WinPE). Upon booting into the WinPe, Microsoft issues the command “Winpeinit” before handing the command prompt over to the user. The “Winpeinit” is the subsystem responsible for enumerating all plug and play devices connected to the system. Once it boots and performs it's function's, it remains running and allows for hot plug and play device additions going forward.
When you PXE boot, by the time it hands over control of the command prompt, the “Winpeinit” did not properly enumerate the Idrac Keyboard and mouse (local keyboard and mouse also attached work fine).
Work around to get the keyboard and mouse working:
Once you see that the server is at the command prompt in the “preview window” in the Idrac web interface and before launching the virtual console, perform an “Idrac reset” to “reboot” or “re-initialize” the Idrac. To the Winpe environment, this acts as if you unplugged and plugged back in the keyboard and mouse.
jmckinley2, thanks for the information, but ...
this workaround has been described in previous posts, but that doesn't solve the problem and it's not really acceptable workaround for my situation since we're doing automated zero-touch Bare-metal installations. Manually resetting the idrac is of no use to us and it will not work since in my case the WinPE image is pushed in by SC VMM and immediatelly starts/attempts an installation after winpeinit finishes. This process will fail before the idrac reset is completed.
I have opened a Dell ProSupport Plus case for this issue. The next step Dell suggested was to download the latest .iso for Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update, which was released on 4/2/2014. Then create a new boot image using the source files from the new .iso. I have not tried this yet as I have to have someone else in my company access the .iso download. Has anyone tried to do this yet using the .iso that was released on 4/2/2014?
I got word today on my case that adk 8.1 with winpe 5 will not be supported until later this year. And was instructed to use adk 8.0 which uses version 4 of winpe.
This is true. Just have a look at the releasenotes:
iDRAC7 - Fixes ================================================================================
* Key board and Mouse does not work in WinPE 810 through iDRAC Virtual Console.
You can download it here.