Install Syslinux (and integrate with WDS)
Once you have WDS installed and tested, it’s time to install Syslinux! But first, you need to make a few copies of the original WDS files to get started.
Both files can be found in <server>\REMINST\Boot\x86 (and x64)
Note: You will be leaving the original files as-is where they are, you are merely making copies of the files, renaming them, and putting them back in the same directory!
Copy/Rename the following files from both the x86 and x64 directories:
- Copy pxeboot.n12 and rename it to pxeboot.0
- Copy abortpxe.com and rename it to abortpxe.0
Get the necessary Syslinux files
- Download the Syslinux ZIP file from syslinux.org Be certain to download version 4.x and not 5 or 6. Extract ONLY the following files to both your <server>\REMINST\Boot\x86 (and x64) directories:
- com32\modules\chain.c32 (or com32\chain\chain.c32 if the former doesn’t exist)
- Rename pxelinux.0 to pxelinux.com in the directories you just copied it to.
- Next create four new directories in your WDS share (two for x86 and two for x64):
- Note: Yes, ‘pxelinux.cfg‘ is a directory name (yes, it has an extension) but it is not a file!
Update for UEFI Booting: You can try adding the following file from Syslinux version 6 ZIP: (This is personally untested, but reported to work from a user; it is unclear if you need the files above from Syslinux v4 or v6, but I would start with v4 and move to v6 if the v4 files didn’t work. Please report success/specifics to us if you wish to help improve this guide!)
- efi64\efi\syslinux.efi add to <server>\REMINST\Boot\x64
Next we tell WDS to boot to Syslinux
For Windows Server 2008 R2 and above, open an administrator command prompt, and paste in the following commands:
wdsutil /set-server /bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86
wdsutil /set-server /bootprogram:boot\x64\pxelinux.com /architecture:x64
wdsutil /set-server /N12bootprogram:boot\x86\pxelinux.com /architecture:x86
wdsutil /set-server /N12bootprogram:boot\x64\pxelinux.com /architecture:x64
Update for UEFI Booting:
wdsutil /set-server /bootprogram:boot\x64\syslinux.efi /architecture:x64UEFI
wdsutil /set-server /N12bootprogram:boot\x64\syslinux.efi /architecture:x64UEFI
For Windows Server 2008 and below:
- Open the Windows Deployment Services Console
- Right-click on your Server and select Properties
- Click the Boot tab
- Change the default boot program for each archetecture to:
- Boot\x86\pxelinux.com AND
- Boot\x64\pxelinux.com Respectively.
Finally, we need a few more files to bring it all together.
I’ve prepared a zip with some default files you can use for the configuration process when adding boot images in the next step.
Download the pxeconfig.zip file from our download server and extract two files to the directories you just created in <server>\REMINST\Boot\x86\pxelinux.cfg (and in the x64 directory as well.) The only two files you need from this zip are:
(Optional) Install a custom background for your boot menu!
Simply place any 640 x 480 JPEG file named background.jpg into the <server>\REMINST\Boot\x86 (and x64) directories.
Congratulations,WDS with Syslinux is now properly setup!
At this point you can boot to your new network menu powered by Syslinux, and from there you can boot directly into your WDS images!
Now you can visit the Add Boot Images to Syslinux on WDS section to start adding other boot images of your choice to this menu.
- Install WDS (Windows Deployment Services)
- Install Syslinux <- You are here!
- Troubleshooting Issues