• PXE Boot and Hyper-V virtual machines and other strange things

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    It’s been a while since I played around with virtual machines and since I’m about to install a whole bunch of new computers with Windows 10, including applications, I wanted to test the whole procedure on a Virtual Machine. So I cleaned out all the virtual test machines to start with a blanc slate. One of the easiest ways to install Windows is using Windows Deployment Services. So, cleaned that out as well and added the latest Windows 10 install – and boot image. Started the Hyper-V Manager, created a new VM to start from the network and started it. Screen reads: Starting PXE boot…. and after a while, it displays an error – network path not found. So this looks like a network issue.

    Only thing is, I can’t figure out what’s going on. There’s nothing in the WDS log files. It’s network related, but that’s about it. So I created a new Virtual Switch (External type, allow management OS to share), which has the same settings as the Default Virtual Switch. Configured the VM with this new switch, started it and PXE boot works fine. Why does it work with a new virtual switch configured exactly the same as the default one?

    Ok, so now I can select the image to install and off we go. When the Setup screen appears, I have to enter network credentials. And no matter what I type, the response is Cannot find network path. Shift F10 into a command prompt. Check IPConfig. All ok. Ping the WDS server. OK. Type Net use \\server and error 53 – Cannot find network path. Been reading a LOT on how to fix this but nothing seems to do the trick. I’m stumped.

    So I attach the Windows ISO to the virtual machine and use that to install Windows 10 Pro. Installs fine and when I log in with the fresh local account and try to access network shares, I get the same message as before. And again, the network settings are all ok. Can ping the WDS server etc. So what happens if I try to add the VM to the domain? On the Advanced System Settings, the button Network-ID is greyed out and although I can change the name, I cannot change between workgroup / domain – the Domain button is greyed out as well. You have to use Windows Pro! they say. And I do. One site suggest installing the optional SMB 1.0 CIFS server / client and so I did. Still cannot access shares on the network, but the Network-ID is  now available. Adding the machine to the domain, I expected the message Cannot find network path after entering the network credentials. But no, machines was added to the domain without error. After a reboot, I can access everything on the network.

    This whole thing has me puzzelt. Why won’t PXE boot work in a VM using the Default Switch? Why can’t the Windows installer, when run from the WDS server, log on to the domain? And why do I have to install SMB 1 stuff to add a machine to the domain?

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Simon_Weel.
    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #2565100

      Maybe the default switch doesn’t pick up the correct DNS?
      What DNS does the default get vs a new switch?

      cheers, Paul

    • #2565168

      Did some more investigation and as for accessing shares – it’s not a network issue. I can access shares on other Windows pc’s – just not the ones on servers. So it’s probably some security thing. Haven’t figured out what exactly.

      Created another VM with the same settings and the same Windows ISO file. But this time, the installation is a little different. When started the first time, the Windows OOBE privacy settings are all on a single page, where on the other machine, they where on several pages. Anyway, on this new installation, the Network-ID button is available without any extra stuff installed. It’s all a bit sketchy?

      For the PXE problem – I have to do some more digging in the network settings using Powershell.

    • #2565610

      Some progress as for accessing shares ons servers. Tried to install a real pc today and it’s behaving the same as the VM. I can boot it from the WDS server and it will start an installation, but upon entering the credentials, it responds  Cannot find network path. Shift F10 into a command prompt. I type net use * \\servername\share /user:name * and it asks for a password. Enter the password and a drive mapping is made without error. After this, I can access any share on that particular server. This has me puzzeled even more? It’s definitely no network problem……

    • #2565799

      It’s your install script on the WDS server. You have a path in there that isn’t correct.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2566990

      Well, removed / reinstalled WDS role on the 2016 server. Makes no difference. I have a Server 2008 R2 server hanging around, so I installed the WDS role on that one. Result is the same. I fact, it doesn’t matter which account I use, or wehter it’s a domain or local account – the result is the same every time. So I’m at a loss.

      Thing is, as described, I used to use WDS to roll out a Windows image including all applications to new machines. Since that’s no longer possible, I have to revert to other means of rolling out the stuff. Easiest way is to copy a disk image to a USB drive and restore that to the target machine. So I set up a reference machine, installed all applications, tested it, SysPrep-ed it and made a disk copy using Aomei Backup. Restored it to one of the new machines and after restarting that machine, I wasn’t greeted with the OOBE, but with the message Windows can’t boot. Startup Repair doesn’t work. Nor does the most-offered solution  quartet ‘bootrec /fixmbr (ok), bootrec /fixboot (Access Denied), bootrec /scanos (ok), bootrec /rebuildbcd (Failed)’. And it doesn’t matter what method I use the copy or clone the disk.

      Next thing to do is setup MDT and use that to roll out the images. Fingers crossed. The whole thing so far is time-consuming and frustrating, especially since I cannot pin-point the cause of the problems….

    • #2567053

      Does the restore create 2 partitions? One FAT32 for boot, one for C.
      Did you insert disk drivers in the image before restoring?

      cheers, Paul

    • #2567588

      As for rolling out Windows – I did a crash-course MDT and that’s working fine. Rolled out the new machines in a jiffy.

      For the other things – still under investigation.

    Viewing 6 reply threads
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