Setting Up a WS2012 R2 Windows Deployment Server (WDS) for Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE).

In this post I want to quickly go through my experience setting up a Windows Deployment Server for PXE Boot(Pre-Boot Execution Environment) for my lab servers. Platform is Windows Server 2012 R2 .I outline the steps as follows:

1) Open a PowerShell console and use the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet to install the specific role as indicated in the screenshot:


As indicated in the screenshot, a restart is not required.

2) Copy the specific Operating System ISO file to any location on the Deployment Server.

3) Open the Windows Deployment Services console, expand the Servers tree, right the server and follow the instructions to configure the server:


Click next and select the option to integrate with Active Directory. I selected this option simply because it suits my environment.


4) On the next page, I decided to keep the default remoteinstall folder path. Ideally, you should change this to a different volume.

5) On the PXE Server Initial Settings page, I selected the :Respond to all client computers option.

6) At the operation complete page, I unchecked the ‘Add Images to Server now’ checkbox and clicked on the finish button.

7) The next step is to add the install image file (install.wim) . This file can be found in the sources subfolder of the OS folder. Since I have an iso file, I mounted the file as a DVD drive and browsed to the location of the install.wim.



8) Click next to select and add the appropriate OS images. After the install images are added, click the finish button.

9) Next step, we’ll right click the Boot Images folder and select ‘Add Boot Image’.

10) Browse to the location of the boot.wim file in the sources subfolder as above, select and click next.

11) At the ‘Image Metadata’ page, edit the descriptions as needed. Click next to verify your settings and finish after task completion.

12) You could edit WDS Server settings like how unknown client computers are named in the ADDS tab:


13) A Microsoft Windows DHCP Server is already in place, so this deployment is ready to go. Physical client machines can be made to boot directly to the PXE/WDS Server by using the F12 key or any preconfigured key. Microsoft virtual machines will require a Legacy Network Adapter to boot to the PXE server.

This entry was posted in Active Directory, Active Directory Domain Services, DHCP, PowerShell, PowerShell 3.0, Powershell 4.0, Pre-Boot Execution Environment, PXE, Virtual Machines, WDS, Windows Deployment Server, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Setting Up a WS2012 R2 Windows Deployment Server (WDS) for Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE).

  1. Ali says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have implemented this on my windows server, however, my client couldn’t find any server, despite it has a legacy interface. by the way, I am using virtual machines in Hyper-V. is it possible that it doesn’t work in Hyper-V?

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