Windows® Deployment Services is the updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). Windows Deployment Services assists with the rapid adoption and deployment of Microsoft® Windows operating systems. You can use it to set up new computers through a network-based installation without having to be physically present at each computer and without having to install directly from CD media.


Scoping the Issue


Use the following questions to narrow down where the issue is occurring

·         Are you having a problem PXE booting?

·         Are you having a problem deploying an image?

·         Are you having a problem with the WDS management console?

·         Are you having a problem with answer file for wdsclient?

·         Are you having a problem with answer file for the image?

·         Does the issue occur if the client is on the same subnet as the WDS server?

·         Have you updated your IP helper tables with the IP address of the WDS server?

·         Is your WDS server a DHCP server also?

·         Are you running WDS on Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008?

·         Is this a unicast or multicast deployment?


Data Gathering


Gather the following information to diagnose problems with WDS

·         WDSUTIL /get-server /show:all /detailed

·         Enable tracing by setting the following registry key



Value: 1

·         %windir%\tracing\Wdsserver.log

·         System event log

·         Application event log



Additional Resources


Documentation for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008


Windows Server 2008 TechCenter:  Windows Deployment Services


Important KB articles


923834           :  Error message when you start a PXE client to connect to a WDS server on a Windows Server 2003 SP1-based computer or on a Windows Server 2008-based computer: "WdsClient: An error occurred while starting networking";EN-US;923834


932447:  No x64-based images appear in the list of images when you connect to a Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running Windows Deployment Services;EN-US;932447


936625           :  How to enable logging in Windows Deployment Services (WDS) in Windows Server 2003;EN-US;936625