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WDS not generating boot files RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been fighting with WDS to deploy my MDT generated image for at least a week now. We have been using the MDT image in iso format to deploy to computers locally for a few months now and the task sequence and install works great. The problem is when i add the lite touch wim file to WDS, it wont netboot with UEFI. I am not using DHCP Options as that appears to be deprecated, and all necessary IP Helpers are set. The computers receive and IP and see the server, but fail to boot. Secure boot is turned off. The message presented before it fails is "NBP filename is boot\x64\wdsmgfw.efi filesize is 0 bytes"  sure enough, if i go to my remoteinstall folder on the WDS server, in boot\x64, there is no wdsmgfw.efi file. it has generated several others, but there is nothing named anything even close. I have attempted to set the lite touch wim to the default for both regular x64 and x64 UEFI platforms to no effect. Where are these files supposed to come from? i completely started from scratch with my MDT sequence and regenerated it, uninstalled WDS role and reinstalled it after a reboot, all to no effect. What are the next steps i should take? it seems like such a minor thing but its causing the entire thing to not work
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:05 PM

Answers

  • I ran into the same problem where the wdsmgfw.efi file was missing from my RemoteInstall folder.  I ended up finding the missing file in the C:\Windows\System32\RemInst\boot\x64 folder (on my deployment server) and just copied it over to my C:\RemoteInstall folder and UEFI PXE boot started working.
    • Proposed as answer by tonibert Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by mser87 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:25 PM
    Monday, July 16, 2018 8:09 PM

All replies

  • I would start by reading 2pint‘s whitepaper - it should contain all the information you need: https://2pintsoftware.com/whitepaper-using-dhcp-uefi-bios-pxe-booting/

    Cheers,
    Anton

    Vacuum Breather Blog | Wing Commander Saga | Twitter

    Note: Posts are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. If posts are helpful please don't forget to rate them as "Helpful" or as "Answer".

    Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:58 PM
  • Hi Mser,

    Have you taken a look at your DHCP server?

    If you have multiple subnets, you per subnet need to specify:

    1. an option name of 066 Boot Server Hostname and the value: IP of WDS server
    2. an option name of 067 Bootfile Name and the value: boot\x64\wdsmgfw.efi

    As far as the LTI or ZTI depending on how you configure I have a pretty fail proof method of:

    1. Build out the image on the reference computer 
    2. Use WDS and a capture boot image to capture the reference computer's custom image
    3. Upload that to WDS -> throw into MDT -> script the customsettings.ini and boot.ini 
    4. Update the Deployment share to Fully Regenerate the Boot image
    5. Add that boot image to WDS
    6. Script the unattend.xml file to get a truly zero touch installation

    What this does when you PXE boot is make you choose the boot image you want and if properly scripted you don't have to touch it again for the next 25 minutes. Then you have a fresh computer, reformatted with a fully loaded image.

    Friday, June 22, 2018 2:15 AM
  • I have gone through this guide, it says to use DHCP Options which is no longer the recommended method by Microsoft. All their documentation says to use IP Helpers in lieu of DHCP options. Regardless, the guide still shows telling the clients to use \x64\wdsmgfw.efi This file does not exist on my system. The clients are connecting to the WDS server just fine, but they are requesting that file, and it does not exist. Is WDS supposed to generate it? is it supposed to be in MDT? where does this file that every guide on the internet says to use come from?
    Monday, June 25, 2018 2:20 PM
  • Hello,

    The boot file wdsmgfw.efi should be in the RemoteInstall\Boot\x64  folder. So yes WDS should have created this when you created it.

    Also which version of Windows Server are you using?

    Monday, June 25, 2018 7:48 PM
  • 2012 R2, tried to uninstall and reinstall the WDS role again but it didnt seem to make a difference

    The files it created are below:

    06/18/2013  08:18 AM                79 abortpxe.com
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM         1,629,536 bootmgfw.efi
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM           659,280 bootmgr.exe
    06/21/2018  02:40 PM             8,192 default.bcd
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,662 hdlscom1.com
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,646 hdlscom1.n12
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,662 hdlscom2.com
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,646 hdlscom2.n12
    06/21/2018  02:37 PM    <DIR>          Images
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,358 pxeboot.com
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            25,358 pxeboot.n12
    02/23/2018  02:56 PM            30,832 wdsnbp.com
                  11 File(s)      2,481,251 bytes
                   3 Dir(s)  58,605,117,440 bytes free

    is bootmgfw.efi the right thing? should i just rename that?

    • Edited by mser87 Tuesday, June 26, 2018 1:36 PM added file list
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018 1:31 PM
  • Had to jump in here... I have a pristine Server 2016 installation with the WDS role in non-AD integrated mode.  I, too, am missing wdsmgfw.efi.

    However, I have another WDS installation here which is AD-integrated.  It has this file.

    I've tried removing and reinstalling multiple times and I keep getting the same result.  I think the initial configuration routine for WDS (when in non-AD mode) is broken.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2018 7:34 PM
  • Hello,

    I also have a standalone WDS with no AD and it installed fine ( server 2012r2). This may not be a suggestion you want to hear but have you tried fully reinstalling the OS?

    This would get rid of any misconfigurations that might be leading to the missing file.

    Monday, July 2, 2018 3:33 PM
  • I am currently running WDS on Server 2016 and it is not AD Integrated.  I do have wdsmgfw.efi.

    I dont know if this helps.

    LawsonT

    Monday, July 2, 2018 3:50 PM
  • Hey mate,

    I am having the same issue, missing files and when I try and UEFI boot a device it cannot find the wdsmgfw.efi file. its missing in Remoteinstall folder however when I look on other previous WDS installs its there no problems. I am lost as to what it can be at the moment, did you get to the bottom of it ?

    The next thing I am going to see what it could be is apparantly they run Mcaffee protection at the host level, so it may be blocking some files that it deems as a threat.

    Like you said though, DHCP options are not officially supported by MS therefore you guys should really be using IP helpers on the core switches as you will have issues.


    • Edited by sammyvvv Monday, July 16, 2018 5:59 PM
    Monday, July 16, 2018 5:57 PM
  • Just to see if it worked, i made a copy of the bootmgfw.efi file and named it wdsmgfw.efi, and it started working seemingly fine, its unclear if this is a sustainable solution or not yet though
    Monday, July 16, 2018 6:28 PM
  • I ran into the same problem where the wdsmgfw.efi file was missing from my RemoteInstall folder.  I ended up finding the missing file in the C:\Windows\System32\RemInst\boot\x64 folder (on my deployment server) and just copied it over to my C:\RemoteInstall folder and UEFI PXE boot started working.
    • Proposed as answer by tonibert Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by mser87 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:25 PM
    Monday, July 16, 2018 8:09 PM
  • This file appears to exist on my server and works when copied as well
    Monday, July 16, 2018 8:14 PM
  • Weird guys, also fixed for me now when i copied from the C:\Windows\System32\RemInst\boot\x64 folder.

    I noticed that the server had never been updated, perhaps there is some bug fix for 2012 R2 around WDS not bringing the files across into the remoteinstall folder correctly. What I will do is test this theory and remove the role and get the admin guys here to apply ALL missing updates then enable the role again to see if that solves the issue as copying files across is not the ideal 

    Thanks

    Sam

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:23 AM
  • thank you for this, it helps me a lot.
    Thursday, October 25, 2018 1:01 PM
  • THANK YOU!!! I literally spent ALL DAY today trying to figure out why my vm's wouldn't PXE boot to a new Windows Server 2016 server I propped up for deployment testing.  I've configured MDT/WDS on many servers over the years and never ran into this issue until now.  The missing wdsmgfw.efi file was indeed the problem, and copying it to the Remote Install x64 boot folder solved it.  Thanks again.  

    Still puzzled as to why the file is missing in the first place....?  

    -Victor

    Sunday, January 27, 2019 9:49 PM
  • The wdsmgfw.efi file appears when you import the boot image. Just done it and watched it be created.
    Sunday, June 30, 2019 7:55 PM