How to configure PXE booting over UEFI on a PowerEdge without using Server 2012 and Windows Deployment Services

How to configure PXE booting over UEFI on a PowerEdge without using Server 2012 and Windows Deployment Services

This article will help with PXE booting over UEFI on a Dell PowerEdge server without setting up or needing a Server OS and Windows Deployment Services to boot to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (or other Windows) media.

PXE booting over UEFI

The traditional method to UEFI over PXE is to have Server 2012 (Server 2008 WDS does not support UEFI boot) and Windows Deployment Services setup. Following the steps in this article will allow a non-server OS to allow UEFI PXE boot.

NOTE: UEFI is suggested for both Windows 7 and Windows 10 (Windows 7 works on UEFI as long as Legacy Option ROMs are enabled).

Prepare the Tiny PXE and iPXE environment:

  1. Download Tiny PXE Server from the following link: Tiny PXE Server Link
  2. Download ipxe-snponly-x86-64.efi (UEFI PXE Kernel) from the following link: ipxe-snponly-x86-64External Link
  3. Download ipxe.png (an 800x600 PNG background image) from the following link: ipxe.pngExternal Link
  4. Download the Wimboot kernel, which allows iPXE to load WIM files, from the following link: Wimboot kernelExternal Link
  5. Download the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit x64 boot CD (LiteTouch_x64.ISO) from the Deployment share, or grab the files individually from the share:
    • DeploymentShare\Boot\LiteTouchPE_x64\Boot\BCD
    • DeploymentShare\Boot\LiteTouchPE_x64\Boot\boot.sdi
    • DeploymentShare\Boot\LiteTouchPE_x64\Sources\Boot.wim
  6. Install Tiny PXE on an existing system running Window 7, 8.1, or 10 (or a VirtualMachine)
    NOTE: You may need to disable the Windows Firewall on this system. And make sure the system boot mode is set for UEFI with Secure Boot Off.
  7. Create a directory such as C:\DC\TFTPD
  8. Extract the Tiny PXE zip file to C:\DC\TFTPD
  9. Copy ipxe-snponly-x86-x64.efi to C:\DC\TFTPD\ipxe-x86_64.efi
  10. Copy the ipxe.png image to C:\DC\TFTPD
  11. Extract wimboot from to C:\DC\TFTPD
  12. Copy BCD to C:\DC\TFTPD\Boot\BCD
  13. Copy boot.sdi to C:\DC\TFTPD\Boot\boot.sdi
  14. Copy boot.wim to C:\DC\TFTPD\Sources\Boot.wim
  15. Configure Tiny PXE to be a DHCP and HTTP server. Ensure that you will not be conflicting with an existing DHCP server on the network or HTTP server on the local machine you are running Tiny PXE Server on.
  16. Create a file in notepad (save as boot.ipxe) with the information below to allow for PXE booting via UEFI with HTTP or TFTP as a transfer device (HTTP will be faster):
    NOTE: The file must start with #!ipxe to be recognized by the iPXE kernel.

    set boot-url http://${next-server}
    # Set Menu Timeout
    set menu-timeout 5000
    set submenu-timeout ${menu-timeout}

    # Set Menu Default to Exit after timeout
    isset ${menu-default} || set menu-default exit

    console-picture http://${next-server}/ipxe.png

    ######## MAIN MENU ###################
    menu Welcome to iPXE's Boot Menu
    item --gap -- ----------------DCX iPXE Menu ----------------
    item wimboothttp Boot to WIM over HTTP
    item wimboottftp Boot to WIM over TFTP
    item reboot Reboot
    choose --default exit --timeout 30000 target && goto $

    kernel wimboot
    initrd http://${next-server}/boot/BCD
    initrd http://${next-server}/boot/boot.sdi
    initrd http://${next-server}/sources/boot.wim

    kernel wimboot
    initrd /boot/BCD
    initrd /boot/boot.sdi
    initrd /sources/boot.wim



Server configuration (Figure 1):

NOTE: "${next-server}" will be reflected by the Tiny PXE Server configuration at "Next-Server" (in this case Make sure that Filename if user-class=iPXE is enabled.

Tiny PXE Server configuration
Figure 1: Tiny PXE Server configuration

  1. Boot to the target PC to UEFI PXE (IPv4) (Figure 2):

    Boot target PC to UEFI PXE (IPv4)
    Figure 2: Boot target PC to UEFI PXE (IPv4)

The computer will boot through the following stages:

  • Stage 1 of UEFI PXE boot (Figure 3):

    Stage 1 of UEFI PXE boot
    Figure 3: Stage 1 of UEFI PXE boot

  • Stage 2 iPXE's Boot Menu (Figure 4):

    Stage 2 iPXE boot menu
    Figure 4: Stage 2 iPXE boot menu

  • Stage 3 File loading to RAM (Figure 5):

    Stage 3 File loading to RAM
    Figure 5: Stage 3 File loading to RAM

  • Stage 4 MDT is ready (Figure 6):

    Stage 4 MDT is ready
    Figure 6: Stage 4 MDT is ready

More information about UEFI and imaging can be found at the following Dell Knowledge Base article: Dell Client Best Effort Data Cloud for imaging solutions.

Код статьи: HOW12285

Дата последнего изменения: 03/27/2019 08:53 AM

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