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iPXE fails to boot anything
2013-02-18, 10:43
Post: #1
iPXE fails to boot anything
I switched from regular PXE to iPXE in the hope the Images required to download from the boot server via HTTP load quicker than with TFTP (and yes they do). I managed to set up a windows DHCP Server the correct way to get iPXE running and downloading the folowing menu script from my HTTP Server:
Code:
#!ipxe

######## MAIN MENU ###################
:start
menu Welcome to iPXE's Boot Menu
item
item pmagic     Parted Magic
item memtest    memtest86+
item regedit    NT Password and Regixtry Editor
item atih       Acronis True Image Home
item
#item shell      Enter iPXE shell
item reboot     Reboot
item
item exit       Exit (boot local disk)
choose --default pmagic --timeout 60000 target && goto ${target}

## Utility menu items:
:shell
echo Type exit to get the back to the menu
shell
set menu-timeout 0
goto start

:failed
echo Booting failed, dropping to shell
goto shell

:reboot
reboot

:exit
exit

########## MENU ITEMS #######################
:pmagic
kernel http://192.168.252.1/PXE/pmagic/bzImage
initrd http://192.168.252.1/PXE/pmagic/initramfs edd=off load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw vga=normal loglevel=9 max_loop=256
boot

:memtest
kernel http://192.168.252.1/PXE/memdisk
initrd http://192.168.252.1/PXE/floppy/memtest86.img
boot

:regedit
kernel http://192.168.252.1/PXE/memdisk
initrd http://192.168.252.1/PXE/iso/offntpassw.iso.gz iso
boot

:atih
kernel http://192.168.252.1/PXE/memdisk
initrd http://192.168.252.1/PXE/iso/atih11.iso iso
boot

I get lots of Problems because I cant boot anything. Selecting an option from the menu will load the kernel and the image but various things happen:
Parted Magic (linux kernel)
It boots for a short while and ends up in a kernel panic (Caps Lock and Scroll Lock blink rapidly) The Message is too long to read on the screen.
memtest (Floppy Image)
Ths Image loads and displays the memtest version selection screen. Selecting any version locks up the system just after start of specified Version
NT Password and Registry Editor (iso)
stops booting after the Message
Loading Boot sector... booting...
Acronis true Image Home (iso)
Same as the Password reset tool.

Since everything fails I am assuming I am doing something completely wrong. Using the classic method (PXE Linux and menu.c32) all these Options are working but again are limited to a TFTP Server. So far I would be happy if at least Parted Magic would boot. I verified that I am using the newest Version of provided tools and images.
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2013-02-19, 10:59
Post: #2
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
For the most part, your menu seems to be correct. You need to move the kernel command line parameter "iso" onto the "kernel" line instead of the "initrd" line, and you might want a "|| goto failed" at the end of the "choose" command.

Other than that I might be inclined to think your machine has a hardware problem. Have you thoroughly tested it with memtest and breakin? Does it come out clean?

FYI: There is also a version of memtest86 that is compiled as a linux kernel (bzimage) which can run directly from a "kernel" line, no need to use memdisk.

You might also try just "sanboot http://192.168.252.1/PXE/iso/atih11.iso" instead of using memdisk and see how that works instead.

And finally, if you're using undionly.kpxe to boot, you might have better luck with ipxe.pxe (which uses iPXE-provided drivers for the hardware in question instead of vendor-provided drivers).
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2013-02-19, 15:37
Post: #3
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
(2013-02-19 10:59)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  You need to move the kernel command line parameter "iso" onto the "kernel" line instead of the "initrd" line
Done, but it didn't get any farther
(2013-02-19 10:59)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  you might want a "|| goto failed" at the end of the "choose" command.
Done
(2013-02-19 10:59)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  ...tested with memtest and breakin? Does it come out clean?
memtest comes out ok with all tested Versions, the other software I have never heard of. If you can provide a link to it I will test it too.
Memtest seemed to boot just fine, might be because it is a floppy image rather than an ISO Image

(2013-02-19 10:59)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  You might also try just "sanboot http://192.168.252.1/PXE/iso/atih11.iso" instead of using memdisk and see how that works instead.
It definitely gets farther ahead and it also boots instantly, but no matter what iso I boot (and they all work over regular pxe or if booted with syslinux from a usb drive) at some point in the boot sequence it stops, I assume that the OS from the image sort of "drops the handle" to the iPXE sanboot layer.

(2013-02-19 10:59)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  you might have better luck with ipxe.pxe (which uses iPXE-provided drivers for the hardware in question instead of vendor-provided drivers).
I tried it but the result is the same.
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2013-02-21, 22:18
Post: #4
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
memtest is a single binary application that is working in BIOS mode, that's why it's working without issues.

ISO files can't boot unless they are specifically made to work purely from a ramdisk that is loaded ONCE and then do not access the medium they are loaded from to fetch additional files. Any ISO that uses that approach will not work unless the initrd/ramdisk has special support in it to load the additional files off the network. Most ISOs that can also be loaded to a USB device have drivers for optical drives and other local storage (like USB) so that it can find additional files on those kind of devices automatically. Unfortunately it's not possible to load information from the network in a purely automatic way for most ISOs without additional configuration. E.g. Debian and Ubuntu LiveCDs can be booted from NFS or SMB because the ramdisk (casper) has support for that.

I'm surprised to hear that atih11.iso works using regular PXE/TFTP, but not using ipxe. How do you boot atih11.iso using regular PXE? Do you actually mean, using pxelinux and memdisk?

I think you should enable either serial or syslog logging so that you can post a log of what you experience with exact screenshots and error messages shown. Then we might be able to help you out more.
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2013-02-21, 23:34
Post: #5
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
My parted magic looks like this

Code:
:parted-magic
set base-url ${boot-url}/parted-magic
cpuid --ext 29 && set arch bzImage64 || set arch bzImage
kernel  ${base-url}/${arch}
initrd  ${base-url}/initrd.img
imgargs ${arch} edd=off noapic load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw vga=791 sleep=0 loglevel=0 keymap=us
boot || goto failed
goto start

I started from Robins excellent bootstrap.ipxe and menu.ipxe https://gist.github.com/robinsmidsrod/2234639
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2013-02-22, 14:01
Post: #6
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
(2013-02-21 22:18)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  memtest is a single binary application that is working in BIOS mode, that's why it's working without issues.
Not every Version works on every computer if booted with iPXE. The older versions (older than 4.0) usually work everywhere, the newer sometimes shows its blue background for a split second and then reboots the machine.

(2013-02-21 22:18)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  ISO files can't boot unless they are specifically made to work purely from a ramdisk that is loaded ONCE and then do not access the medium they are loaded from to fetch additional files.
This is interesting because I have the same setup with syslinux an a USB flash drive and as soon the iso is loaded in memory and I see memdisk detecting the boot sector from it I unplug the device and everything works just fine with the Image in RAM. I can even boot some Windows restore disks with it.

(2013-02-21 22:18)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  I'm surprised to hear that atih11.iso works using regular PXE/TFTP, but not using ipxe. How do you boot atih11.iso using regular PXE? Do you actually mean, using pxelinux and memdisk?
Exactly. This is my Menu File:
--> This is a german setup
Code:
UI /boot/syslinux/menu.c32

MENU MASTER PASSWD ###############

MENU TITLE #############

MENU MARGIN 0
MENU ROWS -9
MENU TABMSG
MENU TABMSGROW -3
MENU CMDLINEROW -3
MENU HELPMSGROW -4
MENU HELPMSGENDROW -1

MENU BACKGROUND /menu.png

MENU COLOR SCREEN 1;37;40    #FF000000 #00000000 std
MENU COLOR BORDER 34;40      #FFCCCCCC #FFCCCCCC all
MENU COLOR TITLE 31;7;47     #FFFF0000 #00000000 std
MENU COLOR SCROLLBAR 1;32;44 #FFFF0000 #00000000 std
MENU COLOR UNSEL 1;32;40     #FF00CC00 #00000000 std
MENU COLOR CMDMARK 1;5;36;40 #FFFF00FF #00000000 std
MENU COLOR CMDLINE 1;35;40   #FFFF00FF #00000000 std
MENU COLOR TABMSG 1;36;40    #FFFF00FF #00000000 std
MENU COLOR DISABLED 37;40    #FFCCCCCC #00000000 std
MENU COLOR SEL 1;33;44       #FFFF0000 #FFFFCCCC std
MENU COLOR HOTKEY 1;33;40    #FFFFFF00 #00000000 std
MENU COLOR HOTSEL 1;5;33;44  #FFFFFF00 #FFFFCCCC std
MENU COLOR HELP 1;33;40      #FFFF00FF #00000000 std

LABEL main
MENU LABEL [^1] Hauptmenü
TEXT HELP
Zurück zum Hauptmenü
ENDTEXT
KERNEL /boot/syslinux/menu.c32
APPEND /pxelinux.cfg/default

LABEL pmagic
MENU LABEL [^2] Parted Magic (29.01.2013)
TEXT HELP
Partitionstool mit Hardware Diagnosetools und Webbrowser
ENDTEXT
LINUX pmagic/bzImage
INITRD pmagic/initramfs
APPEND edd=off load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw vga=normal loglevel=9 max_loop=256

LABEL memtest
MENU LABEL [^3] Memtest86+ V4.10
TEXT HELP
Testet Arbeitsspeicher. Dieses Image enthält mehrere selektierbare Versionen.
Je nach System funktionieren nicht alle.
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD floppy/memtest86.img
APPEND -

LABEL regedit
MENU LABEL [^4] Offline NT Password & Registry Editor 080802
TEXT HELP
Einfacher Registry Editor und Passwort Reset Tool
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD iso/offntpassw.iso.gz
APPEND iso

LABEL tih
MENU LABEL [^5] Acronis True Image Home 2011
TEXT HELP
Erlaubt das Erstellen und Wiederherstellen von Images
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD iso/atih11.iso
APPEND iso

LABEL hddreg
MENU LABEL [^6] HDD Regenerator
TEXT HELP
Testet Festplatten auf Fehler
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD iso/hddreg.ISO
APPEND iso

LABEL shadowprotect
MENU LABEL [^7] Shadow Protect 4.0.5
TEXT HELP
Shadow Protect zur Erstellung und Wiederherstellung von Images
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD iso/ShadowProtect.iso
APPEND iso

LABEL suisa-restore
MENU LABEL [^8] SUISA Virus remove CD
TEXT HELP
Unterstützt bei der Entfernung des SUISA/BKA Erpressungstrojaner
400 MB, lädt ca 5 Minuten
ENDTEXT
LINUX memdisk
INITRD iso/rettungs-cd.iso
APPEND iso

(2013-02-21 22:18)robinsmidsrod Wrote:  I think you should enable either serial or syslog logging so that you can post a log of what you experience with exact screenshots and error messages shown. Then we might be able to help you out more.
If you can tell me how to do it I can send you a log. I should have a serial cable and a machine with a serial telnet application around, so I just need some information on how to setup serial logging
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2013-02-22, 14:54
Post: #7
RE: iPXE fails to boot anything
Logging information is available from http://ipxe.org/console
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