Boot Option Issue (PXE booting)



  • Good afternoon all, I am trying to set up a fog server to remotely image computers to deploy Windows 10 to my company without having to visit every store.

    In order to do this, I need to set the Onboard NIC as the first boot option so if I reboot a computer it will automatically launch into PXE boot. However, after I change the boot options while onsite, I will not be imaging the computers until a later date. So I need to keep Onboard NIC as the first boot option until after imaging is completed.

    The issue is if Onboard NIC is the first boot option and the computer is restarted for some reason, it will boot into PXE boot and continue to fail since there are no TFTP offers. The employees that are onsite at each store generally have very little technical knowledge so I’d like to avoid having to have them F12 into the boot options and choose the hard drive each time a computer is restarted or turned back on.

    What I’d like to know is if there is a way to make it so the computer tries to PXE boot, then if that fails it moves to the next boot option and boots to the hard drive instead of just PXE booting, failing, rebooting then going back into PXE boot.

    Or, alternatively, is there a way to initiate PXE boot into FOG imaging without booting to the Onboard NIC?

    As always, thank you in advance for the support and the opensource software.



  • @george1421 Looked into this and it is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you very much George.


  • Moderator

    @Brendan-Clemente said in Boot Option Issue (PXE booting):

    yes they are all differing Dell OptiPlex models.

    Since they are dell systems you can use the Dell CCTK tool kit to deploy or make changes to the boot order from within windows. I believe there is an option “On the next boot, boot via PXE”, So that is a one time option to pxe boot next time and then return to default.

    The cctk and commands can be deployed as an executable using a fog snapin to change the settings or via some other deployment tool.



  • @Sebastian-Roth Yeah after writing this I’ve found a few computers where it launches the OS after failing the PXE boot and others it just gets stuck on PXE boot. I’ll have to further research. Thank you for the reply!



  • Hey, yes they are all differing Dell OptiPlex models. Mostly OptiPlex 5050 and 790s


  • Developer

    @Brendan-Clemente said in Boot Option Issue (PXE booting):

    What I’d like to know is if there is a way to make it so the computer tries to PXE boot, then if that fails it moves to the next boot option and boots to the hard drive instead of just PXE booting, failing, rebooting then going back into PXE boot.

    I think there is no general answer to this. Every firmware can behave differently. Some might just boot from hard drive after PXE fails while others don’t.

    From what you say it sounds like you will be onsite at least one time to change the boot order and setup the onsite FOG server for later imaging. If that is the case I don’t think you will be having much issues. Clients PXE booting will receive the FOG iPXE boot menu and the default menu selection is to chainload and boot the OS from the local hard drive if there is no imaging task scheduled for this machine. But you need to know that chainloading to the local hard drive is not 100% working for each and every model out there. While 98% work perfectly fine, there are some devices with crappy firmware that fails to chainload from disk. So question is, how many different models do you have and can you test chainloading to disk before you go onsite?

    Or, alternatively, is there a way to initiate PXE boot into FOG imaging without booting to the Onboard NIC?

    Yes there is, booting via USB. It’s not officially supported and more or less a hacky solution. While it can be used for imaging there are things that don’t work when booting via USB. Find information on that here: https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/7727/building-usb-booting-fos-image


  • Moderator

    What target hardware are you using? If its Dells then there is a way. I don’t have experience with other hardware but I might suspect they have a similar capabilities.

    I guess I have to ask the question how do you plan on imaging these computers remotely?

    Lastly, do these computers have vPro enabled?


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