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Contributor
Contributor

No PXE Boot from VM with EFI. Using Microsoft WDS

Hello,

I have the problem, that I am not able to get a VM on our ESXi 6.0.0 to boot over PXE from our WDS if I choose EFI as start option. If I choose BIOS instead, everything works fine.

When I use EFI I get this screen when starting up:

pastedImage_0.png

After that I am presented the Boot Manager and can select EFI Network manualy, then I get the following screen. Nothing happens there. After a few seconds I get back to the Boot Manager where I can select another boot media.

pastedImage_1.png

Unfortunately I dont have access to our WDS-Server to view any log, but I will ask for this if I cant solve the problem otherwise. If you need any more information feel free to ask.

KR,

Mango

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31 Replies
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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello,

Please see the below existing thread for reference:

https://communities.vmware.com/thread/541487

Sincerely, Rahul Parmar VMware Support Moderator
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Contributor
Contributor

Hallo parmarr,

thanks for the reply but unfortunately my problem is different from the one mentioned in your link. My PXE Boot works fine if I use BIOS which the poster of the thread you linked seems to use (I tell if from his screenshot). It only does not work when using EFI instead of BIOS. Without any warning, message or failure. It just quits and the only things I can see are the screenshots posted above. If I then set the same VM to BIOS I can boot via PXE.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Did you ever find a solution to this?  I am having the same exact problem.  I am looking to create Windows 2016 server images with EFI and VMXNET3 out of the box.  I know I can get this working by using an ISO and installing it the "normal" way.  But WDS has some features that I want to take advantage of (I can use a custom answer file and embed the VMware drivers into the WIM).  Plus, I like building clean images.  Starting out with BIOS just so I can PXE boot and then converting EFI later is very unclean in my opinion (and I don't know if that is even possible).

Thanks

NK

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User Moderator
User Moderator

Hi,

Perhaps this post helps?

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2015/10/support-for-uefi-pxe-boot-introduced-in-esxi-6-0.html

Note that you can actually change the VM from BIOS to UEFI, but only for a select number of OS's, microsoft added support for that in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

(another link to virtually ghetto for those details)

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2017/10/tip-from-engineering-use-uefi-firmware-for-windows-10-server...

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

Thanks for the information.  I actually don't want to PXE boot to install ESXi, as mentioned in the article link you posted.  I want to PXE boot to install a Windows 2016 VM instead.  I believe the OP is looking for the same too.

Also - thanks for the link about switching from BIOS to EFI.

NK

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Contributor
Contributor

Yes, thats exactly what I want to do. (Windows 10 in my case but that doesnt really matter). Unfortunately, I did not found a solution yet...

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

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Contributor
Contributor

No you should never use these DHCP options, its unsuported and not recommended

In my own testing PXE booting a Windows 10 VM to WDS/MDT is simply broken with EFI firmware.   You have to use BIOS firmware unfortunatly.

I found out the hard way after building a client image on a Win10 VM with EFI firmware, which I had to trash and rebuild as I couldn't PXE boot it to perform a WDS capture

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Contributor
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I'm running into this as well on the client side.  Unable to PXE boot when using VMware host (in my case built on workstation) if I choose UEFI.  We're using Symantec/Altiris and it hangs when loading boot.wim.  Works fine if I just use legacy BIOS.

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Contributor
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We are in the process of deploying new hardware and a new Win10 SOE.  I've been struggling with this exact same issue for several weeks.  I've contacted Microsoft premier support (in case it was something to do with the Boot.WIM drivers for the VM) but as it's VMWare not Hyper-V, they don't really want to know about it.

I'll follow this post very closely for any updates.

Like the original poster, we used a VM to perform a 'build and capture' MDT task sequence for WIN8.1 every few months to update the SOE image.  It worked perfectly (and used the native BIOS mode).

As the new laptops require EFI mode, we assumed we could simply adjust the VM parameters accordingly and perform a similar 'build and capture' task sequence for WIN10, but we either get this driver error:

.VM EFI error.jpg

.....or (like the original poster) the VM just reboots and starts the EFI boot process after a few minutes.  I've not seen the screen offering me the task sequence options even once!

I have tried countless WIMS and used different driver packs, but no success so far.

Please advise any updates or articles relating to this issue.

Cheers,

Matt

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Contributor
Contributor

I just had some luck with this..  On my vm guest,  the default network adapter type was e1000e.  I was regularly getting stuck at "Start PXE over IPv4".  I just removed the 1000e and setup a vmxnet network card.  Great Success.  I am uploading an image of my guest over PXE boot right now. 

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Contributor
Contributor

Has anyone had any luck with this issue?

I am using VMware® Workstation 14 Pro, 14.1.2 build-8497320 and am having this exact problem. I boot using the EFI network adapter, i get a message saying start PXE over IPv4, then i end up back at firmware.

I cant try changing the network adapter as the last post suggested as that is not an option in VMWare workstation. Any advice would be appreciated.

1.PNG

2.PNG

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello,

our solution was to set a fixed value for TFTP blocksize at the PXE-Server und disable dynamic window size. Maybe that helps.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello every one

Exact same issue here as the OP.

Did anyone find a solution to this? or we just putting it down to UEFI simply broken on Workstation?

Thanks 

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Contributor
Contributor

Just in case this helps anyone:

My issue actually turned out to be a WDS fault. I had installed the full WDS role, downloaded all ADKs etc (done many times in the past), but for some reason, the "RemoteInstall\Boot\x64" folder had some files missing, one of these being wdsmgfw.efi - causing the EFI TFTP transfer to fail. wdsnbp.com was present, which is why BIOS network boot worked without issue.

I have no idea if this is a known Windows bug, i uninstalled the role, rebooted the server and reinstalled, re-imported my Deployment share and regenerated boot images, nothing solved this problem. In the end i had to copy the x64 directory from a known working server, then regenerate all boot images, which fixed the problem. EFI from VMWare workstation appears to work fine, for me at least this was a Windows Server issue.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi fboehm

Could you provide any screen caps of your settings? would to try and replicate...

Thanks

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Contributor
Contributor

wds.pngvmoptions.PNG

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Contributor
Contributor

I have gone through similar issue and it is because of DHCP settings. Configured DHCP server accordingly and it is working fine now. This link helps.

http://www.itfaq.dk/2016/07/27/use-dhcp-to-detect-uefi-or-legacy-bios-system-and-pxe-boot-to-sccm/

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