Boot using BMR 7.0.X and 7.1.X Windows based SRT image will fail with error message "Network initialization failed. rc=3997697"

Article:TECH130706  |  Created: 2010-01-01  |  Updated: 2012-08-24  |  Article URL
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Boot using BMR 7.0.X and 7.1.X  Windows based SRT image will fail with error message "Network initialization failed. rc=3997697"


"Network initialization failed. rc=3997697"


This error message occurs if the SRT (PXE or ISO/media) used for the boot process does not have a NIC device driver to match the hardware being used.

This can occur for the following reasons:

1.  The device driver is missing from the ISO image.
2.  The device driver cannot be loaded because it is back level or insufficient to properly load into the WinPE 2.1 environment.



To repair this situation a NIC device driver of the correct level needs to be added to the network based SRT and then a new ISO image created from it.

Updates to device drivers in the SRT occur during the Prepare To Restore process.  If a device driver in the client configuration does not reside in the SRT specified for this operation, the BMR procedure will add it to the SRT. It will always use the latest level of driver found in the BMRDB for this. Once a driver version is installed into the network based SRT, a lower level version will never replace it.

If the device driver in the SRT is at a lower level than one found in the BMRDB, the driver in the SRT will be updated to the latest level. This is true for both NIC and MSD drivers. If the driver package in the BMRDB is marked as "WinPE 2.1 incompatible" it will not be processed into the SRT.

Once the SRT has been updated, a new ISO image will need to be created for use.

The ISO image created for the 7.X releases is based on WinPE version 2.1, which is based on Windows 2008/Vista.  Driver packages inserted into the SRT must be compatible with this Windows release to be used. When using the Device Drive Wizard of the Boot Server Assistant, choose the driver version Windows 2008 to add a new driver.
Device drivers used on Windows 2003 systems will also work on Windows 2008 systems, if the driver "inf" file has a proper stanza for it. Newer versions of the drivers should already have this.

If the driver in the BMRDB is not sufficiently updated to do this, a new driver package needs to be inserted into the BMRDB so that the SRT can be properly updated.  
Use the BMR Boot Server Assistant wizard to create the new package.  Download the latest Windows 2008 driver set from the OEM vendor to use as input to this process. Once the new version of the driver is in place, it will be inserted into the SRT during the next Prepare To Restore process that calls it out.  A network based SRT must be specified for the Prepare To Restore in order to update drivers. Once updated, a new ISO image will need to be created for use in media boot of the client. With the driver in place it will be available for all future boot operations.  When creating the driver package, use the Windows version of "Windows Vista" on NBU 7.0GA Boot Servers and "Window 2008" for all other later 7.X releases.
Note:  Windows based drivers for the Broadcom NetXtreme II NIC family of NICs do not have to be added into the SRT. These drivers, as 'ripped' from a running client, are incompatible with any version of WinPE in use.  BMR installs a set of "RIS" drivers into the SRT as part of the SRT creation process.

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