Windows Deployment Services and x64-based Systems

The Federal team is a big fan of Windows Deployment Services (WDS). We have used WDS for large scale deployments, but we recently ran into a problem using WDS to install x64 builds of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Beta 3. We imported the boot.wim and install.wim files from the x64 media into our WDS server (running Windows Server 2003 SP2), but the x64 clients were only seeing the x86 builds on the WDS server. We tried disabling the x86 boot image, but then the client returned the following error:

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc0000098

Windows Boot Configuration Data file does not contain a valid OS entry error.

A network capture (using Microsoft Network Monitor 3.0) revealed that the client was only requesting the x86 image. The explanation (and a solution) to this problem is outlined at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itshowcase/content/vistadeploy_twp.mspx.

 

The relevant section from this document is included below:

 

Implementing Windows Deployment Services

To preserve its investment in RIS, Microsoft IT chose to upgrade existing RIS servers to WDS or to build new WDS servers in mixed mode. WDS mixed mode enables deployment of WIM and earlier RIS image types. To implement this functionality, Microsoft IT configured WDS by using the option OSChooser:Yes option.

Other implementation details included providing x86-based images and x64-based images, and, in the case of x64-based clients, allowing the client to choose what operating system to install, regardless of processor type. To work around an x64-based basic input/output system (BIOS), which does not report the architecture properly, Microsoft IT also set the WDS option ArchitectureDiscovery:Yes.

 

So, the fix for the problem outlined above is to run the following on your WDS server (from a CMD prompt):

wdsutil /set-server /ArchitectureDiscovery:Yes