Saturday, July 7, 2012

Troubleshooting SCCM 2012 PXE Boot Issues... DNS Related

 After banging my head against the wall for what seemed like an eternity, I finally figured out why WinPE kept rebooting after the "Preparing network connection" screen when I was trying to deploy and operating system using System Center 2012. The solution had nothing to do with injecting the correct NIC or storage drivers into the boot image. Turns out that my issue was caused by an incorrect DNS and DHCP configuration.

The first step I took in troubleshooting the issue was verifying the correct drivers were installed in the WinPE boot image. To do this, I had to make sure the Enable Command Support box was checked on the Customization tab of the properties of the boot image.

Applying the Enable command support setting allowed me to hit F8 to drop to a command prompt after WinPE was loaded but before the system rebooted.

From the command prompt I verified my NIC and storage drivers were working correctly by running ipconfig and diskpart. (I probably should have run an ipconfig /all and would have noticed that my dns server was incorrect...)

After I assumed my settings were correct, I checked the smsts.log file at x:\windows\temp\smstslog\smsts.log by running notepad within WinPE. I noticed an error 0x80072ee7. Turns out the client could not talk to the server using the FQDN.

To resolve this issue I went to the DNS server and added the correct DNS address. It was set to All that had to be done was to edit the option named 006 DNS Servers in the server options of the DHCP console to point to the correct ip address. Additionally, I had to add a host A record within the DNS console that pointed to my SCCM server.  After I applied these settings I ran an ipconfig /release then an ipconfig /renew from WinPE and ran a test ping against the FQDN name of my SCCM server. The ping succeed, so I rebooted the machine and the OSD task ran without issue.

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