Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of gcz
gczFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

asked on

DHCP Issues In WDS (Windows XP deployment)

Hi experts,

I have been working on getting WDS to deploy XP images over our network. The machines in question are Dell Optiplex GX270s.

I have installed and configured WDS on a server, created a boot image from boot.wim from a Vista DVD, and also created a capture image from this. I have successfully uploaded an image using the capture image.

However, I am having problems getting the download to work. From the intial F12 to PXE, my NIC gets a DHCP address no problem, although after I select the boot image, 4 of 5 times I get the WDSClient error saying:

'WdsClient: An error occurred while obtaining an IP address from the DHCP server. Please check to ensure that there is an operational DHCP server on this network segment'

The DHCP server is set up correctly, as it does actually work sometimes. I have no problem with the initial PXE boot from the BIOS, only with the second one within WinPE.

I have run a sniffer on our DHCP server and the strange thing is that I do actually see the DORA process happening, but it appears just after the error message pops up in WinPE. It's like there is a timeout happening.

Could this be a drivers issue? If so, could someone please explain how I would go about adding drivers for a GX270's onboard NIC (Intel PRO MT 1000), to the boot image I am using? Either that, or give me a pointer on using another boot image, other than boot.wim from the Vista DVD.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Many thanks,
Avatar of prodriveit

I would suggest you uninstall WDS and reinstall it in legacy mode
it then work exactly as RIS does. I have heard of loads of problems trying to deploy XP using WDS not WDS legacy.
you will then have legacy and non legacy functionality
Avatar of gcz


I appreciate what you're saying, and I do agree that the legacy option is probably better for XP, but this issue is not related to XP. This error occurs before any OS selection is made.

I think it is down to NIC drivers for WinPE, for my particular hardware.
Avatar of specialistservices

Link to home
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Avatar of gcz


I agree in that I am now thinking that it is an issue with our switches rather than WDS. We have Dell PowerConnect 62xx and 53xx switches, and spanning tree port fast is not enabled on any port.

My only question would be - how does the initial DHCP request process fine, but the second one not?

I would appreciate it if you could let me know if this resolved the issue for you as I will try this when I get a spare few moments.

Avatar of gcz


Hi Modus,

I'm not sure that specialistservices was aware that I had requested this question to be closed as he hadn't previously posted to this thread. Lucky though, because the info in his post has resolved my query.

I enabled Fast Link for the switch port in question in the Spanning Tree section of the switch's web interface, and the problem disappeared. The inital PXE boot DHCP request is a lot quicker, and the second DHCP request in WinPE is also quicker, meaning that the request is not timing out now.

Perfect. Thanks specialistservices...
Avatar of gcz


Sorry, I just realised that I assumed that specialistservices is male. How sexist!

Many apologies if you of the fairer sex.