How to deploy Windows 10 (11) with PXE network boot? ,

In this article, we will look at how to deploy Windows 10 or 11 over a network without using a local installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, ISO image) and without a USB port. We will be using a small portable Tiny PXE server to boot computers over the network via PXE. This guide will help you deploy Windows on devices with both UEFI and BIOS firmware.

We will need:

In corporate networks, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) or Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) are used with more features to deploy Windows images to user computers on a network. In this article, we will show how to quickly start a PXE server on any computer (whether it is running Windows or Linux) and use it to deploy Windows OS on computers in the same LAN using simple tools Do it.

Creating a Windows PE Boot Image Using the ADK

download Windows ADK for Windows 11 And Windows PE Add-on Click on the following link for Windows ADK,

download adk for windows 11

When installing Windows AD, choose deployment tools Only.

windows adk.  install deployment tools from

Then install Windows PE Add-on for Windows ADK in the same way.

Install Windows Preinstallation Environment in ADK

After the installation is finished, run Deployment and Imaging Tools from the Windows Start menu. or use the command:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\DandISetEnv.bat"

Run Deployment and Imaging Tools Command Prompt

Then copy the files to your target folder for WinPE:

copype amd64 C:\tools\winpe

In this case, I am creating environment files for WinPE x64. You can use other options depending on your architecture: x86, armeither arm64,

copy winpe environment files

Then generate bootable WinPE ISO image:

MakeWinPEMedia /ISO C:\tools\winpe c:\tools\WinPE.iso

Generate WimPE Image with ADK -> MakeWinPEMedia ” srcset=” 409w, /06/generate-wimpe-image-with-adk-greater-makewinpemedia-300×82.png 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 409px) 100vw, 409px”/></p>
<h2 id=How to Configure the TinyPXE Network Installation Server?

Then configure your PXE server:

  1. Extract to C:\tools\pxesrv;
  2. Go to C:\tools\pxesrv and create a text file pxe_menu.txt With the following ingredients:
    set boot-url 
    #================ Main Menu =================
    menu iPXE boot menu
    item WinPEISO WindowsPE ISO
    choose target && goto ${target}
    #============ Main Menu Options =============
    sanboot ${boot-url}/iso/WinPE.iso

    pxe server config file fow WinPE

  3. copy WinPE.iso The file you found earlier was C:\tools\pxesrv\files\iso;
  4. Mount the Windows Install ISO image on your Windows virtual drive and share it over the network (if you want, you can allow anonymous access to it, but this is optional);
    share windows install image over a network
  5. run pxesrv.exe as administrator;
  6. enable httpd alternative;
  7. If you want your computer to assign IP addresses on the local network via DHCP (Tiny PXE can do this), disable the ProxyDHCP option. Make sure your computer’s IP address is specified Option 54 DHCP Server And Next-Server Farm. The IP Pool Start field shows the start of the DHCP range, so make sure the range is not busy with your network;
  8. In the Boot File section, specify ipxe.pxe (for BIOS devices) or ipxe-x86_64.efi (for UEFI devices);
  9. In filename if user-class=gPXE or IPXE In the field, enter the name of the menu file you created earlier: pxe_menu.txTea;
  10. Start your PXE server by clicking online,
    Configure and Start TinyPX Server on Windows 10

So, your PXE server is up and running. If Windows has firewall enabled, disable it or allow inbound traffic for pxesrv.exe over DHCP, PXE, HTTP, TFTPS, and SMB protocols.

Using PXE Server to Install Windows 10 or 11 Over the Network

You will then need to boot the computer on which you want to install Windows from the PXE server. The computer must be in the same local network (VLAN) in which the PXE server is hosted.

Select PXE as the primary boot device in the computer’s BIOS/UEFI settings.

boot computer over network with pxe boot in bios/uefi

After running PXE, the computer will find the DHCP server in the network, obtain the IP address, and obtain the options available in the IPXE menu.

Run Windows PE from PXE Boot

The computer will boot over the network in the WinPE environment.

When I tested booting from a PXE server on a VMWare virtual machine with UEFI, an error appeared:

Could not describe SAN devices: Operation not supported
Could not boot image: Operation not supported 

As it turned out, there was a bug in the virtual machine UEFI firmware on my VMware ESXi host:

This error indicates that your UEFI firmware has a bug that prevents the installation of the iSCSI boot firmware table (iBFT). Switch to booting in “legacy” BIOS mode rather than UEFI mode.

I had to switch the VM to BIOS mode and start the PXE server with ipxe.pxe alternative. Then Windows is deployed on the network as normal.

Now you need to map a shared folder with your Windows 11 ISO image using the SMB protocol.

start the environment using wpeinit Command and mount the shared folder with the Windows installation files:

Net use E: \\\E

, is the name of the computer on which the installation image is located, and I is the name of the shared folder).
Enter the user credentials that are allowed to access the Windows host with the PXE server.
wpeninit mount source windows installation folder

run windows setup with setup.exe command.

install windows 10/11 over a network via pxe boot

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