Upgrading WS2003 to SP2 causes RIS problems

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 upgrades the RIS server, if you have one, to Windows Deployment Services. WDS can run in a legacy mode for backward compatibility with RIS – it is normally set up as a mixed environment to allow both to run. WDS is the new technology for deploying images that is introduced with Windows Vista.

This is of interest in our scenario as we have just started using RIS and have got as far as creating an RISETUP image to load Windows onto naked machines. I hope to go a lot further and create full machine images so we don’t have to use Ghost anymore.

The following are important points or issues you may face when installing SP2 and having it upgrade your existing RIS configuration:

  • If the WDS server and DHCP server are the same computer, WDS must be configured to not listen on port 67 and the DHCP Scope Option 60 must be set to “PXEClient”. The WDS wizard covers these settings when first run, and they can be configured as options in WDS server properties later on.
  • You may get a “PXE-E55: ProxyDHCP service did not reply to request on port 4011” error when you try a PXE boot to the WDS server for the first time after upgrading your RIS server. The DHCP phase of the PXE boot will take a long time before this error finally pops up. To resolve this, run “Windows Deployment Services Legacy” in the Administrative Tools folder and select the option to perform a diagnostic check. Alternatively you can run “risetup -check”. It appears this step is necessary to ensure WDS services are initialised and started. 
  • You may then get “PXE-E3B: TFTP Error – File not found” messages. Open “Windows Deployment Services” (not the Legacy version) in the Administrative Tools folder, select your RIS server and select Properties. On the Boot tab you will see a list of default boot programs. For x86 this will point to “bootx86pxeboot.com”. If you do not have any Vista images to install then this file will not actually exist. In this case, you can make the installation work by changing this to “oschooseri386startrom.com” which is the old RIS file. (Thanks to the TechArena forums for this tip)