Event ID 256 — PXE Provider Support

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

The Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) server is used by Windows Deployment Services to provide network boot programs to client computers. The PXE server receives and responds to PXE requests, and the providers contain the business logic that determines how and when the requests are answered. The PXE provider included with Windows Deployment Services is named Binlsvc.dll.

Event Details

Product: Windows Operating System
ID: 256
Source: WDSPXE
Version: 6.1
Message: An error occurred while trying to open the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\%1\%2 for provider %3. This can happen if the provider was not registered properly.

Error Information: %4


Confirm the permissions and registered providers

To resolve this issue, do the following in the specified order:

  • Confirm that the registry data and permissions are correct.
  • Confirm that the providers are registered.

Caution: Incorrectly editing the registry might severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data.

To perform this procedure, you must either be a member of the local Administrators group or have been delegated the appropriate authority.

Confirm that the registry data and permissions are correct

To confirm the registry data and permissions: 

  1. Open Registry Editor. (Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.)
  2. Ensure that the WDSPXE registry key exists at the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers.
  3. If the key exists at the specified location, ensure that the SYSTEM account used by WDSPXE has permission to read from the registry. To do this, right-click the WDSServer node, click Permissions, click SYSTEM, and then make sure that Full Control is selected.
  4. If WDSPXE is not present or is corrupt, you will need to reinitialize the server. To do this, open the Command Prompt window, run wdsutil /uninitialize-server, and then run wdsutil /initialize-server /reminst:<path to RemoteInstall folder>.

If the data and permissions are correct but the issue persists, use the following procedure to confirm that your providers are registered.

Confirm that the providers are registered

To confirm that the providers are registered:

  1. Open the Command Prompt window.
  2. At the command prompt, run wdsutil /get-server /show:config.
  3. Confirm that this command returns the correct list of registered providers. 
    • If you are using the default PXE provider, this list will contain only BINLSVC.
    • If your custom providers are not registered, you will need to reregister your custom provider. For information about how to register your provider, see the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows Server 2008 at or contact the vendor of the provider for troubleshooting support. To download the SDK, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=104661.


To verify that the providers are working correctly:

  1. Open the Command Prompt window.
  2. At the command prompt, run wdsutil /get-server /show:config, and ensure that the expected providers are listed in the output.
  3. Open Event Viewer. (Click Start, type Event Viewer in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER).
  4. In the left pane, expand Custom Views, expand Server Roles, and then click Windows Deployment Services.
  5. Click the Date and Time column heading to sort the events based on time and date.
  6. Check for WDSPXE events 262 and 267, which verify that a provider was loaded (or unloaded) and initialized successfully.
  7. Ensure that you receive events 262 and 267 for each provider.

PXE Provider Support

Windows Deployment Services