Problem with attended Windows 7 installation over PXE

  • Hi,
    I’[SIZE=3]m trying to install Windows 7 over PXE, but want to run a normal installer (instead of using an image recovery).[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Have seen “[/SIZE][URL=‘’][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#3b3b3b]Using Dell Diagnostics with FOG[/COLOR][/FONT][/URL][SIZE=2]” on fog project tutorials webpage and reapplied instructions from the movie to boot to windows 7 setup.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]I have created an img file using Imgburn, copied it to the pxe server along with a memdisc file (from syslinux package). [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3]Then created an entry in boot menu (/tftpboot/pxeconfig.cfg/default)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]The moment when I would expect setup to start, it keeps extracting the windows img file (at least it says it does) and never stops.[/SIZE]

    Please see on the video:


    Maybe I need to use something different then memdisc?

    Will anybody know, how to solve this puzzle?


  • Moderator

    While researching this I came across an article which talked of how memdisk booting large files can cause memory errors because of the nested memory method it uses. Rather than using memdisk for your kernel and the Windows 7 disk for the init file, you might look for other options such as booting grub4dos.

  • I vaguely recall some posts about certain versions of Windows ISO’s (Windows 7? XP?) not playing nice with PXE boot/memdisk when attempting to do what you are …but, I can’t seem to find 'em right now. 😞

  • Hi,

    Thank you for your help,
    I have used the tutorial from from afmrick’s post. Booting from ISO image worked just fine. I have managed to boot a hiren iso and a trinity iso. Thank you for this.

    Now - As per afmrick’s post - I was running of Ram memory to boot my image, so I have extended my virtual’s PC ram up to 8GB, to make sure it’s not running out of space. Unfortunatelly I got an error generated by Virtual box. Here is the listing from logs:

    [CODE]00:28:34.469 VM: Raising runtime error ‘HostMemoryLow’ (fFlags=0x2)
    00:28:34.469 AssertLogRel D:\tinderbox\win-4.1\src\VBox\VMM\VMMR3\VMM.cpp(1680) VMMR3EmtRendezvous: !pVCpu->vmm.s.fInRendezvous
    00:28:34.469 Console: VM runtime error: fatal=false, errorID=HostMemoryLow message="[B]Unable to allocate and lock memory. The virtual machine will be paused. Please close applications to free up memory or close the VM[/B]"
    00:28:34.469 Changing the VM state from ‘RUNNING’ to ‘GURU_MEDITATION’.[/CODE]
    After that my workstation Froze… that did not happen to me since Windows XP…

    My main objective is to make a Fog project based server to distribute different installation discs. Ideally it would host different distros of Windows XP, 7, Vistas, Linux distros and diagnostic tools.
    …Besides I always wanted to build such a box 🙂

    Could you please tell me if you have any clues or advice, how to get my current box fixed?
    Unless you can think of a different solutions how to be able to install OSs over PXE (need to be attended installers though)

    Any help will be appreciated.

  • RAM …thats the memdisk part of the “[FONT=Consolas]kernel fog/dell/memdisk” line in [/FONT][SIZE=3]/tftpboot/pxeconfig.cfg/default from [/SIZE][FONT=Consolas]your linked example.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Consolas]Also see [url][/url][/FONT]

  • Hi,

    Thank you for you help and such a quick reply.
    I didn’t realize that the image is getting actually transferred to the PC. You are correct- the img file has 3.2 GB… that is an image for 32 and 64 bit installations.

    Question - where is the image transferred to? A node HDD or to it’s RAM memory?


  • Moderator

    The windows install is pretty big. I think tftp is a slow transfer protocol, only allowing 1 packet to be out at a time. You might try chainloading gpxe to use a faster protocol to download the windows install file.