Monday, July 9, 2012

Troubleshooting SCCM 2012 PXE Booting

Odds are that you will run into issues when you boot to PXE in SCCM 2012. A wide range of issues can occur from lack of drivers to incorrect DNS configurations.

One of the first steps you will want to take to troubleshoot PXE related issues is to enable enable command support. To do this, go to the properties of your boot image and select the customization tab and make sure the Enable command support is checked. This will allow you to push F8 to bring up a command console when Windows PE is booted. Be prepared to push F8 fast as your machine may reboot if there is a driver issue.

From the command prompt you can run ipconfig /all to see if you are getting an ip address. You can also run diskpart followed by list disk to make sure your disk is online. Running these commands will verify that your network and storage drivers are loaded correctly. When PXE booting these are typically the only two drivers you need to worry about. Please see the article, Adding Drivers to a Boot Image for additional information about injecting drivers into a boot image.

If both ipconfig and diskpart are functioning properly, check the SMSTS.log for errors. SMSTS.log is typically stored at x:\windows\temp\SMSTSlog\. When you reboot the boot environment the SMSTS.log file will be erased.  So if you want to keep it, you'll have to copy it to the new location. To do so run the following commands:

net use j: \\server\share
copy x:\Windows\Temp\SMSTSLog\smsts.log j:\

When you are prompted for a username and password for the net use command make sure to use the DOMAIN\username format.

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