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No video with WinPE 4 on EFI boot

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A strange behaviour that I can't seem to figure out how to fix. On multiple hardware (Clevo, Intel) when I do a PXE Boot via UEFI, after the PE loads the screen goes black. If I boot to the same image using a BIOS-based PXE boot, it works fine. The computers are not locked up and the monitor does not go to sleep. I have no video and no mouse cursor either.

Has anyone else done any work with PXE boot to WinPE 4 on UEFI? I am using a 64bit WinPE of course.

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UEFI and PE4 x64 booting from USB and from CD is working OK here.

I have no experience with PXE boot ...... but did you try booting from USB or CD ?

Edited by wimb

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Its not all hardware, only the ones that change to the "picture in picture" type of boot display. What happens is that both on the notebook (Realtek NIC) and the intel board (Intel NIC) DB75EN, when you choose to do the PXE boot, it uses some different type of display. I'm guessing the PE doesn't support whatever mode this is and the screen ends up going dark. The boot/loading screen does show up. I noticed there were no pics online to explain this, so I had to take some.

Using the boot menu, I can choose IP4 option (and a cool thing is if booting to that fails, you get kicked back to the menu instead of the board trying to boot to the next device)


Intel boot menu by Tripredacus, on Flickr

These UEFI PXE ROMs change things where instead of displaying F12 as an option, it says press Enter. This "F12" screen is the first screen showing this different video mode.


UEFI PXE boot F12 screen by Tripredacus, on Flickr

And here you can see what happens after I press Enter.


UEFI PXE boot mini screen by Tripredacus, on Flickr

After the loading, when you'd expect the PE logo to appear with the loading animation, or even later on when the wallpaper should show up and then the command prompt (startnet.cmd) you never see it. Either you see this last screen but with just a black box inside, OR you just have a totally black screen.

NOTE: UEFI boot from CD/DVD is not an issue. Also a previous product, a CZC tablet, that also could do UEFI PXE boot, did not display this behaviour.

EDIT: I wanted to note that the successful CZC tablet PXE boot was done to Server 2012 RC, not RTM.

Edited by Tripredacus

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There are some caveats here to be aware of, although I'm not sure they apply here. I'll throw them out there just in case someone else runs across this - if there are problems with the boot.wim loading fonts on the PXE server, this is actually the behavior that would occur (no video after the "loading" starts). You can run into this if you upgrade from an RC build to an RTM build of the product (Server 2012 in this case, although it'd probably affect 2008R2 and 2008 as well), if you manually copy the boot.wim into RemoteInstall instead of using the UI or wdsutil to do it, and it could also happen if you somehow got RC or beta code into the RemoteInstall folder, even if you're currently using RTM code at the time it occurs.

The recommendation would always be to rebuild the server cleanly, rebuild the PE image from a known-good ADK installed source, and try again. If the problem still persists after doing everything right, then the recommendation is always to engage Microsoft to see what is happening at that point.

Again, after talking to Trip this is an RTM install of Server 2012 with an image that seems to work on other UEFI systems from this server without issue, but I figured I'd throw this blurb out there just in case someone comes across this in the future.

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