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I have a Linux PXE server.
Can boot into Linux ISO installers using PXE with no problems.
But how can I do it with Windows ISO? Just start the installation. Without creating some stuff (winpe) under Windows.

I've extracted some files from image.iso/sources/boot.wim /2/Windows/Boot/PXE/ to tftp root

wdsnbp.com           (-> wdsnbp.0)

Pointed kernel to (in pxelinux.cfg/default):

KERNEL wdsnbp.0

That's at least something that boots and gives:

Downloaded WDSNBP...

Architecture: x64
WDSNBP started using DHCP Referral.
Contacting Server: (Gateway:
No response from Windows Deployment Services server.
Launching pxeboot.com...
TFTP download failed
Could not boot image: Error 0x00000001 (http://ipxe.org/00000001)
No more network devices
FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.

What should I do to continue booting process? I also created a Samba share with ISO contents, but how to connect all this?
All the tutorials I've found are either outdated or (most) require to create an additional boot image under Windows using its tools. Is it really so sad sad situation?


For Linux ISO I have something like this:

KERNEL u1404/casper/vmlinuz.efi
APPEND boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot= initrd=u1404/casper/initrd.lz ip=dhcp --

/var/lib/tftpboot/u1404 is a mount point for Ubuntu 14.04 ISO

For Windows I stopped at this (and the error above) and don't know what exactly to do next:

KERNEL wdsnbp.0

And to clarify: the question is how to do it (configure PXE for Windows ISO) in Linux environment. If I was in a hurry I'd use WDS or some other Windows tools without a question.

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I don't think it's that easy to install windows from a PXE server that is not WDS, but WDS can load linux stuffs quite easily with a few modifications, if you have the ressources to do so, I'd suggest you to do that, at least, that's what I'd do. –  Stakhanov Jun 16 at 12:52
Well, thanks, I'll leave the question opened then to hear details if this is impossible and why or how to do it –  Sergey Jun 16 at 13:36

3 Answers 3

There are third party -Automated PXE Server Solution Accelerators- able to do exactly what you want but run in Windows. Basically you extract the ISO content in a directory, you create a network share and the Automated PXE Server does the rest injecting the corresponding code within Boot.wim and automatically creating the corresponding boot menu entry for the booting PXE clients.

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you can't diretly boot wim files, or iso files, even in Linux you not booting directrly from iso's, but via memdisk's/ramdisk's

Please read the information about Windows boot process : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771845(v=ws.10).aspx

install windows via Linux pxe servers it's very easy, no need WDS !

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Actually I needed only to mount an ISO and point to some files in a config (for Linux ISO). For Windows.. please see update and if you know what to do - please write it. –  Sergey Jun 25 at 20:56

First you have create Boot\BCD (boot configuration data) file with bcdedit , which will boot wim file.

Second - you have to boot from pxeboot.n12 (renamed to pxeboot.0)

Third - my suggestion for you, would be to use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to automate windows install.

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