Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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...

share|improve this question

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.