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WinPE boot not Initializing

winpe wpinit pxeboot pxe windows7 linux

Best Answer CFNZ_Techie , 16 December 2014 - 09:33 PM

Hi Guys,

 

Sorry for the late reply on this, I have got the wimboot working as well as ISO booting via PXE.

Following some of your advice I have been able to piece together the install for Windows 7 via both Wimboot and ISO booting.

 

I have had a downside to this, seems like some sort of driver issue when it tries to load the hard drives for the windows disk format section.

As of at this point what I have done is;

  • Use a Windows 7 install disc to create and modify the boot wim inside it.
  • Inside the boot files (e.g. server/image/) I have placed "setup.exe" which seems to do the trick.
  • I have also used RT7Lite for modification of the boot.wim files.  (When I get more knowledge on this area I will mod it myself)
  • I have created new ISO's and used iPXE to boot them (which doesn't load all the way) as well as pxelinux.0 (Which takes a long time but does get there).

As my question has been resolved I will mark as closed. Once again thanks for all your help :)

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#1 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 10:02 PM

Hey All,

 

I was wondering if I could grab a little help regarding my WinPE boot.  I am currently using a Debian server to PXE boot in my lab.  I have previously posted about this build from: Reboot Forum

 

Having fixed that issue I went on some more work only to find out that I have a "final stage error" of the installation.

Currently everything on the PXE boot works fine... Except right at the end of booting a windows 7 wim image.

What happens here is it starts a black console screen with "wpinit" in the command line which attempts to run and then nothing happens.

I have used a script to make the windows7 wim files and extract them onto the server.  These scripts also add the menu info to the cfg file. (all this is mentioned on the technet forum where I haven't got any response yet: Technet forum)

 

As mentioned all the other items work, only I get stopped at this command line interface which seems to want WDS input, however as I am on a linux server there is no WDS...

 

Any advice or input here?

 

Much appreciated.



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:14 AM

Is the PE "locked" or are you able to press Shift+F10 to get another console?

(or you can try a CTRL+C and regain use of the opened console)?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 erwan.l

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:11 AM

Also, may be a good idea to have a look at your winpeshl.ini ?



#4 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:03 AM

Hey guys,

 

 

Is the PE "locked" or are you able to press Shift+F10 to get another console?

(or you can try a CTRL+C and regain use of the opened console)?

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

So I can SHIFT + F10 before PXE starts and if I try CTRL + C in the opened console nothing happens just sits at X:\Windows\System32\

 

 

Also, may be a good idea to have a look at your winpeshl.ini ?

 

I don't have anything going under the winpeshl.ini - it runs via the startnet.cmd I haven't modified any of these two, as I have not been able to identify what will actually get the installation process starting.



#5 erwan.l

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:06 AM

Hey guys,

 

 

 

So I can SHIFT + F10 before PXE starts and if I try CTRL + C in the opened console nothing happens just sits at X:\Windows\System32\

 

 

 

I don't have anything going under the winpeshl.ini - it runs via the startnet.cmd I haven't modified any of these two, as I have not been able to identify what will actually get the installation process starting.

 

so you did check these 2 files (startned.cmd and winpeshl.ini) to ensure there is nothing in there messing up your initialisation process?

 

also I dont understand the sentence "I can SHIFT + F10 before PXE starts".

what do you mean by PXE starting under winpe? you mean the dhcp initialisation under winpe?



#6 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 10:27 PM

Hi Erwan,

 

so you did check these 2 files (startned.cmd and winpeshl.ini) to ensure there is nothing in there messing up your initialisation process?

 

also I dont understand the sentence "I can SHIFT + F10 before PXE starts".

what do you mean by PXE starting under winpe? you mean the dhcp initialisation under winpe?

 

Yes I did check them, I am not sure what I would be missing if I was missing something.  The startned.cmd has "wpeinit" in it and thats all...  I Don't have a winpeshl.ini as I do not call it. - Possibly where it goes wrong?

 

So, when I boot up, before the DHCP initializes I get a prompt "SHIFT + F10" which I can do.  There is no option for me to do this after this point.

As for the latter half of this question I can't see where you are referencing it from.  It maybe I'm using "winpe" incorrectly, but I'm using a Syslinux based pxe server hybrid with iPXE for wimbooting.

The wimboot loads (I assume) into winpe to boot the wim file.

From this point i get the black console with 'wpeinit' attempting to start and then nothing.



#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:25 PM

There are possibly a couple misunderstandings. :unsure:


SHIFT+F10 is a key combo that can usually open a console window in a PE (there is not a "prompt" for pressing these keys).

There is "nothing" that the console windows should do by itself (if not sitting there waiting for commands), the point is that if you can open one you can run in it commands to understand in which phase of the booting you are and possibly load other processes/programs from it.

Unrelated :w00t:, but do check:

http://www.msfn.org/...-auto-open-exe/
http://www.msfn.org/...ni-not-running/

 

Right now it is not clear (at least to me) how far you get into booting.

 

As always trying the same setup with a different PE image may help to pinpoint if the issue is in the PXE or in the specific image itself. :dubbio:

:duff:
Wonko



#8 erwan.l

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 06:39 PM

make sure you have at least 512mb (1024mb would be better).

have a look at x:\Windows\Sytem32\wpeinit.log.

 

i fail to see the link for now with PXE.

boot your winpe on a usb stick or as an iso in some virtual machine.



#9 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 02:36 AM

Hi all thanks,

 

I will try booting with a USB Stick, I have a machine with 4GB I am testing on at the moment.

 

As for where you guys are getting stuck I will try explain the whole situation (I kept it short to prevent a massive post).

 

Situation:

We have 3 departments in my office, The lab (me and my manager), The office (the Boss and a salesman) and Forensics (a Forensic analyst).

Each have a certain set of requirements for their daily operations to run and need the ability to wipe their machines and build a new one from scratch with as little down time as possible.

 

Environment:

The Lab is mostly fixed with all the major cd/floppy/usb boot devices placed on the PXE server for live booting to do; wipes, clones, disk checks etc.

 

However we have a total of 11 Windows based computers between the 5 of us that require Images.

  • The Lab and Forensics require 1 standard image (each) which needs to be customized each time we get a new application for data recovery.
  • The office require 2 standard images: 1 For data checking (which needs to meet the same standard as the above) and 1 for regular business use which can just be cloned once and forgotten.

Requirements:

So to sum it up:

  • 5 Lab PC's require 1 image, which must be customizable on the fly for limited down time.
  • 2 Forensic PC's require 1 image, which must be customizable on the fly for limited down time.
  • 2 Office PC's require 1 image, which must be customizable on the fly for limited down time.
  • 2 Office PC's require 1 basic windows image.

 

Issue:

When I start my test computer up I press F8 to go into the PXE menu. 

This is from my linux server with SysLinux installed, using DNSMASQ and TFTPD-HPA

All of the deployments work for the non windows based systems

I then go to my windows deployment option and select it.  It loads into iPXE from the HTTP portal using wimboot.

It goes through the initialization steps and then loads into a command prompt with "wpeinit" under the title "X:\Windows\System32\"

 

This is where I am stuck.

Yes I do understand that the shell won't do anything on it's own, however it tries to start wpeinit but then nothing happens. What I am needing to understand is what I am missing for the OS to install?
I understand in startnet.cmd I can type commands to automatically get them in the cmd but I don't know what commands to be typing.



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 01:41 PM

We are still not communicating the "right" information :w00t: :ph34r:, the inventory of your workplace is nice to know :), but is utterly irrelevant to the actual issue, which is ONLY:

 

 

 

 

Issue:

When I start my test computer up I press F8 to go into the PXE menu. 

This is from my linux server with SysLinux installed, using DNSMASQ and TFTPD-HPA

All of the deployments work for the non windows based systems

I then go to my windows deployment option and select it.  It loads into iPXE from the HTTP portal using wimboot.

It goes through the initialization steps and then loads into a command prompt with "wpeinit" under the title "X:\Windows\System32\"

 

This is where I am stuck.

Yes I do understand that the shell won't do anything on it's own, however it tries to start wpeinit but then nothing happens. What I am needing to understand is what I am missing for the OS to install?
I understand in startnet.cmd I can type commands to automatically get them in the cmd but I don't know what commands to be typing.

Relevant information would be answers to these questions:

  1. What do you have (now) in startnet.cmd?
  2. What do you have (now) in winpeshl.ini? (if any)
  3. What do you have (now) in Unattend.xml? (if any)
  4. What happens if when you are stuck in the command prompt window for wpeinit you press CTRL+C?
  5. What happens if when you are stuck in the command prompt window for wpeinit you press SHIFT+F10?
  6. Do you have access to the command prompt or it is "busy" and you cannot type anything in it?
  7. How much RAM does the machine(s) have?
  8. What happens with the same setup on another machine?
  9. What happens with the same images but booted from DVD or USB?

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#11 Tripredacus

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:40 PM

It seems the user has made a stock WinPE and not done anything to it. This behaviour is normal if you make a PE and do nothing. There is also too much information here. All this talk about 4 different batch files. The one posted on Technet is an overly complicated one to make a stock WinPE from what I can tell.

What exactly is this PE supposed to do? If it is just to install Windows, use the appropriate boot.wim from a Windows Setup DVD.

Also, the documentation the OP used is for building a Vista PE. It may be well and good, but Imagex is long since deprecated and DISM should be used instead.
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#12 erwan.l

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:59 PM

If I may, I will do some self publicity there : feel free to use QuickPE to make one WinPE with a simplistic shell ...

The source can be a WAIK, or ADK, or ISO, or DVD or the system RE.

 

Or else, the excellent MistyPE.

 

Making a WinPE these days should be effortless, painless and error free.


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#13 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 08:30 PM

Hey Wonko,

We are still not communicating the "right" information :w00t: :ph34r:, the inventory of your workplace is nice to know :), but is utterly irrelevant to the actual issue, which is ONLY:


Relevant information would be answers to these questions:

  • What do you have (now) in startnet.cmd?
  • What do you have (now) in winpeshl.ini? (if any)
  • What do you have (now) in Unattend.xml? (if any)
  • What happens if when you are stuck in the command prompt window for wpeinit you press CTRL+C?
  • What happens if when you are stuck in the command prompt window for wpeinit you press SHIFT+F10?
  • Do you have access to the command prompt or it is "busy" and you cannot type anything in it?
  • How much RAM does the machine(s) have?
  • What happens with the same setup on another machine?
  • What happens with the same images but booted from DVD or USB?

:duff:
Wonko

 


All right there we go, got something to work with now...

  • Currently all I have in startnet.cmd is "wpeinit"
  • I do not have a winpeshl.ini as I was under the impression startnet is another method to use.
  • I have not set up an unattend.xml as once again I was under the impression i could use startnet.cmd
  • A new line appears when I press CTRL + C
  • Nothing happens when I press SHIFT + F10
  • At first it's "busy" but then after about 10-20 seconds I get access to it.
  • 512mb on one and 4 GB on the other (the first is to see how small a pc build I can use but the 4GB is my main test machine)
  • I am testing on 4 different machines to make sure but only 1 with 4GB RAM on it.
  • I will let you know as soon as I can.

Hi again Tripredacus,

It seems the user has made a stock WinPE and not done anything to it. This behaviour is normal if you make a PE and do nothing. There is also too much information here. All this talk about 4 different batch files. The one posted on Technet is an overly complicated one to make a stock WinPE from what I can tell.

What exactly is this PE supposed to do? If it is just to install Windows, use the appropriate boot.wim from a Windows Setup DVD.

Also, the documentation the OP used is for building a Vista PE. It may be well and good, but Imagex is long since deprecated and DISM should be used instead.


Your first line is pretty much sport on. I have made no changes to it as I don't know what changes need to be made.
Topping this off the 4 batches is to give an understanding of the way I get the wim file (which is why it is on the technet forum being a windows site) and was hoping for information like your "Windows Vista" comment. All the information I have provided is to give an all around knowledge of what I have done and is to give a clearer understanding of what I am looking to do.
Based off of your last 2 lines I shell try create an image using the boot wim from the setup and use dism to do so.

Hey Erwan,

If I may, I will do some self publicity there : feel free to use QuickPE to make one WinPE with a simplistic shell ...
The source can be a WAIK, or ADK, or ISO, or DVD or the system RE.

Or else, the excellent MistyPE.

Making a WinPE these days should be effortless, painless and error free.


As I have used your stuff before I will give QuickPE ago. I fully agree it is meant to be painless which is why I wanted to use it... but being a novice in the PXE area it quickly became a snakes and ladders game.


Edited by CFNZ_Techie, 02 December 2014 - 08:32 PM.


#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 08:49 PM

1.Currently all I have in startnet.cmd is "wpeinit"

2.I do not have a winpeshl.ini as I was under the impression startnet is another method to use.

3.I have not set up an unattend.xml as once again I was under the impression i could use startnet.cmd...

...

6. At first it's "busy" but then after about 10-20 seconds I get access to it.

 

 

Well, then this is EXACTLY what you should expect from a "default" PE loading nothing automatically (if not wpeinit).

 

You have a command prompt and it is ready to accept your commands, the shell is CMD.EXE.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#15 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:39 PM

Well, then this is EXACTLY what you should expect from a "default" PE loading nothing automatically (if not wpeinit).

 

You have a command prompt and it is ready to accept your commands, the shell is CMD.EXE.

 

:duff:

Wonko

Ok, So could you advise me, what IS the NEXT step to get an install going?



#16 erwan.l

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:49 PM

Ok, So could you advise me, what IS the NEXT step to get an install going?

 

from your winpe, provided you have a network connectivity; something like that : net use \\servername\sharename /user:username password \\servername\sharename\setup.exe .

 

if it works, then put it a batch (setup.bat) in your winpe and modify your winpeshl.ini to call it next time you boot this winpe?


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#17 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 02:16 AM

Hi Erwan,

 

from your winpe, provided you have a network connectivity; something like that : net use \\servername\sharename /user:username password \\servername\sharename\setup.exe .

 

if it works, then put it a batch (setup.bat) in your winpe and modify your winpeshl.ini to call it next time you boot this winpe?

 

Thank you very much I shall do this.  Is there any further steps or tutorial  I could use to further customize the install (e.g. adding the apps I need)?

 

 

UPDATE:

 

Just and update of further tests to others on here.

I used Erwan's "QuickPE" on my machine with the below results:

 

Using the iso's:

  • My 512mb test machines did not get past "Loading boot sector... booting..." they just froze
  • My 4GB machine did not even get past loading the iso

Using the wim's:

  • My 512mb test machines loaded perfectly fine.
  • My 4GB machine did not get past loading the wim's (again)

(there must be a mobo or nic issue there)

 

So I will try further actions from this point if you could perhaps guide me from here on in.

 

Thanks very much you all rock.



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 11:11 AM

Ok, So could you advise me, what IS the NEXT step to get an install going?

Once you have the source files available (via net use commands) you could go down this route:

http://reboot.pro/to...external-drive/

instead of using setup.exe.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#19 erwan.l

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 01:30 PM

Hi Erwan,
 

 
Thank you very much I shall do this.  Is there any further steps or tutorial  I could use to further customize the install (e.g. adding the apps I need)?
 
 
UPDATE:
 
Just and update of further tests to others on here.
I used Erwan's "QuickPE" on my machine with the below results:
 
Using the iso's:

  • My 512mb test machines did not get past "Loading boot sector... booting..." they just froze
  • My 4GB machine did not even get past loading the iso
Using the wim's:
  • My 512mb test machines loaded perfectly fine.
  • My 4GB machine did not get past loading the wim's (again)
(there must be a mobo or nic issue there)
 
So I will try further actions from this point if you could perhaps guide me from here on in.
 
Thanks very much you all rock.

A 256mb winpe will need 256mb to load into memory and 256mb to execute.
So I would really forget about 512mb machines as you are asking for troubles there.

Why not test in a virtual environment to start with?
Use of your 4gb machines, use virtualbox and give your vm 1gb.

Or else you ll never know where your Pb is : hardware or software.

#20 CFNZ_Techie

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 09:33 PM   Best Answer

Hi Guys,

 

Sorry for the late reply on this, I have got the wimboot working as well as ISO booting via PXE.

Following some of your advice I have been able to piece together the install for Windows 7 via both Wimboot and ISO booting.

 

I have had a downside to this, seems like some sort of driver issue when it tries to load the hard drives for the windows disk format section.

As of at this point what I have done is;

  • Use a Windows 7 install disc to create and modify the boot wim inside it.
  • Inside the boot files (e.g. server/image/) I have placed "setup.exe" which seems to do the trick.
  • I have also used RT7Lite for modification of the boot.wim files.  (When I get more knowledge on this area I will mod it myself)
  • I have created new ISO's and used iPXE to boot them (which doesn't load all the way) as well as pxelinux.0 (Which takes a long time but does get there).

As my question has been resolved I will mark as closed. Once again thanks for all your help :)







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