WDS not working with SCCM 2012. No SMSPXE.LOG

Today I did some work for a customer who had already installed configuration manager, but they had not set up deployment. I enabled PXE on the distribution point but the clients did not get a repsonse when trying to pxe boot. The first place I check is the SMSPXE.LOG to see what happends but the file did not exist.

SMSPXE.LOG is usually located in “configmgr installation path”\Logs, but I have sometimes also seen it in “C:\windows\system32” and “<X>\program files\SMS_CCM\Logs”. I have no idea why it ends up in these places, but I have made a habbit to check them if I cant find it in the default log dir. But in this case the smspxe.log file wasnt located anywhere and even when I performed a windows file search for I could not find it.

It turned out that SCCM had not configured the Windows Deployment Service properly. The WDS service wasnt running and it failed with an error message when I tried to start it.

This is how I fixed it:

  1. Disabled PXE on the distribution point
  2. Let windows reconfigure WDS service.
    From a command prompt:

    1. wdsutil /uninitialize-server
    2. wdsutil /initialize-server /reminst:D:\RemoteInstall
  3. Enable PXE on the distribution point. SCCM will now configure the WDS service and automaticly populate it with its boot images.

Anders Rødland

Anders Rødland started his IT career in 2006. My main focus is MS Configuration Manager and client management, and I currently hold active 15 Microsoft certifications. Certified on Windows Server, Windows Client, SQL, Exchange and System Center Configuration Manager. Anders Rødland also holds an ITIL Foundation certification. This is my private blog and do not represent my employer. I use this to share information that I find useful. Sharing is caring.