3 reasons why a client is not PXE booting and how to fix it

In this blog post, we will go over a few scenarios where a client might not PXE boot as expected. If you’re not familiar with the PXE boot functionality used by Specops Deploy, you might want to start here.

Naturally, the first place to start is the Deployment server event logs, but this post can provide more insight as to what can go wrong.

  1. UEFI boot has been enabled in BIOS on the client: This is common when the customer is using DHCP scope option 66 & 67. Option 66 is configured with the IP address of the deployment server, and option 67 is configured with boot\x86\wdsnbp.com which is the boot file for Legacy boot, and will not work with UEFI boot, as it uses a different x64 boot file. The best way to solve this is to delete the DHCP scope options 66 and 67, configure IP Helpers on the switches, and add the IP address of the deployment server so that the clients are able to find the WDS. When no boot file is configured, the WDS will decide what boot file to use: legacy boot or UEFI boot. In a multisite environment, you will need to specify different IP Helper Addresses on the different site switches/routers so that the clients will build from a local WDS server.
  2. Multiple computer accounts with the same MAC or GUID entered in AD: When a client boots, the PXE filter will read the GUID and MAC address and match that to the computer accounts in Active Directory to find out which client is booting. In this scenario, the PXE Filter may be matched with the wrong computer account. This is quite common during testing, when prestaging computers multiple times. Simply delete the duplicate computer account, or remove the GUID/MAC address in those computer accounts to solve the problem.
    Multiple computer accounts with the same MAC or GUID entered in AD:
  3. Machine does not have latest BIOS: Sometimes even trying everything in the book will not get UEFI boot to work. In those cases, it’s worth checking if the manufacturer of the computer has released a new BIOS version. We often find that after a BIOS firmware update, UEFI boot will start to work. Making sure that the latest BIOS version is installed on the machine can save you lots of troubleshooting efforts.

Hope you found this post helpful! For an indepth overview of Specops Deploy, check out our three part training series, found here.

Happy Deployment!

(Last updated on June 13, 2023)

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robert tracey

Written by

Robert Tracey

Technical Support Engineer from Stockholm, Sweden.
Has a Vocational Education in IT System Engineering and has been in the industry since 2014. Works with first, second, third line support and is an author of knowledge base articles.

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