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UCS-E WinPE installation fails

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Jul 25th, 2014
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When attempting to load an image from an external USB device WinPE fails to launch scripts contained in startnet.cmd as it can't find them or can't find  the USB device. Have any other forum users experienced problems using WinPE with the UCS-E servers?

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LJ Gabrillo Sun, 07/27/2014 - 18:45
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if ever you are installing an OS, you may need to use UCS SCU(Server Config. Utility)
installer will vary per server model

surama123 Mon, 07/28/2014 - 03:37
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Thanks for your reply Isabrillo.

I am not sure if the equivalent to SCU exists for E series servers. There is something called CIMC running on another CPU within the chassis which gives low level access to the server and sounds simiilar to what you are describing.

What I am really looking for is whether anyone has done any work with WinPE based installations using USB media on the E series servers and specifically if they have found a solution to the problems I am having running installation scripts.

LJ Gabrillo Mon, 07/28/2014 - 03:45
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Oh Sorry, yeap its on the rack(c-series) only

with regards to the server
Have you changed the boot order in the setup BIOS?
Correct me if Im wrong, but e-series still has a boot menu right? select the USB

To add, make sure you format the USB in FAT32 (typially USB Installation environment)
Another alternative is converting it into *.iso image, and since you mentioned CIMC then that's the ticket, mount the *.iso through CIMC

surama123 Mon, 07/28/2014 - 07:06
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We find the idea of booting from USB attractive because a KVM is installed locally and it requires minimal equipment / knowhow from the person doing the installation.

We don't have any trouble booting into WinPE on the USB drive but it's strange that when WinPE is attempting to run some scripts from the startnet.cmd it fails to find them on the USB drive. From the log it seems that WinPE is messing around installing the USB hardware (from which it has just booted) using Plug and Play. Unfortunately it doesn't complete this process until startnet.cmd has run.

Microsoft have some caveats about WinPE USB support and claim that it requires the BIOS to be compatible. I am not sure which exactly are the BIOS features that might make USB devices immediately available to WinPE but it would be interesting to know if Microsoft and Cisco have even looked at this on the UCS-E platform.

LJ Gabrillo Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:26
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Yeah, and cisco actually endorses VMWare better than Windows (Hyper-V)
Well, anyway if ever you are using USB, make sure all the installation files are in the root folder of the USB storage, root in the sense that there should be no new folders created or files inside a folder vice-versa.

surama123 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 02:04
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Thanks for your input. I will bear that in mind.


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