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PXE Does Not Appear to be Startin/Working

Created: 07 Jan 2013 | 7 comments

Good day everyone!

I recently added anoter Site Server to my environment. Task, Package, and Deployment services all installed without a problem. However when I try to update the preboot environment bootwiz does not start up like I would normally see which would create the files I need in Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\SBS\Images. I found an AppCrash folder with a report in it. The last lines of the file are:

FriendlyEventName=Stopped working
AppPath=D:\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\SBS\PxeStartupInfo.exe
ReportDescription=Stopped working

Also, in looking at the pxestartupinfo file it repeats this for everytime I have tried to get this running:

1/7/2013 12:36:36 PM    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
1/7/2013 12:36:36 PM    HasBeenRegistered Entered
1/7/2013 12:36:36 PM    Unable to read registry key

Any ideas why PXE is failing to start and/or continue running? I am using Version 7.1 runing on Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Nelo's picture

I've seen this when the IP address of the registered PXE server has changed.

check sbs\PxeStartupInfo.log for more info

also, make sure the IP address matches to what NS Console | PXE Server settings page shows.

JoeKocenko's picture


The IP hasn't changed. This started when I first set it up to be a PXE server and has never registered so it does not show up yet in NS Console | PXE Server setting page.  The PXEStartupinfo log shows what I described above:

1/8/2013 8:57:55 AM    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
1/8/2013 8:57:55 AM    HasBeenRegistered Entered
1/8/2013 8:57:55 AM    Unable to read registry key


Nelo's picture



mclemson's picture

Joe, I may have seen this before.  Similar to Nelo's recommendations, perform the following checks:

Settings > All Settings, expand Settingsn > Deployment and Migration > Symantec Boot Services (PXE) and select PXE Server Configuration.  Is the site server listed?  

If the site server isn't listed, start all four SBS services on the site server.  Do they remain started, or do some crash?  If they crash, a possible cause can be an IP address change or missing IP address in initialPXEConfigPath.txt.  Open this file located at <drive>:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\SBS\initialPXEConfigPath.txt and ensure the following two lines are present, with correct IP address:

Server_Listeners="" (or whatever your site server's IP is)

Mtftp_Listeners="" (site server's IP)

If this information was missing, or even if it was correct, reset this registry key to 0:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Deployment\Symantec Boot Services\HasSbsRegistered

At this point, if you restart the services, you should see it appear in the list on the PXE Server Configuration page.  If not, and if no PxeStartupInfo.log file is present, try starting the process that populates this information by manually double-clicking PxeStartupInfo.exe in the SBS folder mentioned above.

Does this resolve the issue?

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

JoeKocenko's picture

I checked the initialPXEConfigPath.txt and the IP's are correct. When I looked at the registry there were no entries under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Deployment. So I exported them from one of my working Site Servers and merged it in the one not working. After reseting the HasSBSRegistered value to zero and restarting the services the server now shows up in the PXE configuration page. However bootwiz will not run to populate my Preboot configs. The only thing under D:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\Deployment\Task Handler\SBS\Images is the Bstrap folder. I'm almost there, just cant finish it off!

Nelo's picture

Try this.

1. on the PXE server browse to C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Client Policies  (meaning the equivalent to that).

2. there should be two files delete them. 

3. on the systry again PXE server do a right click on the Symantec Management Agent and do a right click on Symantec Management Agent Settings | Symantec Management Agent comes up.

4. click send and click update. update. this will make sure the policies for the client get downloaded again (it recreates the two files deleted before).

wait about 5 mins and hopefully Bootwiz will be doing its thing!!!


JoeKocenko's picture

I've resolved this issue in two parts. The first was my blunder. I was adding it to a filter I had set up to install the x86 Deployment Site Server Components rather than the x64. A rookie mistake but I thought I would post it so others dont do the same. The second part was a tech article I found:

It seems the x64 components have a tough time installing if you are installing to the D: partition. After following the steps outlined bootwiz fired up and my deployment server is now complete. Thanks to all for your help on this!