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New to iPXE, struggling with inconsistent sanboot connections
2016-04-09, 02:05
Post: #1
Question New to iPXE, struggling with inconsistent sanboot connections
Hello everyone,

Let me start by saying thanks for your help and suggestions.

What I'm trying to achieve:
I have a fairly basic environment where I'd like to serve up 2-3 different ISOs, one of which is a Macrium Reflect recovery ISO, another is memtest86 (all things supported by iPXE), and maybe a diagnostic CD image or driver scanner.

These images would be served up to any PXE-based computer on a small network, and would include a short menu with the different choices available.

Where I'm at now:
At this point I am still figuring iPXE out, and trying to get some of the basics down before delving into more complicated aspects (e.g. building a menu, accounting for drive 0x80 parameters, etc.)

I have iPXE working at the moment, but it doesn't work every time (even on the same machine). I am only trying to load one ISO (Macrium) currently, and can get it to work if entered manually on the client machine (using Ctrl B).

[Image: 20160408_135814.jpg]

Once I get it working manually, it will work for the next few reboots, then go back to not finding the sanboot device (Nothing to boot: No such file or directory). The manual parameters that I enter are the same that I have listed in a text file that iPXE is supposed to read. Obviously I'm missing a key step(s) somewhere in here.

[Image: 20160408_135554.jpg]

Here is my dnsmasq.conf code:
# dynamic pool for unknown clients, 140 addresses

Note: my undionly.kpxe is in the www folder, which has not been edited.

And here is what I have in my ipxe.txt file:
set sanboot-url
sanboot --no-describe

Any thoughts or advice would be helpful.
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2016-04-09, 18:51 (This post was last modified: 2018-07-03 00:13 by NiKiZe.)
Post: #2
RE: New to iPXE, struggling with inconsistent sanboot connections
Hi, and welcome to iPXE,

First of I would like to warn you about using ipxe to boot isos it might work, but it's not optimal.
One thing to know is that iso boot relies on Legacy BIOS INT13 which is only available up to a certain point in the boot process (until something else takes over) For example memtest will work since it relies on BIOS to load and run, however things like linux or windows or other full blown OSes will not be able to run in this manner, since there won't be any ISO available when the real OS kernel takes over.

For memtest there is even memtest.0 which mcb30 (the main iPXE developer) have created that is an NBP, that means it can start memtest, and even exit memtest and return to iPXE with the information about if the test was successful or not, (it is even possible to create a screenshoot from ipxe and get a dump like: )

Sorry for that long rambling.
Now to look at your current issue we see:

on that page there is additional notes about what might have been the cause, and recommended ways to debug/fix the issue.
My hunch tells me that dnsmasq is not always sending filename, (since ipxe is not even trying to fetch it)
Other then the recommendations on the error page ... maybe compare the IP and gw between the screen output when it fails/works to see if everything is as expected, maybe there is a rouge DHCP server on the network.

I don't know much dnsmasq so can't tell if it's anything in your config or not (I'm a firm ISC dhcpd beliver)
Hmm, does, mean it only gives 240-250 ip's? but the IP in the failing screen is 137?

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