How do you troubleshoot PXE boot fails?

How do you troubleshoot a PXE boot that just keeps failing over and over? I'm running multiple machines on a switch. The first one booted up just fine, and the second one, even if I change cables/ports on the switch, just keeps failing in the middle of the ".............." loading screen. It runs for varied amounts of time, but then eventually just fails. There's no error message - all you can do is CTRL + ALT + DEL and try again.

Is there any way to see, perhaps from the K2000, what is going wrong?

3 Comments   [ + ] Show comments
  • So what if it wasn't a bad BIOS, and it's not working, How do I troubleshoot it. - Annien 6 years ago
  • I'm opening a support ticket. If I learn anything relevant I'll post it here when the issue is resolved! - Ultimation 6 years ago
  • We are having this problem with the 9020's. To make matters worse, if you down grade to A02 and you leave the default ip6 on that comes with windows default install, it creates a packet storm that older switches cannot handle. A02 will boot pxe but you have the other problem. Dell just told us today that they dont support pxe boot. So I am at a loss. - Bluesmanks 6 years ago

Answers (1)

Posted by: SMal.tmcc 6 years ago
Red Belt

most likely you have a bad bios version on the machines that does not work with any pxe servers.

  • see http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/bios-pxe-boot-issues - SMal.tmcc 6 years ago
    • Thanks SMal, I did take a look at that, but I don't think mine's on the list. It shows Optiplex 9010's with BIOS A10 have an issue, but mine are 9020's with A05. Not sure if there could still be an issue. However I have another Optiplex 9020 in the process of imaging right now, and have already imaged 3 others of the same model.

      I'm leaning toward a network problem and am trying different switches, I just wonder if there's a way to know without making as many guesses. - Ultimation 6 years ago
      • could be something with auto-negotation also going wrong. You would need a sniffer to monitor that port to see what packets are coming from the 9020 on boot. also make sure you are in legacy mode in the bios not UEFI - SMal.tmcc 6 years ago
      • It sounds like there is just one machine that is having the issue, could it be a flaky NIC? - nheyne 6 years ago
      • Oops, forgot the obvious. - SMal.tmcc 6 years ago
      • Well, at first that's what I thought. But we just got in 10 of the same model, and it seems like if anything is flaky, it's the Kbox! (Oh no!) I've tried different PCs, different cables, and different switches. The only thing that's consistent is the Kbox. It always gets to the Deployment menu where you choose a KBE, but as soon as you select one, it varies from not even getting one 'dot' to going slowly and halting, going fast and halting, getting halfway through with a screen full of dots and halting, or making it all the way.

        If it makes it all the way, I can deploy an image successfully every time. If it halts, I can leave the machine alone for hours and it never finishes. All I can do is reboot and try again.

        SMal.tmcc - I checked and it's legacy booting. I might need something like WireShark. - Ultimation 6 years ago
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