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Cannot find deployment share in Windows PE RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have MDT 2013 running alongside WDS.  I use the PXE server to boot the clients and image the computers. Two out of three times, Windows PE will return an error stating it cannot connect to the deployment share. If I reboot and try again it will most-likely work. I can certainly reach the deployment share when booted into Windows 7. Why does it crap out when in Windows PE? I'd like to look at the log files, but they are not written to the server at that point. Given that the clients are PXE booting, who knows where the log files are? If I go the long way and set a static IP address, it will connect 100% of the time. It is pretty consistent that it cannot connect on the first try. I'm trying to automate my MDT deployments, and having to manually reset the WinPE connection attempts is the complete opposite of that. How can I figure out why WinPE cannot connect to the deployment share on the first try?

    Thanks


    Jason

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:01 PM

All replies

  • Is your WDS and DHCP running on the same server? You mentioned that if you assign it a static address it works 100 percent of the time... I think your clients are not being assigned an IP address and this is why you cannot connect to your share!
    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:11 PM
  • PXE is purely the method of loading boot.wim into RAM, booting from USB or CD would result in the same I'd expect.

    Given the intermittent nature of the problem I'd suggest speaking with your networking guys, this isn't an MDT problem as all it's doing at the stage where it's failing is a NET USE command.

    If you're determined to perform a workaround then you could script an ipconfig /release - pause - ipconfig /renew as it's likely that PE just isn't getting an IP in time. You could test this next time you have a failure by pressing F8 then running IPCONFIG, if there's no IP then that's the problem.

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:11 PM
  • WDS and DHCP are on different servers. DHCP is even a non-Windows server (thankfully). One DHCP server controls multiple subnets. IP helper addresses are used to PXE boot across subnets. 

    Jason

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:31 PM
  • How would you script in an ipconfig /release - pause - ipconfig /renew? Do you have to modify Windows PE directly? If so, I have no idea how to do that?

    Thanks


    Jason

    Monday, August 17, 2015 12:33 PM
  • How would you script in an ipconfig /release - pause - ipconfig /renew? Do you have to modify Windows PE directly? If so, I have no idea how to do that?

    Thanks


    Jason

    Near the top of your LiteTouch.vbs you could add

    iRetVal = oShell.Run("cmd /c ipconfig /release")
    iRetVal = oShell.Run("cmd /c ping 1.0.0.0 -n 1 -w 10000 >nul")
    iRetVal = oShell.Run("cmd /c ipconfig /renew")

    Then re-generate your media

    I'd suggest testing manually that this concept will solve your problem before going to this hassle, or again, preferably looking into DHCP as the likely cause of the issue.

    Cheers

    Monday, August 17, 2015 1:44 PM
  • Thanks for that! I'll see if that works for me.

    I've changed the Bootstrap.ini to use the IP address of the MDT server rather than the NetBIOS name. I'm testing now.


    Jason

    Monday, August 17, 2015 2:02 PM
  • I totally agree with Andrew's suggestion and analysis. I have seen scenarios where DHCP has not assigned the IP yet and we are trying to connect to the Deployment Share (via DeployRoot). Please note that the assignment of IP address is different in WinPE . This is not part of the PXE process. When WinPE loads after you have downloaded the LitetouchPE wim, your network gets initialized via the wpeinit process. This is where the Network card is initialized and then your Network obtains an IP from the DHCP. If we try to connect to the DeployRoot before an IP has been assigned to the NIC, we run into situations like this. The release and renew should ensure that you do get the IP address. If it still fails here, I would recommend getting the following logs (and yes these logs are collected in WinPE and will not persist if you reboot the box) - X:\MININT folder and X:\Windows\System32\wpeinit.log
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 7:26 PM