TheFlyingCorpse
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Workstation 9 - PXE boot broken - works with Workstation 8

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On the newly released VMware Workstation 9, the PXE boot is broken. On the same machine with VMware Workstation 8 it works.


VM specs:

- Windows 7 and Windows 7 x64

- Bridged networking

- 1 Processor 2 cores

I've tried on different hardware, without Windows Firewall, yet the PXE boot is broken when using Workstation 9. Any thoughts as to why its behaving this way?

We're trying to PXE boot and it gets stuck while sending requests to the preboot services on the remote server, it appears though as the return packets are not being recieved. On Workstation 8, these are received and PXE boot works properly.

There's no AV installed in the host OS.

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dragon_788
Contributor
Contributor

Wow, ok, just confirmed this appears to be a MAJOR bug in Workstation 9, pertaining ONLY to running 2 cores or 2 CPUs. I tested this with every configuration my laptop would support (its a quad core with hyperthreading). This applies in my case to Novell Zenworks Imaging, but could affect more.

ConfigPXE Results
1 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 2 CoreFail
1 CPU, 3 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 4 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 6 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 8 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 1 CoreFail
2 CPU, 2 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 3 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 4 CoreSuccess
4 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess
4 CPU, 2 CoreSuccess
8 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess

Now here's where it gets crazy. My issue seems to be with the Novell PreBoot Execution (PXE) Agent v11.2.0.0. It says "Sending queries to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx" but then it never actually receives anything to continue the boot process, but ANY other CPU config other than 2 CPUs or 2 Cores works fine.

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11 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

Hi  TheFlyingCorp,

Welcome to communites .

Please check with NAT mode or host only  .

"Don't go through life, grow through life"
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TheFlyingCorpse
Contributor
Contributor

As already written, its in Bridged mode. I made 4 new VM's under workstation, 2 of them worked a few times, 2 none... So somethings up here and its just VMware Workstation 9, not 8... Nor any other PXE booting device...

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formosabc
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Contributor

Anyone verify that Workstation 9 PXE boot feature not working?  I didn't try this in Workstation 8, but it does not work for me in Workstation 9.  Thanks.

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dragon_788
Contributor
Contributor

I've had hit or miss luck with PXE in Workstation 9. One thing I discovered that seems to be important is the type of network card VMware is emulating. PXE works best on the Intel e1000. This setting gets set in the vmx file, it used to be available in the GUI but at some point they decided to hide it. I also discovered that I had better luck when I had my OS type set to Windows 7 x64 (which matched the installed OS) instead of just Windows 7. The strange thing is it had worked once or twice and then stopped.

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jdavis
Contributor
Contributor

I have the exact same problem and can't get PXE boot to work with Workstation 9. I even upgraded to 9.0.1 to see if that made any difference. I checked and saw that I'm using e1000 as the NIC as well as identifying the OS as Windows 7 x64, but nothing seems to work.


Any ideas?

Thanks.

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dragon_788
Contributor
Contributor

What kind of server are you attempting to PXE boot from? I've had success with a Zenworks server, but I've also discovered in my research that certain models of host computer can affect PXE booting as well. Is your virtual network card setup as bridged or NAT?

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Here's a complete shot in the dark.  Try adding this configuration option to your VMX file:

timeTracker.lazyApic = FALSE

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dragon_788
Contributor
Contributor

Wow, ok, just confirmed this appears to be a MAJOR bug in Workstation 9, pertaining ONLY to running 2 cores or 2 CPUs. I tested this with every configuration my laptop would support (its a quad core with hyperthreading). This applies in my case to Novell Zenworks Imaging, but could affect more.

ConfigPXE Results
1 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 2 CoreFail
1 CPU, 3 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 4 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 6 CoreSuccess
1 CPU, 8 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 1 CoreFail
2 CPU, 2 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 3 CoreSuccess
2 CPU, 4 CoreSuccess
4 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess
4 CPU, 2 CoreSuccess
8 CPU, 1 CoreSuccess

Now here's where it gets crazy. My issue seems to be with the Novell PreBoot Execution (PXE) Agent v11.2.0.0. It says "Sending queries to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx" but then it never actually receives anything to continue the boot process, but ANY other CPU config other than 2 CPUs or 2 Cores works fine.

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TheFlyingCorpse
Contributor
Contributor

This post confirms the issue and resolved the issue I originally opened this post for.

Great job!

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dragon_788
Contributor
Contributor

Did changing the number of cores fix the issue or the LazyAPIC? I'm still trying to decide if I need to contact VMware or Novell for my issue. I can work around it, but I'm somewhat concerned about trying to PXE boot any dual core systems.

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phollis
Contributor
Contributor

Ignore this, had symantec stopping this from working..... I'm fine now...

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