Troubleshoot PXE Boot issues

In this post we will be discussing and talking about troubleshooting various PXE boot issues.

Issue 1 – Not getting IP address from DHCP Server

Ideally we may think that issue could be with DHCP Server, however there are rare chances of having DHCP server issue. If working system with fully loaded OS is getting IP address, there is no reason that Bare Metal should not be getting IP address.

Problem: One of the reason for not getting IP could be WDS Service (Windows Deployment Services Server) in stopped state. Login to the WDS Server ie Distribution Point and verify the same.

Solution: Start the service, and verify the status showing as running.


Once done, we can see IP address is getting assigned to the system and PXE Boot process started.

Issue 2 – PXE Boot aborted with TFTP message: smsboot\x64\abortpxe.com

Problem: This indicates that no Task Sequence has been targeted to the System. One of the reason could be:

System was previously built and system details along with MAC address exists in SCCM database. If Task Sequence is targeted on collection “Unknown Computers”, system will be treated as known Computer because of existing entry, hence boot image will not load we will see following message:

TFTP Download: smsboot\x64\abortpxe.com.

If we check smspxe.log (Location d:\Program files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\logs), we can see following important sequence:

00:15:5D:E1:44:53, 4957E604-1571-4508-AF3B-46EC9CEFCB1C: Device is in the database.
Client boot action reply: <ClientIDReply><Identification Unknown="0" DuplicateSMBIOS="0" DuplicateMACAddress="0" ItemKey="16777320" ServerName=""><Machine><ClientID/><NetbiosName/></Machine></Identification><PXEBootAction LastPXEAdvertisementID="" LastPXEAdvertisementTime="" OfferID="" OfferIDTime="" PkgID="" PackageVersion="" PackagePath="" BootImageID="" Mandatory=""/></ClientIDReply>
00:15:5D:E1:44:53, 4957E604-1571-4508-AF3B-46EC9CEFCB1C: no advertisements found
00:15:5D:E1:44:53, 4957E604-1571-4508-AF3B-46EC9CEFCB1C: No boot action. Aborted.

As there is no Task Sequence targeted to this known computer with Mac Address “00:15:5D:E1:44:53”, we will see error “no advertisements found” following with error “No boot action. Aborted”.

Solution: As system exists in SCCM Database, we need to search the system with the MAC address.

Launch SCCM Console, navigate to \Assets and Compliance\Overview\Devices, under right Pane click on Add Criteria and select MAC Address and click on Add.

Provider MAC Address of system on which we got abortpxe.com error, this will be right below search window and click on Search.

Once you see existing system under search, right click and click on Delete, once page Confirm Deletion popups up, click on Delete.

We are all set to do PXE boot now, once we initiate PXE boot, we can see message:

TFTP Download: smsboot\x64\pxeboot.com
Press F12 for network service boot.

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