Thursday, January 31, 2013

SCCM 2012: Not able to boot clients from PXE

Talk about Murphy's Law ...

One of my Secondary Site servers stopped processing PXE requests.  In fact, I actually have 2 Secondary Site servers doing this, but haven't had much time to troubleshoot the other one.

I noticed the following things were happening:

  1. In \Program Files\SMS_CCM\Logs ... the SMSPXE.log file does not exist
  2. The Windows Deployment Service will not start.  When checking the Event logs there are two errors that pop up:
    1.  An error occurred while trying to initialize provider WDSDDPS from C:\Windows\system32\wdsddps.dll. Windows Deployment Services server will be shutdown. Error Information: 0x906
    1.  An error occurred while trying to start the Windows Deployment Services server.  Error Information: 0x906
So searching for that error code: 0x906 returned some excellent articles for troubleshooting WDS on its on, however nothing specific for SCCM.  Typically they would get you to run the following two commands:

wdsutil /uninitialize-server
wdsutil /initialize-server /reminst:

This doesn't jive very well for SCCM though since it prefers to configure WDS on its own.  Here is how I fixed it:

1) ConfigMgr Console: Administration -> Site Configuration -> Servers and Site System Roles.  Select your site server, then right-click Distribution Point and select Properties
2) Go to the PXE tab and uncheck to disable, do the same for Multicast if you have it enabled.  When asked if you want SCCM to remove WDS, say No.
3) On the Secondary Server, uninstall the Windows Deployment Services Role then restart.
4) If exists, manually delete the RemoteInstall folder which is on your largest partition by default
5) Reinstall the Windows Deployment Services role and restart
6) Go back into the ConfigMgr Console and re-check the PXE box in the Distribution Point Properties and configure your PXE settings
7) Watch the distmgr.log to monitor the progress of the PXE installation and setup

SCCM will re-create the RemoteInstall folder and populate it with your boot images.  This can take a while depending on  the configuration of your Secondary Site server so be patient.  Once it is done go ahead and give it a shot!



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