Enable SCCM PXE Without WDS on a Windows 10 computer

Benoit LecoursSCCM20 Comments

SCCM 1806 bring a new exciting feature that will change the design and planning of SCCM sites. Before 1806, if you had a remote site with only 1 distribution point and wanted to do PXE boot and imaging, you’d have to use a server OS because Windows Deployment Service (WDS) was required. You could also use third party solution with additional cost. Now you can use a client OS (Windows 7,8,10) to respond to PXE request without WDS. This is a game changer as you could basically remove any server OS from remote sites if they were just acting as a distribution point.

SCCM PXE Without WDS Limitation

Note that there’s 1 limitation with SCCM PXE Without WDS. It doesn’t support Multicast, if you need multicast, you need to stick with Windows Deployment Service (WDS).

Existing Distribution Point

You can use the Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service option on a server OS that that’s already PXE-enabled, SCCM will suspend the Windows Deployment (WDS) Service and enable the new ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service. If you later disable this option but still Enable PXE support for clients, then the distribution point enables Windows Deployment Service (WDS) again.

It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is enable the new Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service in the Distribution Point Properties option :

  • In the SCCM Console
  • Go to Administration \ Site Configuration \ Servers and Site System Roles
  • Select your Distribution Point and right-click Distribution Point in the roles, select Properties

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • In the PXE tab, select Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Select Yes 

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Click Apply and Ok to close the Distribution Point Properties

Before :

  • WDS RemoteInstall folder
  • Windows Deployment Services Server running

SCCM PXE Without WDS

After :

  • After a couple of minutes, the WDS Service will stop

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • The new ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service is created

SCCM PXE Without WDS

The existing distribution point is now ready to respond to request without WDS ! For more verification steps, jump to the Verification section of this post.

New Windows 10 Distribution Point

We will now add the PXE Service on a new Windows 10 DP which is the real value of this option.

Like any other distribution point installation, the prerequisites are the same. Review our post to know what are the requirement before continuing reading this post. (On Windows 10, adding the computer account as Administrator and open needed Firewall port should be enough).

  • In the SCCM Console
  • Go to Administration \ Site Configuration \ Servers and Site System Roles
  • Right-click Servers and Site System Roles and select Create Site System Server

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • On the General Pane, enter the FQDN of your site server, click Next

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • On the Proxy pane, click Next

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • On the Role Selection, select Distribution Point

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • In Distribution Point, select Install and Configure IIS and keep all other options default

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Enter the desired drive settings

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Do not enable the Pull Distribution Point option

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • In the PXE Settings pane, this is where the magic happens
    • All four checkboxes, the important one is Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service
    • If desired you can require a password

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • The Multicast options are greyed out since it’s not supported on a client OS as stated in our introduction

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Enable Content Validation, click Next

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Add the desired boundary group, usually, you’ll add the boundary group of your remote site

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Review your options and complete the wizard

SCCM PXE Without WDS

Distribute your boot Image and Content

The last step you need to do is to distribute the Boot Image and needed content for you Task Sequence to run on the Distribution Point.

  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Boot Images
  • Right-click your Boot Image and select Distribute Content
  • Select the newly created Distribution Point from your DP List.

SCCM PXE Without WDS

Verification

Let see what happen under the hood on our Distribution Point.

  • In the SCCM Console
  • In Monitoring \ Distribution Status \ Distribution Point Configuration Status
  • We can see that our Windows 10 Distribution Point is enabled for PXE

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • On the Primary Site Server, log to check is Distmgr.log which will show detail about our Distribution Point Installation with PXE

SCCM PXE Without WDS  SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • Locally on the Distribution Point the SMSPXE.log is created and mentioned also that SCCM PXE is enabled

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • In the Services window, the new ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service is created and running

SCCM PXE Without WDS

  • A new executable is now responsible to respond to Pxe request – SCCMPxe.exe and there’s no RemoteInstall folder. In case you are wondering, the Boot Images and content are in the SCCMContentLib folder

SCCM PXE Without WDS

Now lets PXE boot a computer :

  • Booting….

  • Downloading…

  • Bingo !

  • The PXE request log will be locally on the Distribution. In our case C:\SMS_DP$\bin\sms\Smspxe.log
  • Keep also in mind that iphelpers/dhcp boot option (hint: use iphelpers not boot option!) are still required if you need to redirect traffic from other subnets.

This feature alone is a good reason to upgrade to SCCM 1806 as soon as possible. Great work to Kerwin and his team!

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20 Comments on “Enable SCCM PXE Without WDS on a Windows 10 computer”

  1. Has anyone experienced wile using the ” enable pxe responder without wds ” feature that devices will PXE ok for a week or so then just stop working. I have found unchecking the ” enable a pxe responder without wds ” wait about 10 minutes, re check it and everything starts working again?

  2. Our current project requires us to image MS Surface Pro 6’s. Unfortunately they require a UEFI PXE. Will the SCCM PXE support this? If so, what steps should I take to ensure success. I should mention that I have also injected all of the Surface drivers in to the x64 Boot Image and pointed the TS directly to it. We are still receiving errors when trying to PXE on the Surfaces.

    I have completed the setup following the directions in this article. My environment consists of Server 2016 (Fully Updated, and SCCM 1810. We are using SCCM PXE and WDS is no longer on the server. DHCP does not have options set as we are using IP Helpers. All other articles recommend not using DHCP options.

  3. I have followed these instructions in an existing environment. The SMS_DP$ share is created but is empty. When machines try to PXE in there is no boot image in the folder to respond. Is there a step I am missing?

  4. Would this allow us to do OS deployments over ExpressRoute?
    We are looking at moving SCCM to Azure completely, including the DP. I know WDS is not supported on Azure but maybe the above is.

  5. When I want to deploy a TS to the “unknow computers collection”, the TS cannot be made available tot PXE client, “Only configuration Manager clients”.
    Any ideas ?

  6. When I enable SCCM PXE without WDS, the log files show that it was succesfullty configured, but when I want to deploy a TS to the “unknow computers collection”, the TS cannot be made available tot PXE client, only to “Only configuration Manager clients”.
    Any ideas ?

  7. Thanks for the article!

    We have been in the process of deploying Win10 DP’s for about a year now. I am at the point of enabling PXE on them to do some custom TS and I am having issues with UEFI machines not connecting to the DP on same subnet. Legacy BIOS is working perfectly and also UEFI machines on a subnet with a WDS enabled server OS DP work fine.

    I know you get the .efi boot files from WDS, so it is my assumption that UEFI boot will not work on a Win10 DP since they are not actually running WDS. Is that correct?

  8. Hi,
    I using scmm 2012 install on win 2008 r2, i’m trying to install wds serveur on another win server 2008 r2 i have error the wds service can’t start.

  9. great article!

    Any chance someone can explain the PXE log file being filled with operations from clients in the subnet?

    Looks like this:
    Operation: 1, Address type: 1, Address length: 6, Hop Count: 0, Transaction ID: a473b1a0
    Operation: 1, Address type: 1, Address length: 6, Hop Count: 0, Transaction ID: a473b1a0
    etc etc etc.

    I need to filter that out to be able to read the actual needed info.

  10. Great article :

    DP and MP are configured on the same server
    The smspxe.log contains this :

    — Starting DHCP on 00:15:5D:08:D6:1E, 10.0.x.254, 67.
    — Starting TFTP on 10.0.x.254.”

    So with this feature does it mean that dhcp server and tftp server are now running on the server an no need for configuring a dhcp server

    I got this issue

    PXE: 00:15:5D:08:D6:1F: FCCED6E5-9691-4EC4-8300-2A40713869B9: Client is 64-bit, UEFI, Firmware. SCCMPXE 20/11/2018 15:39:26 8840 (0x2288)
    Failed to create certificate store from encoded certificate. Verify the provided Certificate was provisioned correctly. .
    Unknown error (Error: 80092002; Source: Unknown) SCCMPXE 20/11/2018 15:39:26 8840 (0x2288)
    Failed to create certificate store from encoded certificate. Verify the provided Certificate was provisioned correctly. .
    Unknown error (Error: 80092002; Source: Unknown) SCCMPXE 20/11/2018 15:39:26 8840 (0x2288)
    PXE::MP::GetMPListAndConnectionInfo failed; 0x80092002 SCCMPXE 20/11/2018 15:39:26 8840 (0x2288)
    PXE::MP::IsKnownMachine failed; 0x80092002 SCCMPXE 20/11/2018 15:39:26 8840 (0x2288)

    Any idea ?

  11. Hi Guys. I’m testing this in my environment and am having some issues. I am using the DHCP option and no IP helpers in place. when trying to boot a machine it seems to be getting stuc before it downloads the content and the SMSPXE.log is spitting out the following error

    PXE: 34:E6:D7:24:B9:75: Parsed a request (continuation) packet. SCCMPXE 10/08/2018 16:27:25 7408 (0x1CF0)
    PXE: 34:E6:D7:24:B9:75: 4C4C4544-0057-3910-8043-B8C04F4B3332: Client is 64-bit, UEFI, WDS. SCCMPXE 10/08/2018 16:27:25 7408 (0x1CF0)
    PXE::MP::GetMPListAndConnectionInfo failed; 0x80070490 SCCMPXE 10/08/2018 16:27:25 7408 (0x1CF0)
    PXE::MP::IsKnownMachine failed; 0x80070490 SCCMPXE 10/08/2018 16:27:25 7408 (0x1CF0)

    any help appreciated 🙂

  12. Hi Benoit,

    Thanks for sharing.
    I am using a router and need to configure the tftp server ip which is my DP but I need to fill also a filename like we use in the past SMSBoot\x64\wdsnbp.com. Which filename should I use for the Configmgr responder pxe service?

    Thanks

    1. do the following on your DHCP Server options (67). Change the path to: SMSBoot\\x64\wdsnbp.com

      and for UEFi boot: SMSBoot\\x64\wdsmgfw.efi

  13. I have deployed this on 6 DPs and it works like a champ!!! Able to cut the resources used for the DP down to 1 Proc and 2GB of RAM. All I can say is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME.

  14. We’ve tried this but without luck. As we have several SCCM environments running next to each other, we use DHCP options to point the clients to the right PXE Responder. What would the PXE options on the DHCP server be?

    We are also running our setup in HTTPS so when we use this feature instead of WDS (and had set DHCP options to point to the server but not specify a boot file), we also got a certificate error in the PXE log. Is this feature not supported for PKI HTTPS?

    1. As stated in the article it can be Windows 7 or 8…

      “Now you can use a client OS (Windows 7,8,10) to respond to PXE request without WDS.”

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