Delving into the “Last PXE Advertisement” flag

This post has actually come from having a look at the search queries coming up in my blog visit stats – “all active pxe flag deployements” – which seems like a good thing to look into.

If you’re trying to make a device collection you’ll find the LastPXEAdvertisement doesn’t appear to be available through the query builder UI. Here I’ll look into getting the data through PowerShell and then also putting it into a Device Collection within MEMCM. Continue reading “Delving into the “Last PXE Advertisement” flag”

UEFI Network Boot Across Subnets

UEFI style network boot – press Enter, not F12!

A few years ago when UEFI became much more common on new PCs I wanted to use the UEFI network boot, rather than the old style PXE boot, for imaging machines. This worked fine for computers sat on the same subnet and VLAN as the server, but getting this to work when the client device is in a different subnet took a bit of work.

Continue reading “UEFI Network Boot Across Subnets”

Deploying OS Task Sequences Without PXE

No onboard LAN? No problem.

If you’ve had to deploy any laptops recently you’ll have noticed that it’s very difficult to find smaller (lower budget) devices with onboard LAN any more. We recently replaced two trolleys of laptops and the only choice to keep within budget was sacrifice the network port. While this isn’t a problem for their day to day use (as we have full site wireless coverage), when it comes to deploying and updating them… not so great. Well it’s MEMCM to the rescue again with bootable media.

Continue reading “Deploying OS Task Sequences Without PXE”

The Missing PXE Advertisement

Today I had “The Case of the Missing PXE Advertisement” with a PC. Bit of background – I’ve an OSDeploy device collection which has a zero touch MDT Task Sequence deployed to it, advertised to PXE and Media only, and set to always rerun program. So anything in this collection will automatically get the deployment. Infinite loops are prevented by the “PXE Deployments” flag that is automatically set on computer objects once they have started a PXE deployment. To re-image a PC I just drop it back in the collection and clear the flag. I’ve also got one which prompts for the computer name, advertised as optional to all Unknown Computers. New kit I boot to this and put the name in and off it goes. Continue reading “The Missing PXE Advertisement”

Windows 10, UEFI and PXE booting

Remember the good old days when Windows couldn’t change the boot order? Yeah…

I recently set up System Centre Configuration Manager to take over from MDT for imaging PCs. The end result I’m after is that all PCs attempt PXE boot when powered up, and then automatically image if there’s a task deployment waiting for them. (Bonus points is getting wake-on-lan to work with Win 10 so they’ll power themselves up too).

Thought this would be easy – surely just set network as the first boot device – only to discover that (on a UEFI booted system) part of Windows setup adds “Windows Boot Manager” and sets it as the first device in the boot list, no way to stop it. Continue reading “Windows 10, UEFI and PXE booting”