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Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
2015-08-24, 16:05
Post: #1
Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
Hi, I have a diskless machine which boots Windows 7 using iPXE and iSCSI. The iSCSi is served from a ZFS volume on FreeBSD and I am passing the options to iPXE using DHCP.
I have had this setup for a number of years and it works beautifuly.

Recently I tried to perform the free upgrade to Windows 10, but this fails to work.
the upgrade gets to the stage where the system reboots, but then does not perform the upgrade, simply gives me the option to go back to Windows 7. If I break out into a DOS prompt I can see the boot drive mounted as X:.

My suspicion is that the X: is the BIOS drive, and that Windows 10 has not understood the iSCSI bot from Windows 7 and has thus not located the boot drive. But thats just speculation really.

Has anyone else tried this and got it to work ? All help is much appreciated!
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2015-09-07, 12:16
Post: #2
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
bat,
I never tried windows 7 to 10 upgrade, but I guess there is problem with Windows PE which is used for upgrading.
I think fresh install(by using wimboot) is much better otherwise you have to figure out entire upgrade process and make custom PE.
If there is a way to sanhook current target before PE is loaded, it's possible to upgrade.

Hope this helps.
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2015-10-03, 20:05
Post: #3
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
The tech preview of Windows 10 was able to be installed and run off iSCSI but I have found that the final release no longer works. I was able to install it on the iSCSI drive but on the first reboot for whatever reason the network connection dies as Windows is starting up (all the lights on the network card go off) which obviously kills the iSCSI connection. Could be specific to my system because it requires 3rd party network drivers. I did slipstream them in to the install with NLite and like I said, this worked fine on the tech preview but final release is a no-go.

You may be seeing something similar. Did you ever get it to work?
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2015-10-07, 03:53 (This post was last modified: 2015-10-07 03:55 by netwerk.)
Post: #4
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
I have tested diskless Windows 10 RTM on several different machines now and they all behave similarly, regardless of hardware. Install goes on no problem but when booting the machine it either crashes or the network card shuts off (probably a crash as well).

Windows 10 "insider" build 10130 is the last build where booting diskless worked for me. The next build update (don't remember the build number) broke the diskless booting and the final release is the same.

Anyone have any ideas? I haven't been able to debug the boot process. I wonder if there is some way to make it log to a local drive while booting diskless. Serial port debug maybe? Hmmm... I have read about the "LWF" network driver binding (or somesuch) causing issues. Something about it running during boot and needing to unbind it from the iscsi NIC. I wonder if that's the case here.
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2015-10-14, 13:57
Post: #5
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
This is interesting.

I wonder if it's MS that dropped support or changed the routine for diskless booting or if it's iPXE that doesn't support Windows 10.

I haven't done as much research as you, I only know it worked for me on Windows 8.1 RTM and not Windows 10 RTM (on same setup ofc).
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2015-10-14, 15:26
Post: #6
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
I did eventually get Win10 booting diskless but I first had to install and boot it at least once on a local drive. After that, I could move the install to the iscsi target and it boots diskless no problem. Apparently it doesn't install or activate the network driver until the after the first boot.
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2015-12-02, 09:41
Post: #7
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
Just to follow this up, I ended up trying to attach the iscsi disc manually during the upgrade process as described here:

http://baitisj.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/fo...iscsi.html

But this also does not work - the drive attaches, but the files necessary for the upgrade have not been installed. I am going to try and upgrade from the DVD, after what people have said here about it not working as a fresh install, as that might work (though would then require manual activation I suspect).

If not then tis going to have to be the 'physical drive first' approach, which is unfortunate, and somewhat difficult given the location of the hardware in my case!

Thanks for all the help on this ....
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2016-08-19, 14:14 (This post was last modified: 2018-04-07 21:17 by Tal Aloni.)
Post: #8
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
I can confirm the issue with Windows 10 RTM, the good news is that the issue is resolved in Windows 10 v1607.

I was able to install Windows 10 v1607 / v1703 / v1709 directly to an iSCSI target using Windows PE 10 v1607.
Note: Windows PE 5.1 and earlier will not allow a successful diskless installation of Windows 10 v1607 / v1703 / v1709 (you will get the following error: "Windows installation cannot continue because a required driver could not be installed").

If anybody cares: Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10130 does work with WinPE 5.1
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2016-09-12, 10:09
Post: #9
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
Hi,In your last email you said:
Note: Windows PE 5.1 and earlier will not allow a successful diskless installation of Windows 10 v1607 (you will get the following error: "Windows installation cannot continue because a required driver could not be installed").
However, I get this error WITH Windows 10 V1607 (and Windows 10 PE V1607)

Any solutions to this?

Richie
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2016-11-27, 11:08
Post: #10
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
Hi,
I've been working on this for weeks, I deployed diskless desktop computers successfully in company months ago by cloning local installed OS to iSCSI LUN, hosting about 30 computers. Everything works fine until Microsoft release cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1607. Computers which have version 1511 installed download the update and keep trying to update to 1607. But the "Cumulative Update" requires a WinPE environment to install(I guess), then the update failed and leaving the computer "preparing for automatic repair".
Now I'm considering two solutions:
1. Deploy Windows 10 Version 1607 again and pray. Microsoft may solve this problem in version 1607, so the next cumulative update will success without problem.
2. Buy a iSCSI HBA card for every computer. I have even chosen a model QLE4060c form QLogic. Buying a used card is cheap form taobao.com(similar with eBay). The HBAs card will connect to iSCSI target and emulate a local storage device for booting operating system, block I/O etc. It work just like a local drive.

Any suggestions?
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2016-12-01, 15:55
Post: #11
RE: Upgrading iPXE booting Windows 7 to Windows 10
(2016-09-12 10:09)RichardRogers1972 Wrote:  Hi,In your last email you said:
Note: Windows PE 5.1 and earlier will not allow a successful diskless installation of Windows 10 v1607 (you will get the following error: "Windows installation cannot continue because a required driver could not be installed").
However, I get this error WITH Windows 10 V1607 (and Windows 10 PE V1607)

Any solutions to this?

Richie

same issue here, I would like to know a solution as well
setuperr.log http://hastebin.com/oponayixop.tex
iscsi_boot_net.log http://hastebin.com/ozuyewijag.tex
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