Automated Deployment Services (ADS) is add-on to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition providing a solution for rapidly deploying Windows server operating systems onto bare-metal servers across large, scaled-out installations. With support for script-based mass server administration, ADS also enables administrators to administer hundreds of servers as if they were one


Scoping the Issue


Questions to help narrow down the issue:


Where are you having an issue?


·         PXE booting.  DHCP or TFTP errors.  (before getting into Deployment Agent(DA)/WINPE Agent)

·         Inside the DA/WINPE.  Network card driver issue or disk issue

·         Are you having a problem with a specific task Sequence

·         Boot to DA

·         Boot to HD

·         Boot to WINPE

·         Capture image

·         DA-Deploy image

·         Winpe-Deploy image

·         Reboot

·         Connecting to device in DA or post setup using administrative agent(AA).  IE the device shows up in disconnected state

·         Running task sequences post setup


Is multicast enabled for your image deployment?


Is the device on the same subnet as the controller?


Does the issue reproduce only when on remote subnet?


Do you have IP helper table entries configured for the ADS controller?


What operating system are you deploying?


Are you running ADS 1.1?


What service pack is applied to the ADS controller?


Are you booting Deployment Agent (DA) or WINPE?


Are you using one of the built in task sequences or a customized task sequence?


Does the issue reproduce if you use a built in task sequence that has not been modified?


How many network cards present on the controller?


Is the problem specific to a device or all devices?


What type of network card is in the device?


Are you having an issue with VSMT?


Data Gathering


To troubleshoot ADS issues gather the following information:


·         Exact error message you are receiving

·         IP Address of ADS Controller

·         IP Address of DHCP Server

·         IP Address of device

·         MAC address of device

·         Event logs of ADS controller

·         History output of jobs you have run from ADS console

·         Any custom task sequences being used


Troubleshooting / Resolution


ADS 1.0 is unsupported.  Use 1.1


Make sure that devices are set to boot PXE first


Make sure the device and controller are set to the correct date/time.  ADS requires that the date/time be correct


Make sure the AA is installed on each device.  Any event log errors for the AA service

If you are having a issue with VSMT it is recomended to use the evaluation version of SCVMM to do P2V'S instead


If you are running SP2 on your controller make sure you have the following update installed


937088           Image deployment fails when you try to deploy an image by using the Boot-to-da.xml template in ADS after you install Windows Server 2003 SP2;EN-US;937088


If your device network card uses VBD see the following

932449           A network adapter is not detected when you start a computer by using PXE on an RIS server or on an ADS server that is running Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition;EN-US;932449


If you are getting error "Windows could not start due to an error while booting from a RAMDISK. Windows failed to build a bootable RAMDISK IMAGE." see the following


841550           You receive an error message when you start a Windows Server 2003-based computer by using the ADS Deployment Agent;EN-US;841550


Basic PXE Boot to DA test

1.    Delete the device in the ADS console under devices

2.    Change the Controller service properties for "To PXE action" to add

3.    Boot the device up

4.    Does the device show up now under devices?

5.    Can you take control?

6.    Can you run the "reboot to DA" task sequence and boot the DA


Basic Administrative Agent (AA) test

1.    Delete the device in the ADS console under devices

2.    Change the controller service properties for "To BMDP action" to add

3.    Stop and start the AA service on the device

4.    Does this device show up now under devices?

5.    Can you take control?

6.    Can you run the "reboot to HD" task sequence?