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PXE Deployment with Surface Pro

PXE Deployment with Surface Pro

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PXE support has been added to Surface Pro as part of the May firmware update.  This means that as long as you have the Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter and installed the firmware update you can now perform PXE based deployments to Surface Pro. For detailed guidance on updating firmware on Surface pro please refer to my previous blog post -

To perform a deployment from your existing Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 WDS server you need to do the following:

  1. Attach the Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter to the Surface Pro.
  2. Press and hold the volume down button and then press the power button, continue to hold the volume down button until the Surface starts to boot from the USB key.

           A dialog box will appear that states that it is “Checking Media Presence……”. Then it will “Start PXE over IPv4”.

       3. When prompted press Enter for network boot service.

The Surface Pro should now connect to your PXE server and allow you to perform a normal deployment.

For further details on Surface Pro deployment please refer to the Surface Pro - Enterprise Deployment Quick Start Guide within the Surface Pro firmware and driver pack that I worked with the Surface Team create.

This post was contributed by Ben Hunter, a Solution Architect with Microsoft Consulting Services.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, confers no rights, and is not supported by the authors or Microsoft Corporation. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified in the Terms of Use.

  • Is the Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter required, or can other usb Ethernet adapters be used?  I have attempted to boot to an HP usb adapter and it just continues to boot to Windows.

  • Hi Ryan,

    The official Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter is required.



  • More to the point, for a new just unboxed Surface Pro, how can we get the firmware update on it to allow PXE booting without having to go through the process of setting it up, connecting to the internet and downloading via wsus?



  • Hi Steve,

    You will need to perform the update process from running OS, this means that you will need to perhaps boot to the OS that is delivered with the device and then perform the update. This could be done via Windows Update or Manually as described in this post - Please not that the firmware updates are not available via WSUS, only Windows Update or via the Firmware and drivers pack.



  • Ben,

    We followed the instructions in the PDF referenced in this article.  When we try to PXE boot the Surface Pro, the device says "Start PXE over IPv4" then "Start PXE over IPv6" then it boots into Windows.

    PXE boot is working will all machines in our organization except the Surface Pro.  We have installed the May 2013 firmware on the Surface Pro, created the PE boot file on the Server 2012 WDS server (using MDT 2012), and are using the Microsoft Surface Ethernet adapter.

    Is there something we are missing?

    Thank you.

  • Hi James,

    After you see "Start PXE over IPv4" you should then be prompted to press enter, if you don't press enter it  will try IPv6.

    Are you seeing the enter prompt?



  • We are not prompted for To press enter... it just moves on to IPv6 then WIndows.

    On the DHCP server, we changed the bootfile (Option 67) from to wdsmgfw.efi.  After making the changes, it boots staright into the bootfile menu and displays the IP address of our WDS server but it never establishes a connection.

    What bootfile are you using?


  • Hi James,

    What type of PXE server are you using, UEFI deployment is supported by the servers that are listed at this link:

    I have used a Windows Server 2012 WDS server.



  • We are using WIndows Server 2012 for WDS (and PXE).

    What bootfile are you using?  It's listed in the DHCP scope options (Option 67)

  • Hi James,

    I am using the default WDS configuration with a Windows PE 4.0 boot image. I have not made any changes to DHCP.



  • Do you have WDS running on your DHCP server?  We have the two services on separate servers - which is why we need to specify option 066 (Boot Server Host Name) and option 067 (Bootfile Name).  Option 066 points to our WDS server.  Option 067 points to the boot\x86\ file on the WDS server.

    Without configuring these options in the DHCP server, clients do not know what server to connect to when booting form the network.

    Do you have any suggestions?  We have contacted Microsoft's Surface Support but they have not been helpful.

  • Hi James,

    This issue is covered in this KB article - Essentially you will need to use IP Helpers rather than specifying a boot file via DHCP.



  • We removed the DHCP options and configured the switch with a helper address and it worked!  Thank you, Ben!

  • Hi James

    What you do exactly on the switch

    The Helper Address from the DHCP Server or the PXE Boot Server

    Do you have me an exemple?

    Thanks in advanced.

  • James, I am running into the exact same situation.  Did you add the helper address on the vlan interface of the switch the client is connecting to?

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