PXE Windows PE under UEFI and Secure Boot Enabled

1. Download Windows PE add-on for the Windows ADK for Windows 11, version 22H2 and install.

In this example, Windows ADK Folder (default, C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment) is %PEFOLDER% and the TFTP Server Root is %TFTPROOT%

2. Patch BCD in %PEFOLDER%\amd64\Media\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\

  • Change the path of Boot Manager to our file, \bootx64.efi
    > bcdedit /store BCD /set {bootmgr} path \bootx64.efi
  • Disable Integritycheck and Change Bootmenupolicy to Legacy
    > bcdedit /store BCD /set {bootmgr} nointegritychecks Yes
    > bcdedit /store BCD /set {default} bootmenupolicy Legacy
  • Since linux file system treats file and directory names as case-sensitive, ramdisksdipath need to be modified if PXE is served via linux server
    > bcdedit /store BCD /set {7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f} ramdisksdipath \Boot\boot.sdi
  • Entries of patched BCD should be identical to
    > bcdedit /store BCD /enum all
    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    path                    \bootx64.efi
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    nointegritychecks       Yes
    flightsigning           Yes
    default                 {default}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30
    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier              {default}
    device                  ramdisk=[boot]\sources\boot.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}
    path                    \windows\system32\boot\winload.efi
    description             Windows Setup
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    isolatedcontext         Yes
    osdevice                ramdisk=[boot]\sources\boot.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}
    systemroot              \windows
    bootmenupolicy          Legacy
    detecthal               Yes
    winpe                   Yes
    ems                     No
    Windows Memory Tester
    identifier              {memdiag}
    device                  boot
    path                    \efi\microsoft\boot\memtest.efi
    description             Windows Memory Diagnostic
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    EMS Settings
    identifier              {emssettings}
    bootems                 No
    Debugger Settings
    identifier              {dbgsettings}
    debugtype               Serial
    debugport               1
    baudrate                115200
    Global Settings
    identifier              {globalsettings}
    inherit                 {dbgsettings}
    Boot Loader Settings
    identifier              {bootloadersettings}
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    Hypervisor Settings
    identifier              {hypervisorsettings}
    description             Hypervisor Settings
    hypervisordebugtype     Serial
    hypervisordebugport     1
    hypervisorbaudrate      115200
    Device options
    identifier              {7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}
    ramdisksdidevice        boot
    ramdisksdipath          \Boot\boot.sdi

3. Upload required files to TFTP server (For linux servers, capitalization DOES matter)

  • %PEFOLDER%\amd64\Media\EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi to %TFTPROOT%\bootx64.efi
  • %PEFOLDER%\amd64\Media\Boot\boot.sdi to %TFTPROOT%\Boot\boot.sdi
  • %PEFOLDER%\amd64\en-us\winpe.wim to %TFTPROOT%\sources\boot.wim
    Or customized windows 11 based .wim file, depending on the purposes
  • patched BCD to %TFTPROOT%\Boot\BCD

PXE would fail if TFTP directory and file structures are not properly set (e.g. capitalization mismatch on linux server)

4. Verify with hyper V