remotely set fog to boot a specific machine by MAC address to a specific custom menu item (WindowsPE)

  • Hello everyone,
    I have been trying for days to find the location in which the pxe boot knows to boot a host to either memtest or debug, so that perhaps I can learn how to put in place all that is needed for this specific computer to boot to my custom Windows10PE image.

    I need to be able to do this when I have no physical access to the desired desktop pc… My windows 10 PE disk boots up and starts VNC so that I can perform tasks on the desktop without being within its own OS environment. All of this works and I have a custom pxe menu item to allow this to boot but I have to be physically in front of the desktop to select the menu item… Also these desktops are registered to fog and receive another menu which does not include my custom entry for non registered desktops.

    I have searched and experimented with the mysql fog db only to find that nothing there actively performs this task and seems only to store information. I also learned of a sess_<randomtext> file in /var/lib/php/sessions/ but this too only seems to display information and not actively change how the desktop boots.

    Does anyone have any information on how when you set a host to say, boot to memtest or debug? and can this be manipulated to allow me to boot to my Windows 10 PE image?

    Thank you for your time.

  • @george1421 To be honest, I would rather not go with a custom n12 image as I want this to be as easy as possible for anyone to use this… The plugin/snapin method seems like it would be the cleanest way to handle things. I am currently looking for such a plugin to allow me to add “boot to PE” as an option on the same level as deploy and capture. the people using this most are already familiar with that process and if I could just throw this in, the same way then I feel like this would be the more sensible outcome.

  • Moderator

    @ColinFirth If you were going down the boot.n12 route, you could also do something similar with iPXE. In this case you could create a custom iPXE menu and have it setup as the default.

    Normally in the fog iPXE menu the boot from local hard drive is default. One could write a new menu and replace the default action. In that if the mac address matches a certain computer then chain load another boot loader, if no mac address match then continue on with the boot to hard drive code.

    If you want to ‘peek’ at the FOG iPXE menu to get some ideas, point your browser at http://<fog_server_ip>/fog/service/ipxe/boot.php?mac=00:00:00:00:00:00 That will display the iPXE text that builds the FOG iPXE menu.

  • thank you for this direction that I had not considered. I was currently trying to create the win10pe structure in the tftpboot and using boot.n12 as the loader… and then setting a reservarion in DHCP and giving it custom settings to boot to boot.n12… Not much luck so far… something boots but then errors, so something is amiss… I will research your suggestion… Thank you

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  • Moderator

    While I really haven’t researched this, but it almost sounds like you want to create a custom tasktype. You will need to add in the plugin to get this menu. This would create a task to say boot winpe and then you would deploy it to the target computer. At least that is how I understand the plugin to work. That way you can deploy the task to a specific computer and not every system.