47134: Acronis Backup: Troubleshooting PXE Booting Issues

    PXE boot errors and solutions

    Introduction

    PXE (Preboot eXecution Environment) is a way to load a computer by means of network.

    The boot process consists of several stages:

    1. The PXE client sends a DHCP DISCOVER with the PXE options filled in.
    2. The DHCP server responds with a DHCP OFFER with TCP/IP parameters.
    3. The PXE client replies with a DHCP REQUEST
    4. The DHCP server responds with a DHCP ACK.
    5. If the DHCP server is also the PXE server, the DHCP ACK usually has the TFTP server name and boot file name. If the PXE server is a different system, there is a separate exchange of requests and replies between the PXE server and the PXE client following the initial DHCP process
    6. Loader jumps to loaded image and execution started.

    You can observe the booting process by capturing data transfer, e.g. with WireShark. Open Wireshark on machine with Acronis PXE and start capturing (optionally you can set to capture only UDP packets).

    BIOS broadcasts DHCPDISCOVER over the network (255.255.255.255) with PXE specific options included: MAC address of the current network controller, IP address of the machine (always 0.0.0.0)

    As you can see, boot agent requested DHCP lease and client's mac address is 00:50:56:ae:00:18. If there is no DHCP broadcast detected on server - please check that broadcast is enabled in firewall and on switch/router hardware. Ports 68 and 67 also should be opened.

    Successful DHCP offer is on the picture. You can see that IP address, Next server (PXE server) and image file name is provided. Please note, that successful DHCP Offer not always goes after request. Check all DHCP offers until you find the successful one, where all field are filled in. For example on this screenshot only the third offer is OK:

    After client received IP address of PXE server and filename, it has to download it in order to run. It starts from read request as shown on the screenshot:

    The download process initialized via TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol). Typical file transfer process is shown on the following pictures:

    Troubleshooting

    Prerequisites

    1. In order to boot from network, the network card should have corresponding boot ROM (Read Only Memory). Please refer to manufacturer's to find out if your NIC support it.
    2. Set up machines to boot from PXE.
    3. Make sure ports 67 and 68 are open. See Using telnet to Test Open Ports.

     

    Errors

    PXE-E53: No boot filename received

    Collect wireshark in order to check that all PXE options are complete during PXE loading. 

    If you use RIS/WDS server with Acronis components uploaded:

    1. Check logs at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs\PXEsetup.log to verify that the role is installed successfully.
    2. Update the PXE distribution points for the boot images now that the new role is installed.

    PXE-E32: TFTP open timeout

    If you use Acronis PXE Server:

    1. Check that PXE server is turned on.
    2. When the PXE service is running on a different machine than the DHCP or BOOTP service, you need to add option 066 (next-server) to the DHCP/BOOTP server configuration and set this option's value to the IP address or hostname of the TFTP server. When option 066 (next-server) is not defined, the PXE client assumes that the TFTP service is running on the same machine from which it received its DHCP/BOOTP configuration information.

    If you use RIS/WDS server with Acronis components uploaded:
    For Windows 2008R2 and higher: set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Parameters to 0 and reboot
    For Windows 2008: In the navigation pane of the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in, expand the list of servers. Right-click the server for Windows Deployment Services, and then click Properties. Under Network, increase the UDP Port range. For example, if the current port range is 3,000 ports, increase the port range to 4,000 ports

    PXE-E38: TFTP cannot open connection
    Check your firewall settings, router

    PXE-E39: TFTP cannot read from connection
    Check your firewall settings, router

    Invalid boot file received
    If you are using WDS with Acronis components uploaded, please refer to this Microsoft KB.

    Collecting information

    If the steps above did not resolve the issue, please collect the following information and contact Acronis Customer Central:

    1. Problem description and screenshot of the error message.
    2. Wireshark log collected on the machine with Acronis PXE server while reproducing the problem.
    3. System report from the machine with Acronis PXE server installed and from the Agent machines. See Collecting System Information or AcronisInfo Utility.
    4. Description of the network infrastructure.

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