Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.


  • Hi guys.

    This seems to be a common enough problem, but all the threads I am able to find about it are either really old or not quite specific enough to my issue. I’m using FOG 1.5.9 on a headless Debian 10 Buster server which is running in a Proxmox VM. I have it all set up, I believe, correctly. I was able to properly register and capture an image from my much newer (Ryzen 7 3700X) gaming machine but when I try to boot my HTPC (i5 3470) it hangs on initializing devices. I’m not sure which machine would be at fault here. My server (LGA 771 era dual Xeon machine) but it works for the gaming machine so I’m at a loss. I think it has to be the fault of the HTPC but I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve read that realtek NICs can cause this problem, but the NIC in my HTPC is a Qualcomm and the VM is using a virtual intel NIC, probably passed through from the Supermicro motherboard.

    Any constructive input appreciated. Thanks.

    EDIT: After a little more research, I’ve been able to determine one possibility. Could it maybe be a host boot kernel issue? I’m apparently running kernel 4.19.0-11, but that kernel isn’t even listed when I go into Kernel Update in FOG. Would it be worth upgrading the kernel? I don’t want to make it stop booting my gaming rig.

    EDIT AGAIN: Now that I think about it, the kernel that FOG is running doesn’t have to be the same one that it boots hosts on. Where do I find which kernel it is using to boot hosts? My other question still stands though, if I can upgrade the kernel, is that something worth trying?

    EDIT #3: Corrections.

  • Senior Developer

    @huecuva said in Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.:

    Can those iPXE binaries be changed in the webgui?

    No because it all depends on the DHCP server you actually use in your network (quite often it’s not on the FOG server itself).


  • @sebastian-roth Again, I can’t check right now, but I’m pretty sure secure boot is disabled. I will look further into what you suggest when I get another chance to work on this project. Thank you.

    I don’t think I did say yes to having my FOG server handle DHCP, but I don’t remember.

    Can those iPXE binaries be changed in the webgui?

  • Senior Developer

    @Huecuva Is secure boot disabled on the HTPC? The other thing you can try is using a different iPXE binary. If the HTPC is set to boot in legacy BIOS mode you can try using undionly.pxe, undionly.kpxe or ipxe.pxe (instead of the default undionly.kkpxe). If it’s set to UEFI mode then you’d try out snponly.efi or snp.efi instead of the default ipxe.efi.

    Be aware that changing that globally in your DHCP configuration (should be in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf on a Debian server I think if you said yes to enable DHCP directly on your FOG server) might change boot behavior for other machines that used to work with the defaults.


  • @george1421 Yes. I edited my previous post. I had posted that before you sent the rest of the chat messages. I had only seen the link.

    Thanks again for the help, mate.

  • Moderator

    @huecuva said in Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.:

    Would I still be able to deploy the image by creating a task in the FOG webgui?

    yes that is required. That is covered in the tips I just chatted to you.


  • @george1421 Thanks. Would I still be able to deploy the image by creating a task in the FOG webgui?

    EDIT: I see your second message. I can do everything by scheduling in the FOG webgui. That works. I will play around with this another day when I have time to do so again.

    Thanks for the help.

  • Moderator

    @huecuva said in Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.:

    @george1421 How do I boot USB? And what capabilities of FOG would I not have access to?

    https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/7727/building-usb-booting-fos-image

    Multicasting and some tight integration with fog like “deploy image” menu in ipxe.

    Also look at the fog forum chat bubble for a few more hints.


  • @george1421 How do I boot USB? And what capabilities of FOG would I not have access to?

  • Moderator

    @huecuva Well its unfortunate that it doesn’t fully initialize on that target hardware. I have seen it in the past do that and a firmware update usually fixes it. Since iPXE is out of the picture we do have a method to USB boot into imaging if you need to go that route. You will not have some of the capabilities of FOG but you will be able to image computers.


  • @george1421 I guess it hangs starting iPXE. It detects media, downloads the boot file and then begins to initialize devices before it freezes. It never makes it to any menus after I instruct it to boot via the IPv4 NIC.

    As for whether the motherboard is in BIOS or UEFI mode, That’s a great question. I don’t quite remember and I can’t check right now but I’m pretty sure it’s in UEFI mode.

  • Moderator

    @huecuva So just for clarity is it freezing starting iPXE or FOS Linux?

    Is the MSI mobo in uefi or bios mode?


  • @george1421 If by “the latest firmware on the HTPC” you mean the newest available BIOS for my motherboard, it does indeed have the newest BIOS. It’s an MSI H61M-P21 with BIOS 19.2 which is the latest listed on their website.

    Is it that simple? A BIOS incompatibility? I guess my newer rig works because the BIOS is not conflicting with iPXE. If that’s the case, it’s very disappointing.

    EDIT: On closer examination, that link does indicate that I have a Realtek NIC. It’s weird that inxi in Mint reports a Qualcomm NIC. Maybe that’s why it’s having issues.

  • Moderator

    @huecuva said in Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.:

    After a little more research, I’ve been able to determine one possibility. Could it maybe be a host boot kernel issue? I’m apparently running kernel 4.19.0-11, but that kernel isn’t even listed when I go into Kernel Update in FOG. Would it be worth upgrading the kernel? I don’t want to make it stop booting my gaming rig.

    This is a bit deceiving here (not your post but how FOG boots). The iPXE menu is driven by the ipxe boot loader (undionly.kpxe or ipxe.efi). Once you make a menu selection then FOS Linux (a.k.a the kernel) / bzImage init.xz is transferred to the target computer and FOS Linux boots. This is the engine that clones disk images.

    So if your system is hanging before the iPXE menu then its a iPXE issues, if it hags after a menu selection then it is probably FOS Linux.

    The version of “the kernel” is not related to the kernel version on the host computer that FOG is installed on. It refers to the version of the kernel that powers FOS Linux. I can tell you that you will want to upgrade to 5.6.18 of the fos linux kernel if you want to support 2020 or later hardware. You can do that through the webui FOG Configuration -> Kernel section.

  • Moderator

    @huecuva said in Hanging on ipxe initalizing devices.:

    my HTPC (i5 3470) it hangs on initializing devices

    Just so I understand correctly, ipxe is transferred to the HTPC and it starts to boot because you see the iPXE banner, but then you see initializing devices and it stops booting. This is because of a compatibility issue between iPXE and the firmware on the target computer. The first step would be to ensure you had the latest firmware on the HTPC.

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