Dell 7000 series laptops pxe booting

  • Senior Developer

    @The-Dealman Which PXE boot file do you use? undionly.kkpxe or ipxe.efi?

  • Moderator

    We have 7400s that were a frick’n PITA to figure out when they first arrived, about a year ago. Understand this info is based on what we found in Jul 2019.

    At the time the 7400s would sometimes pxe boot from the WD19 docks. One time you power them up and they would not see the nic in the dock as pxe bootable and other times it would. The 7400s would pxe boot every time using the WD15 docks.

    At the time we discovered the power button on the 7400s were only a suggestion to do something. The firmware actually controls the computer. Through trial and error we found that sometimes we could get the computer into the F12 boot manager and other times we could not until we discovered a key. On the 7400s when you first power up the system watch the Dell logo, press the F12 key as soon as the logo goes from 100% brightness to 80% (guess, but it will dim slightly). If you press the F12 to early or 2 late the device will just boot into whatever OS is on the disk. This drove us crazy until we found this out. Some times like coming out of firmware setup or vpro setup the image would never dim and always boot into the OS.

    OK now in your case you have pxe boot issues, but you should install (using the FOG ui) the version 5.6.x series of FOS Linux. You will need the updated kernels for the new hardware. This isn’t your problem here, but it will be the next issue you run into. The linux kernel developers are no longer back porting new drivers to the 4.19.x series of linux kernels. SO you do/will need to update your FOS Linux kernels.

    Your bios (firmware) settings appear correct as I remember. I was thinking under the thunderbolt menu there was something about device or something security that needed to be enabled. I don’t have a 7400 in front of me at the moment to check.

    If you can get the target computer into pxe boot mode and have it give you an error that says something about NBF (network boot file) then we can debug it a bit better. But as I read your post you are not even able to get it into pxe boot mode through the F12 menu.

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