We're about to image 2,000 new machines from Dell. We have separate RSA's for each school where the images will be stored and pulled from on-site. By default, Dell doesn't have PXE boot enabled, and the machines are coming in with a blank hard drive. We were wondering if it's possible to make boot CD's that we could put into each machine as they turn on, since it should boot off the cd if the hard drive is blank - but we want to know if it's possible to have it auto-start a specific image.


If not, what is the best way to do this? Enable PXE boot manually on each BIOS, then have the whole school's IP range/label to boot into K2000 upon next PXE boot, and auto-start the imaging process?

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One option is that you should be able to get Dell to adjust the BIOS for you before delivery.  I want to say things like that cost a few dollars per machine.  This is what I would look at.

Past that, you can hit F12 when you connect each machine and choose Boot from Network, then set their action via the console.  You are going to have to physically be at each machine to connect them to the network anyway, so F12 shouldn't be a big deal.

You can enable PXE boot in the BIOS using the Dell Client Configuration Toolkit http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1952.dell-client-configuration-toolkit.aspx or Open Manage Client Instrumentation http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1773.openmanage-client-instrumentation-omci.aspx.


I would expect KACE support can help you with creating a setup to automatically start a specific image if you'd like to go that route.

Answered 05/23/2012 by: philologist
Red Belt

  • Thanks. Yeah, our school district doesn't want to spend more money than what we already have spent - so paying Dell to enable NIC boot isn't an option. I figured we would have to manually enable PXE boot on each machine, then have the school/label set to auto-boot into the K2000 and perform the imaging. We would prefer not to though, if we could just have 60 machines stacked up on a table at once, and pop in a cd to have it auto-boot and start the imaging.

    I have a pre-installation script to configure the BIOS already via CCTK. It's just getting to that point as quickly/easily as possible.
  • Unfortunately, that first boot will have to be done manually

    Lead L3 Enterprise Solutions Engineer, K2000
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We don't have any RSAs but I have been able to boot from the ISO downloaded from the K2000 with a boot action set on the K2000 to install a scripted image and it will install the scripted image automatically once it boots.  I beleive the ISO by default will still use a DHCP request to determine the IP of your K2000/RSA provided you didn't modify it to hardcode the IP address in.  You have to make sure the KBE is the same architecture as the image/scripted install you are using (x86/x64)

Answered 06/01/2012 by: ncsutmf
Second Degree Green Belt

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