How to boot Windows ISO installation using PXE (without Windows AIK or whatever)

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I have a Linux PXE server.
Can boot into Linux ISO installers using PXE with no problems.
But how can I do it with Windows ISO? Just start the installation. Without creating some stuff (winpe) under Windows.

I’ve extracted some files from image.iso/sources/boot.wim /2/Windows/Boot/PXE/ to tftp root           (-> wdsnbp.0)

Pointed kernel to (in pxelinux.cfg/default):

KERNEL wdsnbp.0

That’s at least something that boots and gives:

Downloaded WDSNBP...

Architecture: x64
WDSNBP started using DHCP Referral.
Contacting Server: (Gateway:
No response from Windows Deployment Services server.
TFTP download failed
Could not boot image: Error 0x00000001 (
No more network devices
FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.

What should I do to continue booting process?
I also created a Samba share with ISO contents, but how to connect all this?
All the tutorials I’ve found are either outdated or (most) require to create an additional boot image under Windows using its tools. Is it really so sad sad situation?


For Linux ISO I have something like this:

KERNEL u1404/casper/vmlinuz.efi
APPEND boot=casper netboot=nfs nfsroot= initrd=u1404/casper/initrd.lz ip=dhcp --

/var/lib/tftpboot/u1404 is a mount point for Ubuntu 14.04 ISO

For Windows I stopped at this (and the error above) and don’t know what exactly to do next:

KERNEL wdsnbp.0

And to clarify: the question is how to do it (configure PXE for Windows ISO) in Linux environment. If I was in a hurry I’d use WDS or some other Windows tools without a question.


Have you tried FOG project before? It has a prebuilt PXE server compatible with many versions of Ubuntu Linux. Heres a link

From what I remember, its still open source but they are an excellent project. I have done custom boots of either Barts Duke and Nuke ISO or Ultimate Boot CD (at the moment I cannot remember which one as the last time I was employed their was two years ago.) as a boot option from their PXE menu so I know it would help solve your problem if you only need to boot from an ISO instead of install an image. If you need to install an image its perfect for that too. From what I remember its a simple file change to add a boot option. Its all documented though on the website above. FOG is very powerful, my last job was using it for their main imaging solution. Here’s an example where they boot ISO files by simply specifying a path to the ISO file:

It boots any ISO we gave it so far. Easy. It has an installer too.

Please follow this link

add menu

default menu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 30

MENU TITLE Centos7Min PXE Menu

MENU TITLE windows10 PXE Menu
LABEL windows10
MENU LABEL windows10
KERNEL /networkboot/memdisk
APPEND initrd=/iso/windows.iso

I hope this help

There are third party -Automated PXE Server Solution Accelerators- able to do exactly what you want but run in Windows.
Basically you extract the ISO content in a directory, you create a network share and the Automated PXE Server does the rest injecting the corresponding code within Boot.wim and automatically creating the corresponding boot menu entry for the booting PXE clients.

you can’t diretly boot wim files, or iso files, even in Linux you not booting directrly from iso’s, but via memdisk’s/ramdisk’s

Please read the information about Windows boot process :

install windows via Linux pxe servers it’s very easy, no need WDS !

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