Changing the PXE ROM Boot Program for a Specific Machine with WDS

16. May 2007 10:42 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

You can specify the rom boot program to use with a specific machine when using WDS. This allows you to set the machines to always try a PXE boot first, and control its behavior from WDS.  WDS comes with three x86 boot roms, each with different functionality (this also applies to x64 and Itanium – since I only have x86 machines available for testing, I’ll use those roms):

  • Boot\x86\ Normal boot ROM. It presents the prompt for F12 and boots from WDS ONLY if F12 is pressed
  • Boot\x86\pxeboot.n12: Boots directly from the network (PXE) without waiting for F12 to be pressed
  • Boot\x86\ Aborts the PXE boot process and continues booting from the next boot device

In order to change the boot rom, you need to have the machine pre-staged in Active Directory, and use the wdsutil command line program. You also need to know either the name or the MAC address of the machine. With that information, you can issue the command:

      wdsutil.exe /set-device /Device:SERVER01 /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxeboot.n12


      wdsutil.exe /set-device /ID:AA-BB-CC-DD-EE-FF /BootProgram:Boot\x86\pxeboot.n12

The previous lines change the boot rom to pxeboot.n12 of the machine SERVER01.

By using this, when you have to restore an image to a machine, you can just change the boot rom to pxeboot.n12, and the process will take place automatically (depending on how you have it configured). Once it is restored, you can change it back to, and it will continue booting from the hard drive every time.