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Why Does My System Fail to Boot to Windows and Display DHCP and PXE Errors

Summary: A failing hard disk drive may cause DHCP or PXE errors when the system attempts to boot to Windows. This article suggests steps for fixing a DHCP or PXE error when booting.

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Article Content


What is a DHCP or PXE Error?

Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) errors occur when the system BIOS cannot boot to the system's hard disk drive or a network boot environment. The following examples are some of the most common PXE error messages you might encounter:

  • PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable.
  • PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE.
  • PXE-E52: No IP address received from DHCP or BOOTP.

Why am I Getting this Error?

This error occurs when a system has failed to boot to a network. Most system designs can boot to a network to allow the system to be imaged with a standardized image. Most systems outside a corporate domain do not use this capability and when these errors are present they indicate a failure to boot to the local hard disk drive. This failure may be an indication of a hard drive failure.

If you are trying to boot to a network, ensure that the network cable is firmly connected at the system and the network jack. You might also try a different network cable or network jack in the building. Try a system that you know will boot to the network at this jack and cable to rule out other hardware issues outside the system.

What Can I do to Resolve the Error?

If you encounter this error, attempt the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Reseat the hard drive (if a portable system) or reseat the hard drive data and power cable connections (Desktop or Minitower) then restart the system.
  2. Reset the BIOS defaults of the system in the system setup.
    1. First boot to the system setup by pressing F2 when prompted at the Dell Screen during startup.
    2. Check to see the current setting for the SATA Controller in the system setup and make a note of what it is for later reference.
    3. Select the load BIOS defaults option, and Select "Yes" to acknowledge that you are loading the defaults.
    4. Save settings and reboot the system to see if the problem is resolved.
    5. If no change, continue troubleshooting below.
  3. Run the enhanced Preboot System Assessment (ePSA) diagnostics and see if there is a hardware failure in the system. If you encounter a failure code during the diagnostic, you can look up the failure at this link: ePSA Error Codes
  4. If a failure is detected, contact Dell Technical Support

Additional Information

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Last Published Date

20 Nov 2023



Article Type

How To