12 comments on “Troubleshooting PXE Booting

  1. Pingback: Revisiting PXE Booting for UEFI Devices | Trials of a Network Admin

  2. you have some conceptual errors here: “”PXE is part of the DHCP process by which… “” This is wrong; please take a look at the PXE article at Wikipedia…


  3. We may make this leap too after I took over our imaging side and tried to start standardizing around UEFI instead of Legacy for our machines. We have Dell laptops, desktops and tablets, some dating back to 2010 or earlier, though the majority are probably circa 2012/2013, mostly E series latitudes like the E6430, E6420, etc. How frequently do you encounter the pxe issue on these devices and on what models would you say? And also what tools are you using to silently roll out BIOS updates?


    • We haven’t seen any PXE issues either via legacy or UEFI in a while. Things seem to have matured a bit, fortunately. Assuming of course your deployment environment is current and properly configured. I can say we’ve successfully imaged both E6420 and E6430 models, as well as newer Latitudes and OptiPlex desktops. I can’t say PXE deployment is 100% flawless, as we do run into the occasional machine that gives us issues, but overall it works well.

      The Dell BIOS updates themselves can be installed silently. We use SpecOps Deploy (which I HIGHLY recommend) to push these and other software, but you could use any method that allows you to run an EXE. Native group policy software installation will only do MSI files.

      Hope that helps, and thanks for the comment.


  4. Yeah, that does help. I thought maybe you were flashing the BIOS via vPro or some Dell remote management utility. We have SCCM in our environment so we could do it the way you describe as well. I created a wrapper for that sort of thing, mainly to check and see if the battery was charged and communicate a restart to the user before flashing the bios (though this was on the Surface). We can’t do that remotely at my current job because it would give everyone BitLocker recovery key prompts (unless we suspend -> apply -> reboot -> re-enable).

    Just a heads up if you guys ever decide to go with BitLocker in the future.

    I will give it a try and let you know if we’re successful.


  5. Thanks James,

    This is still a fantastic article today and I’m glad you posted the steps you took and your thinking. Thank you!


  6. I’d be keenly appreciative of your advice sir, as it’s driving me insane.

    Do I understand you correctly that, whether booting to Legacy PXE or UEFI PXE, you don’t need any DHCP options set at all for clients?


    • Yes, that is correct. Your DHCP server should not have 60, 66, or 67 set. Your PXE server should respond to DHCP requests with option 60. In most cases I don’t believe you would need to do anything on the PXE side for it to respond with option 60 – that should just be part of the normal PXE config process.


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