ConfigMgr 2007: Troubleshooting PXE Service Point Issues and WDS service not starting

NOTE: For the latest version of this article see the following:


Having PXE or WDS issues and need a few hints to get you pointed in the right direction?  If so, here are some troubleshooting tips written by Frank Rojas, one of our Senior Support Engineers out in Charlotte, North Carolina:


If you cannot get the PXE Service Point to work in ConfigMgr 2007 or if the Windows Deployment Service (WDS) Server service is not starting, some of the common error messages you might receive include:

At the PXE boot screen:

PXE-E53: No boot filename received
PXE-T01: File not found
PXE-E3B: TFTP Error – File not Found
No response from Windows Deployment Services server

In the PXESetup.log:

Error – WDS is not installed. Installation cannot continue

If you find yourself in this situation then below are some steps to take to try and get things working again.

Log Files:
1) For troubleshooting info, consult the SMSPXE.log first (located with the Management Point/Client logs on the server), and the PXEControl.log second (located with the normal SCCM logs on the server).

2) For troubleshooting info of the PXE Service Point installation, consult the PXESetup.log (located with the normal SCCM logs on the server).

3) For WDS troubleshooting info, consult the WDSServer.log found at C:\Windows\tracing. For the WDSServer.log to be created, you first have to enable WDS logging. Consult KB936625 – How to enable logging in Windows Deployment Services (WDS) in Windows Server 2003 ( on how to do this.

Preliminary Checks:
1) Make sure that WDS (Windows Deployment Service) has been installed and that it was installed before the PXE Service Point role was added.

2) Do not try and configure WDS as it should not be necessary. Do not try and change any configurations in WDS as this also should not be necessary. When installing the PXE Service Point role, the install will automatically properly configure WDS. In some cases, some changes may be necessary and are outlined below under the section titled FURTHER TROUBLESHOOTING, however these actions should not be taken until first going through the TROUBLESHOOTING section.

3) Do not try and manually start the WDS service as this should not be necessary. When installing the PXE Service Point role, the install will automatically start the WDS service after properly configuring WDS. The WDS service will not start until the PXE Service Point role has been successfully installed.

4) After both WDS and the PXE Service Point have been successfully installed and the WDS service has successfully started, when opening the WDS console it is normal for WDS to show a yellow exclamation mark and for it to say “Windows Deployment Server not yet configured”.

5) Make sure that BOTH the x86 and x64 Boot Images are copied up to the SMSPXEIMAGES$ Distribution Point. Even if an x86 OS is being deployed to an x64 capable PC and even though it will eventually boot from an x86 Boot Image, the x64 Boot Image is still necessary as WDS needs to extract some files from that x64 Boot Image in order for the x64 capable PC to be properly PXE booted.

Note: When PXE booting, the PXE boot process will automatically detect the PC architecture type. If the PC is x64 capable, the PXE boot will use the x64 boot files. However, the PXE boot process will only use the x64 boot files to get to the point before it starts loading the WinPE Boot Image. Before the point that it actually starts loading WinPE, it will look at the Boot Image specified in the Task Sequence and use the Boot Image specified in the Task Sequence and NOT the Boot Image as detected by the PXE boot process. This should allow deployment of x86 Operating Systems on x64 capable PCs via PXE.

6) Make sure that no PXE related DHCP options are set on the DHCP server. If WDS was being used in conjunction with another product before SCCM 2007 was installed (such as RIS), make sure that you have removed any DHCP Options from the DHCP server that the previous product may have required. Usually these DHCP Options include:

060 PXE Client
066 Boot Server Host Name


066 TFTP server name
067 Bootfile Name

7) In the rare cases where the DHCP server is on the same server as the ConfigMgr 2007 server where the PXE Service Point role is being installed, the 060 PXE Client DHCP Option will be necessary and will need to be added to the DHCP Server DHCP Options. The PXE Service Point installer will automatically detect this, prompt for confirmation in the setup wizard, and then set the DHCP options on the DHCP server automatically. No manual configuration or additions should ever be necessary to the DHCP options on the DHCP server.

7) If the ConfigMgr 2007 server, DHCP server, and client PC trying to PXE boot are on different subnets or vlans, IP Helpers need to be set up on the routers. For troubleshooting purposes try and have all components on one subnet and vlan, and consult your rpouter vendor for more information on configuring BOOTP or IP Helpers.

8) Check the PXESetup.log to make sure that the PXE Service Point was installed correctly. If not, try removing the role, rebooting the server, and then reinstalling the role.

9) Make sure the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) is installed on the site server hosting the PXE Service Point role. For ConfigMgr 2007 RTM, WAIK 1.0 or 1.1 should be installed. For ConfigMgr 2007 SP1, only the WAIK 1.1 will work.  Normally the WAIK is installed as part of the ConfigMgr 2007 install but if you have uninstalled and then reinstalled the WAIK make sure the correct version is installed.

10) If installed, disable the WDS PXE Filter to rule out the WDS PXE Filter being the cause of problems.

If after taking the above steps, the PXE Service Point is still not working or the WDS service is not starting, take the following steps.  Make sure that you have access to Windows Server 2003 and Service Pack source media or files as they may be required:

1) Uninstall the PXE Service Point. Monitor the PXESetup.log and make sure it uninstalls correctly.

2) Once the PXE Service Point has successfully uninstalled, uninstall WDS. Once the WDS uninstall is complete, reboot the server.

3) Once the server is rebooted, rename the RemoteInstall folder on the root level of all drives. Make sure to check all drives and to rename all of the RemoteInstall folders. Not all drives may contain a RemoteInstall folder and usually only one of the drives has a RemoteInstall folder. When renaming the folder, it may break an existing share. It is OK to go ahead and break this share.

4) Reinstall WDS. Once WDS is finished reinstalling, reboot the server. If prompted for media or source file location, make sure the source files that are being pointed to are at the same service pack level as your Windows Server 2003 computer. If they are not at the same service pack level the installation will succeed but WDS will not be able to be properly setup or configured.

5) Once the server has restarted, in the ConfigMgr 2007 Admin Console, add the PXE Service Point role.

6) Monitor the PXESetup.log and make sure that installation was successfully. If the PXESetup.log prompts for the server to be rebooted, make sure to reboot the server. If the installation was not successful, check the troubleshooting steps below in the “FURTHER TROUBLESHOOTING” section.

7) Once the PXE Service Point has been successfully installed (and if necessary, the server restarted), check to make sure that the WDS service has started. If it has not started, try to manually start it. If it does not start, check the troubleshooting steps below in the “FURTHER TROUBLESHOOTING” section.

8) In the ConfigMgr 2007 Admin console, add BOTH the x86 and x64 Boot Images to the SMSPXEIMAGE$ Distribution Points (DPs). Monitor the status and make sure that they both copy up to the DP successfully.

9) Create a test Collection.

10) Manually import a client test PC using its MAC address into the test Collection created in Step 9 by right clicking Computer Association and choosing “Import Computer Information”. Make sure to add it to the proper test Collection when stepping through the Import Computer Information Wizard. If there was already a record in the ConfigMgr 2007 database for this PC or the PC was already a ConfigMgr 2007 client to this site, make sure to first delete the record for this PC in the Admin console before adding it back in.

11) If not already created, create a Task Sequence. The Task Sequence has to have at least one task in it for it to successfully PXE boot. Additionally, make sure the Task Sequence has a Boot Image associated to it (right click on Task Sequence –> Properties –> Advanced –> Use a boot image:). The Boot Image has to be the same architecture of the OS trying to be deployed and not the same architecture of the PC (this is only true on x64 capable PCs since x64 OSes and x64 Boot Media will
not work on an x86 PCs).

12) Advertise the Task Sequence to the test Collection in step 9.

13) Attempt the PXE boot on the client test PC.

14) Once everything has been verified that it is working, delete any old RemoteInstall folders that were renamed. Before doing so, make sure that you do not have anything in them that you may need.

Further Troubleshooting:

If the PXE booting is still failing, the WDS service does not start, or the PXE Service Point does not install correctly. follow the below steps:

1) After following the Troubleshooting section, make sure all of the conditions in the Preliminary Checks section are still met.

2) Follow steps 1-4 under Troubleshooting

3) Normally, WDS should not be configured. However in some situations, some basic configuration does need to be done in the WDS console to properly create the RemoteInstall folder and get the WDS service started and working. The following steps outline what needs to be done. However, these steps NORMALLY should not be taken and should only be followed as a last resort when all other attempts and all of the above steps have been taken.

4) Open the WDS console.

5) Expand the tree under Servers so that the ConfigMgr 2007 server where the PXE Service Point role is being installed can be seen.

6) Right click on the server name and choose “Configure Server”.

7) In the Welcome Page of the Windows Deployment Services Configuration Wizard, click on Next.

8) In the Remote Installation Folder Location, change the drive letter of the default path to the drive on the server with the most space on it as this is the drive that the ConfigMgr 2007 PXE Service Point install will try and use. Click on Next.

9) In the PXE Server Initial Settings, under “Choose the appropriate answer policy below:”, choose “Respond to all (known and unknown) client computers”. Do not check the “For unknown clients, notify administrator and respond after approval.” box. Click on Finish.

10) Uncheck the “Add images to the Windows Deployment Server now” check box and click on Finish.

11) Close the WDS console.

12) Restart the server.

13) Once the server has restarted, verify that the WDS service has automatically started. If it has not, try to manually start the service and verify that it starts.

14) Follow steps 5-14 under the TROUBLESHOOTING section.

With any luck, at this point your PXE Service Point will be up and fully working.


Thanks Frank!

J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for very comprehensive guide. I followed all the steps but still cannot make it work. My environment briefly:

    SCCM, WDS, SQL, DHCP are different servers. WDS server will run fine untill I install the PXE role to it. The installation logs look fine, but the WDS server will not start with this message in application log…

    An error occurred while trying to initialize provider SMSPXE loaded from D:SMS_CCMx64smspxe.dll. If the provider is marked as critical the Windows Deployment Services server will be  shutdown.

    Error Information: 0xE4D


    An error occurred while trying to initialize provider SMSPXE. Since the provider  is marked as critical, the Windows Deployment Services server will be shutdown.

    Error Information: 0xE4D

    and third …

    An error occurred while trying to initialize provider WDSPXE from C:Windowssystem32wdspxe.dll. Windows Deployment Services server will be shutdown.

    Error Information: 0xE4D

    When I remove the PXE role WDS will start.

    Any help will be very much appreciated.




  2. Anonymous says:

    thank you

  3. Anonymous says:

    Come on there must be someone out there that has cracked this one.  I hoping not to have to burn a support call with MS on this being a generic issue that others have had before.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I have the same problem, i guess no one solved it yet…the instructions here didn't help…


  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm running WIN2008r2 on the WDS/PXE servcie point & ConfigMgr 2007r2 on 2008r2 for Primary site server.  

    Any help appreciated.


    Ian R

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Milo,

    I have the exact same issue.  I've been through all the troubleshooting steps above and can't find a way around this.  Did you find a solution?

    Ian R