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I would like to setup a PXE environment where I can re-image machines remotely without any user intervention. Only problem is when the re-imaging is completed it will do the re-imaging again and again and again. If I remove the MAC address file then I just get a error saying it can't find the MAC address file and the system stops. I also tried turning off the TFTP server and I get a error stating can't find TFTPD server. How can I make client machines only PXE boot once and after the re-imaging it will boot into Windows and everything is happy? And only PXE boot when I want it too... I'm using TFTPD32 to serve the files. I'm using a Windows 2003 DHCP server that points to pxelinux.0...

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Wouldn't changing the boot order in BIOS on the clients do this? Boot disk first then NIC, once an OS is present it will boot only from the HDD.

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Only problem with that there is already a pre-existing OS on the Hard Drive... So it will never do the PXE boot... –  troz123 Feb 26 '11 at 21:46
    
Aah, sorry, didn't see the RE-imaging –  Tog Feb 26 '11 at 21:50
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This sounds odd. When I was using PXE boot, enabling it on the client meant that it would look first for a PXE boot server, and failing that boot normally. I want to say that there's an option to be found on your client to change this setting, as it seems like you're getting abnormal behavior.

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What we do is use a program called FOG (Free Open-source Ghost), and that sits on our Linux server (you may need to run it under a VM). From there, it's managed through a web page on the server itself. I can remotely reboot machines, delete old user profiles, deploy printers or snap-ins (programs), and manage computers as a group. The other cool thing is that I can tell the server that GroupA of computers needs a new image, then remotely reboot them and they start imaging! FOG takes care of joining the computers to a Domain, renaming the computers (and keeping the names constant across reboots!), and inventorying all the systems.

When FOG goes to image a system, I don't need to SYSPREP the system first, although I can if I want. They have an active community, and lots of people working to bring Windows 8 support to it. The reason I feel it would also work for you is that all computers here are set to PXE boot on the Network first, then the hard drive. I can set the Menu Timeout in FOG to 0, so it boots right to the hard drive; if there is a task waiting for the computer, it'll do that task instead. I highly recommend it.

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