Troubleshooting PXE Boot for Windows Deployment Services

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 29 Feb. 2012 / Last Updated on 29 Feb. 2012]

How to troubleshoot the error message "DHCP did not reply to a request on port 4011".

Problem: When you try to use Windows Deployment Services to PXE boot a bare-metal target system, you get the error message DHCP did not reply to a request on port 4011" in other words the WDS server products no IP address for the PXE boot request.

Possible Solution #1: You've neglected to select the two DHCP integration options for DHCP in the WDS console, namely "Do not listen on DHCP ports" and "Configure DHCP options to indicate this is also a PXE server. " If you don’t select these options and the WDS service starts before the DHCP service, DHCP won’t work since both services attempt to bind to the same port.

Possible Solution #2: Your PXE bind policy is incorrect. To verify this, run the wdsutil /get-server /show:config command. If the output from this command includes:

      Interface Bind Policy:       
           Policy: Only Registered       
           Registered interfaces:       

then this configuration causes WDS to not listen for PXE requests on any interfaces on the system.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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