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WDS stand alone server

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    Posted: 24 Jun 2024 at 5:37pm
In Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft added support for using the PXE listener without Active Directory. Here is a complete guide on how to configure a standalone Windows Server 2008 R2 WDS Server

Pre-Requisites

In these steps I assume you have a server the following configuration
1.
A Windows Server 2008 R2 named WDS01, installed into a workgroup. 

2.
One network card with a fixed IPv4 address (I’m using 192.168.2.215 in my lab) 

3.
Two partitions, C: for the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating System, D: for Data


I also assume you have a DNS Server somewhere in the environment, maybe your local router if it’s a smaller network. In my lab my DNS server / Router has IP address 192.168.2.1. The router has DHCP server disabled.

High level steps:
1.
Download and install Windows AIK 2.0 

2.
Install DHCP and create a scope for the network 

3.
Add the WDS transport role service 

4.
Create and share the RemoteInstall folder structure 

5.
Copy the x86 and x64 boot files 

6.
Copy the x86 and x64 boot images 

7.
Configure the WDS Providers 

8.
Configure the Policies 

9.
Additional DHCP and WDS provider configuration


Download and install Windows AIK 2.0
1.
On WDS01, logon as Administrator. 

2.
Download and Install Windows AIK 2.0 (named Windows AIK for Windows 7 on Microsoft downloads) with the default settings.


Install DHCP and create a scope for the network
1.
On WDS01, using Server Manager, select Roles, and the select Add Roles. 

2.
On the Before You Begin page, select the Skip this page by default checkbox, and click Next. 

3.
In the Select Server Roles list, select DHCP Server and click Next. 

4.
On the DCHP Server page, click Next. 

5.
On the Select Network Connection Bindings page, accept the default settings and click Next. 

6.
On the Specify IPv4 DNS Server Settings page, in the parent domain: textbox, type in whatever DNS Suffix you want to use, I used tslab.net, and click Next. 

7.
On the Specify IPv4 WINS Server Settings page, accept the default settings and click Next. 

8.
On the Add or Edit DHCP Scopes page, click Add. Use the following settings.

Scope Name: 192.168.2.0/24

Starting IP address: 192.168.2.100

Ending IP address: 192.168.2.199

Subnet Type: Wired (lease duration will be 8 days)

Activate this scope: Selected

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

Default Gateway (optional): 192.168.2.1

Click OK, and then click Next. 

9.
On the Configure DHCPv6 Stateless Mode page, accept the default settings and click Next. 
1.
On the Specify IPv6 DNS Server Settings page, in the parent domain: textbox, type in whatever DNS Suffix you want to use, I used tslab.net, and click Next. 

2.
On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install. 

3.
On the Installation Results page, click Close.



Add the WDS Transport server role
1.
On WDS01, using Server Manager, select Roles, and the select Add Roles. 

2.
In the Select Server Roles list, select Windows Deployment Services and click Next. 

3.
On the Overview of Windows Deployment Services page, click Next. 

4.
On the Select Role Services page, clear the Windows Deployment Service checkbox so that only Transport Server role service is selected, and click Next. 

5.
On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install. 

6.
On the Installation Results page, click Close.


Create and share the RemoteInstall folder structure
1.
On WDS01, using Explorer, create the following folder structure:

D:\RemoteInstall

D:\RemoteInstall\boot

D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86

D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86\images

D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x64

D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x64\images 

2.
Using Explorer, and the Advanced Sharing feature, share the D:\RemoteInstall folder as REMINST.


Copy the x86 and x64 boot files 
1.
On WDS01, using Explorer, create the D:\Mount folder. 

2.
Start a Deployment Tools Command Prompt (found on the start menu, in the All Programs / Microsoft Windows AIK folder), type the following command + press Enter.

Imagex /mount x86\winpe.wim 1 D:\Mount 

3.
Leave the Deployment Tools Command Prompt open. 

4.
Using Explorer, navigate to the D:\Mount\Windows\boot\PXE folder, copy all content to the D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x86 folder. 

5.
Close all Explorer windows (the wim filter driver in WAIK 2.0 is really sensitive about open file handles when unmounting an image).

6.
In the Deployment Tools Command Prompt, type the following commands + press Enter after each line.

Imagex /unmount D:\Mount

Imagex /mount amd64\winpe.wim 1 D:\Mount 

7.
Using Explorer, navigate to the D:\Mount\Windows\boot\PXE folder, which now contains the x64 boot files, and copy all content to the D:\RemoteInstall\boot\x64 folder. 

8.
Close all Explorer windows.

9.
In the Deployment Tools Command Prompt, type the following command + press Enter.

Imagex /unmount D:\Mount
1.Using Explorer, copy the C:\Windows\system32\reminst\boot\boot.sdi file to the D:\RemoteInstall\boot folder.


Copy the x86 and x64 boot images
1.
On WDS01, using Explorer, copy any x86 boot image that you want to use to the D:\RemoteInstall\x86\Images folder, name the boot image boot.wim.

Note: If you just want a boot image to test with you can copy the default Windows PE 3.0 x86 boot image from WAIK. It is named winpe.wim and is locate in the C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86 folder 

2.
Using Explorer, copy any x64 boot image that you want to use to the D:\RemoteInstall\x64\Images folder, name the boot image boot.wim.

Note: Again, if you just want a boot image to test with, you can copy the default Windows PE 3.0 x64 boot image from WAIK. It is named winpe.wim and is locate in the C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64 folder


Configure the WDS Providers
1.
On WDS01, using the Registry Editor, configure the WDS Providers order by navigating to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\ Providers\ WDSPXE key, and create a new Multi-String Value with the following settings:

Name: ProvidersOrder 

Data: WDSSIPR 

2.
Using the Registry Editor, configure the TFTP root folder by navigating to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\ WDSTFTP key, and create a new String Value with the following settings:

Name: RootFolder

Data: D:\RemoteInstall


Configure the Policies
1.
On WDS01, using Notepad, edit the C:\Windows\system32\wdssipr.dll.conf.ini file. In the IMAGES POLICY section, configure the following values

X86BootImage=boot\x86\images\boot.wim

X64BootImage=boot\x64\images\boot.wim 

2.
Save the C:\Windows\system32\wdssipr.dll.conf.ini file.


Additional DHCP and WDS provider configuration
1.
On WDS01, using a Command Prompt, configure the transport server to use DHCP by typing the following command + press Enter.

WDSUTIL /Set-TransportServer /ObtainIPv4From:DHCP 

2.
Leave the Command Prompt open. 

3.
Using the Command Prompt, configure the DHCP PXEClient option, by typing the following commands + press Enter after each line.

Netsh

dhcp

server \WDS01

add optiondef 60 PXEClient String 0 comment=”PXE support”

set optionvalue 60 STRING PXEClient

exit 

4.
Leave the Command Prompt open. 

5.
Using the Registry Editor, configure the DHCP ports option by navigating to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\ WDSPXE key, and change the UseDhcpPorts data value from 1 to 0. 

6.
Using the Command Prompt, start the WDS transport server by typing the following command + press Enter.

WDSUTIL /Start-TransportServer


Done! You should now be able to start the boot images over the network, having configured the WDS PXE listener on a standalone server.

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