KNOWN ISSUE: WinPE 2.1 boot fails with ''Windows failed to start'' error
Last Updated November 04, 2008
When PXE booting a client machine to WinPE the following error shows on the client screen
The WinPE 2.x path to the BCD file needed to boot, is saved and retrieved by the same function based on a flag. The input information to the routine is a working copy of the incoming packet from the client that is booting. If the DS primary lookup keys include either MAC or UUID then no problem is seen. However, if Serial Number is the only primary lookup key used, then the routine does not look for this extra information in the working packet. The routine only looks for the standard DHCP packet header information that can include both the MAC and GUID. (We modify the GUID into the UUID form of the value.) By not having the single DS primary lookup mask value then the BCD path data is put into a bit bucket because no match is made to any available Client Record stored by the PXE Server.
This also happens when the client is known to DS and had been doing Automation jobs and then was deleted from the DS database. During the delete cycle by DS, a message is sent to the PXE Server to remove the DS known information from the PXE Server in memory Client Record list. One piece of information was not removed and this was the DS Primary Lookup key mask. Even though the client was no longer known to DS the client was set to the unknown state and would boot to initial deploy. A match to the client record was prevented because the DS mask was used and an exact match had to be made. This caused the client (when booting WinPE 2.x) to fail by not finding the required path to the BCD file.
It is also possible that the pxeboot.bcd file was not being copied into the \Images\MenuOptionxxx\x86PC directory. This can be caused by a corrupt Bootworks installation which fails to copy this file when regenerating WinPE images.
Another possible cause can be that the files at the \WAIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot directory are 0 byte files. This includes the bcd, boot.sdi, bootfix.bin and the etfsboot.com. If these files are 0 byte files, then the WinPE 2.1 installation did not function correctly.
The main cause of this issue was addressed in DS 6.9 SP 2 though a corrupt Bootworks installation can still cause this problem.
If the pxeboot.bcd file is missing from the x86PC directory, the file called "bcd"can be manually copied from the \WAIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot directory and renamed to "pxeboot.bcd". However, this will need to be done every time a new WinPE 2.1 PXE configuration is created.
Always select MAC Address as well as one other key for Primary lookup keys. (Deployment Server Tools pull down menu --> Options --> Global tab --> Primary lookup keys)
If the files at the \WAIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot are 0 bytes, you can copy these files from a known good configuration or call into support and request that a technician provide them.
NOTE: At least one customer ran into an issue with DHCP that caused this. They had misconfigured DHCP with an incorrect default gateway. A network trace captured essentially no errors, but the process would simply stop, and then this would pop up. Correcting the gateway information allowed the process to complete correctly.
This error is also occurring when using Deployment Solution 7.1 on clients with older BIOS. Upgrading to a newer version of BIOS will correct this issue. (tested moving from BIOS A12 to A19 on a Dell Lattitude E6400). *NOTE* BIOS A20 currently has known issues as well, so it suggested to go to A19 instead.
HP computers with bios version of 68PCD Ver. F.13 will not pxe boot when the serial number is checked. Uncheck the serial number and have the mac address checked in the tools > options > global if this issue is occuring on the hp computer.
Applies To Deployment Server 6.9.355 SP1 Using WinPE with PXE Using either Serial Number or Asset Tag as the only primary lookup key, or when importing computers with only Serial Number or Asset Tag.
Deployment Server 6.9.365 MP1 Using WinPE 2.1 with PXE Using MAC Address as the sole primary lookup key.
DS 6.9 SP2 (build 375) and other builds for various other reasons.
Deployment Solution 6.9 SP3
Using WinPE 2.1 with PXE
Using the Serial Number as the sole primary lookup key.
Deployment Solution 7.1
ID: LB 74388
Littlebuggy (Altiris - Lindon, Plymouth) database
Imported Document ID: TECH40825
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