Sep 042022

A while ago, we have seen here how we could play with vhd differencing disks and starwind san free product.

However, the poor scripting capabilities of starwind san free associated with a strict licensing model renders this solution dodgy.

Today lets see how we achieve a better solution with powershell and windows iscsi target capabilities.

First lest have at the script below : all it does is create an iscsi target for the incoming requests if the target does not exist yet thus enabling one to boot many client devices from one unique parent/master.

Note : creating your master image (i.e a windows that can boot over the network using iscsi is not in scope here).

write-host "#!ipxe"
write-host "clear net0.dhcp/gateway:ipv4"
write-host "set gateway"
write-host "set initiator-iqn iqn.2006-11.1"
write-host "set keep-san 1"
#if pxesrv is running on the isci target, use ${next-server} instead of harcoded ip
write-host 'set target ${next-server}'
$TargetName = $args&#91;0]
write-host "echo TargetName: "$TargetName
$vhdpath = "C:\_images\" + $args&#91;0] + ".vhd"
write-host "echo vhdpath: "$vhdpath
$iqn =""+$TargetName
write-host "echo iqn: "$iqn
if (-not(Test-Path -Path $vhdpath -PathType Leaf)) {
$parent = "c:\_images\iscsi.vhd"
#$result=New-VHD -ParentPath $parent -Path $vhdpath -Differencing -Confirm:$false
$result=c:\temp\vmount.exe createchildvhd $vhdpath $parent
$result=Import-IscsiVirtualDisk -Path $vhdpath
$result=New-IscsiServerTarget -TargetName $TargetName -InitiatorIds "iqn:iqn.2006-11.1"
#option : Set-IscsiServerTarget -TargetName "child1" -InitiatorId "IQN:*"
$result=Set-IscsiServerTarget -TargetName $TargetName -TargetIqn $iqn
$result=Add-IscsiVirtualDiskTargetMapping -TargetName $TargetName -DevicePath $vhdpath
write-host "echo iscsi target configured, enjoy !"
write-host $('sanboot --keep iscsi:${target}:tcp:3260:0:' + $iqn)

Lets first run tiny pxe server (as admin since we will be calling some low level powershell scripts) and lets call our powershell script from a remote device like this : (replace the ip with whatever your iscsi target is).

You should get a result like this in your browser:

clear net0.dhcp/gateway:ipv4
set gateway
set initiator-iqn iqn.2006-11.1
set keep-san 1
set target ${next-server}
echo TargetName:  aa-bb-cc-dd-ee-ff
echo vhdpath:  C:\_images\aa-bb-cc-dd-ee-ff.vhd
echo iqn:
echo iscsi target configured, enjoy !
sanboot --keep iscsi:${target}

And your iscsi target should look like this :

You are now ready to boot your devices by setting your second stage bootloader in TPS like this : http://@opt54/iscsi.ps1?@mac .

Every pxe boot device will get a new image if it dos not exist yet or will boot from its image if it exists.

Nov 022018

See previous article to understand why and what.

Previously we have created our master / parent disk.

Lets now create our differencing / child disks using our host (windows 8.1) virtual disk capabilities.

Lets do it in one batch.

rem list disks before
vmount disks
rem create child1 against parent iscsi.vhd
vmount createchild e:\_images\child1.vhd e:\_images\iscsi.vhd
rem create child2 against parent iscsi.vhd
vmount createchild e:\_images\child2.vhd e:\_images\iscsi.vhd
rem attach child1 without assigning any letter to it
vmount attach e:\_images\child1.vhd noletter
rem attach child2 without assigning any letter to it
vmount attach e:\_images\child2.vhd noletter
rem list disks
vmount disks
rem check attributes of disk2
vmount attributes 2
rem check attributes of disk3
vmount attributes 3
rem disk3 is most probably offline because of disk signature collision between disk2 and disk3
rem lets force it online : windows will generate a new signature
rem make sure to use a BCD using LOCATE and not using disk signature or else bootmgr will error
rem more about locate here
vmount online 3

Notice how the second virtual disk now has a different signature (since we forced it online…).

 Posted by at 15 h 19 min
Jan 082018

Sharing a iPXE script (using wimboot) I am using these days along with Tiny PXE Server to boot winpe over the network on multiple platform : pcbios i386, pcbios x86_64, efi i386, efi x86_64.

Tiny PXE Server is serving by default pcbios ipxe.pxe and also, depending on the client architecture, serving the matching ipxe efi version.

See below my config.ini and a custom wimboot.ipxe script.

Discuss it here.


#more about wimboot tips and tricks :
set boot-url http://${dhcp-server}
#note : we are not going to use cpuid/arch
cpuid --ext 29 && set arch x64 || set arch x86
echo ${arch}
echo ${platform}_${buildarch}
goto ${platform}_${buildarch} || goto unknown
kernel ${boot-url}/wimboot
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOTMGR.EXE bootmgr.exe
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BCD BCD
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BOOT.SDI BOOT.SDI
initrd ${boot-url}/SOURCES/x64/BOOT.WIM BOOT.WIM
kernel ${boot-url}/wimboot
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOTMGR.EXE bootmgr.exe
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BCD BCD
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BOOT.SDI BOOT.SDI
initrd ${boot-url}/SOURCES/x86/BOOT.WIM BOOT.WIM
kernel ${boot-url}/wimboot
initrd ${boot-url}/bootx64.efi bootx64.efi
initrd ${boot-url}/EFI/MICROSOFT/BOOT/BCD BCD
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BOOT.SDI BOOT.SDI
initrd ${boot-url}/SOURCES/x64/BOOT.WIM BOOT.WIM
kernel ${boot-url}/wimboot.i386
initrd ${boot-url}/bootia32.efi bootia32.efi
initrd ${boot-url}/EFI/MICROSOFT/BOOT/BCD BCD
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BOOT.SDI BOOT.SDI
initrd ${boot-url}/SOURCES/x86/BOOT.WIM BOOT.WIM
echo Unknown platform ${platform}_${buildarch}

Oct 312017
modified : dns proxy will read entries from config.ini (section=hostname,ident=ip), no more from hosts file
added : right click open config.ini
added : right click open root_path
fixed : share folder will now add everyone read-only on share permissions
added : share is created with STYPE_TEMPORARY flag, i.e will not survive a reboot
added : TPS will answer to specific ‘discovery’ messages (see
fixed : wsMinimized=1 was preventing form_show and load_config
added : each daemon will report on which ip it is listening (useful to troubleshoot)
added : syslogd will read ip under [syslog] in config.ini if one wants to bind to a specific interface (instead of by default)
fixed : error handling in log_memo to avoid a possible date bug
fixed : httpd could not list files/folder in a non indexed folder
modified : ucimp.pas uses winsock, not wsck
modified : iphlpapi_helper.pas uses winsock, not wsck
modified : usnoop uses winsock, not wsck
modified : iptypes uses winsock, not wsck
modified : removed ipheader unit in main form
modified : TPS does not use wsck unit anymore

Discuss it here.
Download here.

 Posted by at 20 h 12 min
Oct 312017
added : new option wsMinimized in config.ini to start the app minimized
fixed : @mac,@ip,@arch added to dhcp_offer (was only dhcp_ack before)
fixed : pool start correct when opt54 set in ini file
todo : send arch in dhcp offer
added : @opt54 variable next to @mac,@ip,@arch -> similar to ${next-server} in ipxe
fixed : next server passed to send_dhcpoffer and send_dhcpack
added : will add a scrollbar when active monitor height <=600
added : vscroll=1 in config.ini will force a vertical scrollbar
fixed : option 6 dns server was wrong when choosing a different NIC
added : arch will be taken into account in the dhcp offer as well
fixed : tftpd can be disabled again in config.ini
added : will select the active nic in the opt54 combo box
modified : 2 more fields hidden and moved to the advanced part of the form
fixed : log to file is disabled
added : a syslog server is included in the zip file (syslog= in the config.ini)

Discuss it here.
Download here.

 Posted by at 20 h 10 min
Oct 312017
added : root can be an http url (netboot for debian, ubuntu, …)
fixed : on udp transfer complete
added : can log to a syslog server (add syslog=host in config.ini)
fixed : non critical udp socket errors would stop the dhcp daemon
added : in analysedata, will exit loop as soon as a dhcp message is found
added : in analysedata, will prevent (byte)offset>255
added : offline button will terminatethread if still active (53,67,4011)
fixed : no more high cpu usage on random occasions
added : new options skip_dhcp_inform & skip_dhcp_discarded
added : forcerenew dhcp messages logged

Discuss it here.
Download here.

 Posted by at 20 h 09 min
Fév 112017

Following a post from 2014 about booting Winpe over PXE on a UEFI computer, see below a different way to proceed.

-Disable secureboot (or else you’ll need to use a signed bootloader)
-Retrieve latest version of IPXE for UEFI, ipxe-snponly-x86-64.efi and rename it bootia64.efi
-run the following command against your BCD : bcdedit.exe /store BCD /set {bootmgr} nointegritychecks yes
-Use the below wimboot.ipxe script based on Wimboot
-set Tiny PXE Server as below screenshot


set boot-url http://${dhcp-server}
kernel ${boot-url}/wimboot
initrd ${boot-url}/bootmgfw.efi bootmgfw.efi
initrd ${boot-url}/EFI/MICROSOFT/BOOT/BCD BCD
initrd ${boot-url}/BOOT/BOOT.SDI BOOT.SDI
initrd ${boot-url}/SOURCES/BOOT.WIM BOOT.WIM

 Posted by at 15 h 26 min  Tagged with:
Mai 102014



 Posted by at 20 h 13 min
Mai 102014

PartedMagic is a disk management solution.
It does disk partitioning, disk cloning, data rescue, disk erasing, benchmarking.
Note, since August 2013, the tool has required a fee to download.

Lets now see how to PXE boot this linux distribution.

For this we will use TinyPXE Server and IPXE.


First lets prepare our iPXE script (save it to rescue.ipxe)

set boot-url http://${next-server}
kernel ${boot-url}/memdisk iso
initrd ${boot-url}/images/pmagic/pmagic_2013_02_28.iso

Now, lets setup TinyPXE Server


Now, lets boot !

Note :

-My iso is from february 2013, I cannot tell for sure it earlier or newer ISO’s will boot thru PXE

-This method (using memdisk) requires at least twice the size of the iso (lets round it up to 1 gb). if this is an issue, you may want to revert to booting pmagic filesquash.

 Posted by at 19 h 43 min