Pxe boot to Linux menu then optional wds Linux disks

PXE boot to linux menu WDS

This method works great.

http://thommck.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/deep-dive-combining-windows-deployment-services-pxelinux-for-the-ultimate-network-boot/

Boot to pmagic, repair virus disk, paragon, ghost, more from Pxe

Snip just in case the link above stops working.

PXELinux is part of the SysLinux package

Download SysLinux from here http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/Download

There’s quite a bit in SysLinux but you only need to extract the following files
ZIP\core\pxelinux.0
ZIP\com32\menu\vesamenu.c32
ZIP\com32\modules\chain.c32
Copy the files into \\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86
Rename pxelinux.0 to pxelinux.com
You also need to make copies of two original WDS files in this folder
Copy pxeboot.n12 and rename it to pxeboot.0
Copy abortpxe.com and rename it to abortpxe.0
Create to new subfolders
\\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86\Linux
\\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg
The pxelinux.cfgfolder is where you store the files that make up the PXE boot (F12) menu.
All the files we will put in there are text files, even though they don’t use a .txt extension
First create a new text file called default. This is the first menu that loads.
Paste the following text into it

DEFAULT vesamenu.c32
PROMPT 0

MENU TITLE PXE Boot Menu (x86)
MENU INCLUDE pxelinux.cfg/graphics.conf
MENU AUTOBOOT Starting Local System in 8 seconds

# Option 1 – Exit PXE Linux & boot normally
LABEL bootlocal
menu label ^Boot Normally
menu default
localboot 0
timeout 80
TOTALTIMEOUT 9000
# Option 2 – Run WDS
LABEL wds
MENU LABEL ^Windows Deployment Services
KERNEL pxeboot.0
# Option 3 – Exit PXE Linux
LABEL Abort
MENU LABEL E^xit
KERNEL abortpxe.0
Now create a text file called graphics.conf
This file controls how the menu is displayed. It’s very versatile so have a play around until it looks as basic or as flashy as you like
Paste the following text into it

MENU MARGIN 10
MENU ROWS 16
MENU TABMSGROW 21
MENU TIMEOUTROW 26
MENU COLOR BORDER 30;44 #00000000 #00000000 none
MENU COLOR SCROLLBAR 30;44 #00000000 #00000000 none
MENU COLOR TITLE 0 #00269B #00000000 none
MENU COLOR SEL 30;47 #40000000 #20ffffff
MENU BACKGROUND background.jpg
NOESCAPE 0
ALLOWOPTIONS 0
If you want to use a custom background, place it in the \\WDS\REMINST\Boot\x86folder.
The image should be a 640×480 jpeg file.
Make sure it has the same name as specified in the MENU BACKGROUND line in graphics.conf
Now we need to change the default boot program in WDS
Open the Windows Deployment Services Console
Right Click on your Server and select Properties
From the Boot tab change the default boot program for x86 architecture to \Boot\x86\pxelinux.com
In Server 2008 R2 you have to use the wdsutil command line to set the the default boot program with these commands

wdsutil /set-server /bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86
wdsutil /set-server /N12bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86
Step Three – Test it out

Before you go any further, do a test PXE boot to check everything is OK.

I use a Hyper-V VM to make this testing process quicker. Just make sure it’s set to boot to a legacy network adapter in the settings

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