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How to choose WDS servers while booting from PXE RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello guys!

        I have already deployed a WDS server(A) in subnet 10.1.x.x (DHCP server is also in this subnet). The OS of A is windows server 2003 r2.

        Recently i got a problem when i was deploying my second WDS server(B) in subnet 10.2.x.x and the OS is windows server 2008 r2 sp1. 

        when i boot client from PXE, it always chose server A as default WDS server without any options for me. I have set the option 66 67 on DHCP server and it did not work at all. I also set the value of AllowServerSelection to 1, which still did not work for the client to offer a option to choose which WDS server to boot from. 

       Does anyone here have any idea about how to choose the WDS server when booting from PXE? Thanks!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:26 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I don't think that what you want can be achieved without having an additional DHCP server in your second subnet. Since the WDS server is known in DHCP under configuration option 60: which represents the pointer/value to the hostname of the WDS server.


    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:55 AM
  • Thanks dude.  After testing many times, i found that if the client boot from server B (which runs server 2008 and allows client to choose WDS server), the server A will also be listed in the WDS server list. SO, what if i set the ip helper-address to my second WDS server? what gonna happen then?
    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:16 PM
  • Presumably that may work. However to my understanding IP helper addresses are configured to prevent switches and routers loading the boot image into their own memory, instead of passing through the boot image to the desired target.

    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:23 PM
  • Is there any help for client to find out my second WDS server by setting ip helper address? In my understanding, setting ip helper addr makes the second WDS server as a repeater so that the broadcast for WDS server can pass the routers and switches. then the client can discover it.

    i did not configure DHCP option 60 because the client cannot get IP addr if i set it.  

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:00 PM
  • The WDS server selection is a Windows Server 2008 R2 feature. If your clients all point to the 2k8 box, then you will be able to select the server. But users who get the 2003 box cannot select which WDS server they want to use. 

    Here is a post about it: 

    http://trycatch.be/blogs/roggenk/archive/2010/07/01/f11-server-selection-feature-in-wds-windows-deployment-services-undocumented.aspx

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 7:13 PM
  • thks dude. i know that 2k3 does not have this feature. but i have found something during my try:

    1. stop WDS service of 2k3

    2. start the client from pxe which can be directed to 2k8 WDS server

    3. press F11 (discovering WDS server), then immediately start the WDS service of 2k3

    4. then the WDS server list can show both the 2k3 and 2k8 WDS server

    SO i'm trying that if there is a way to direct client boot from 2k8 WDS server by default.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:32 AM
  • So the question is: how do we force the clients to use the 2K8 box for WDS but have the 2K3 box be available from the selection? 

    Off the wall question: Can you upgrade the 2K3 box? or perhaps virtualize it and then upgrade it? Might save you some grief. 

    I'll check my lab and see what I can block to make it force to one server over the other. 

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 4:19 PM