Install Windows 7 over PXE from Linux without WAIK

  • 1. Overview
  • 2. Services
  • 3. Boot Files
  • 4. Unattended files
  • 5. Troubleshooting
  • 5. Troubleshooting

    Boot process

    Here's a simplified overview of the boot process that the PXE clients go thourgh when this method is used.
  • C is for Client (the system to be deployed)
  • S is the Server (the system that holds the configration files and runs the services needed to allow the client to be installed
    C->S DHCP request for IP
    S->C Acknowledges IP request and gives the client a (free) ip-address
    C->S DHCP request for bootserver/file
    S->C DHCP Reply for bootserver/file SERVER:/boot/myserver/wdsnbp.0
    C->S TFTP Request for bootfile /boot/myserver/wdsnbp.0
    S->C TFTP Reply /boot/myserver/wdsnbp.0
    C->S BINL request (where can I find the BCD file?)
    Server finds in tftpd.log where that client has downloaded its wdsnbp file from and relies with the bcd file in that same directory.
    S->C BINL reply   /boot/ and
    C->S TFTP request /boot/
    S->C TFTP reply   /boot/
    C->S TFTP request /boot/mysystem/bcd
    S->C TFTP reply   /boot/mysystem/bcd
    Client reads BCD file and finds out where to download the boot.sdi and winpe.wim from
    C->S TFTP request /boot/boot.sdi
    S->C TFTP reply   /boot/boot.sdi
    C->S TFTP request /boot/winpe.wim
    S->C TFTP reply   /boot/winpe.wim
    Then the client boots into Windows PE. When that is done it takes these seps we have prepared:
    1. Finds IP address of the boot-server in the registry
    2. Finds boot-specific info in the registry
    3. Loads network drivers and starts the networkservice
    4. Moves the setup.exe and sources\setup.exe back into place
    5. connects to a samba share to the bootserver
    6. Partitions the disk with the diskpart file found on the samba share on the bootserver
    7. Moves the setup.exe and sources\setup.exe back into place
    8. Removes the PXE binl reply from the registry to prevent WDS setup instead of normal setup
    9. Starts the setup.exe with the unattended file found on the share on the bootserver

    Log files

    Obvious locations to look when troubleshooting is in the logs, check out the following logfiles:
    • tftpd log (/work/log/tftpd.log)
    • dhcpd logfile (/var/log/messages)
    • binl logfile (/work/log/binl.log)


    I'll add more info when I find out.

    Go back to the start

  • Go to part 1: Overview
  • Go to part 2: Configuring and starting services
  • Go to part 3: Prepare the windows boot files
  • Go to part 4: Prepare the unattended installation files
  • Go to part 5: Troubleshooting