Lenovo T500 Wont PXE boot

One of our batch of Lenovo T500 laptops refuses to boot from our Windows Deployment PXE server.
So not easy to get our default company image into it. Hard to explain to Lenovo support what is wrong cause its so very specific. All other network functions are just fine. My colleague ran a trace on the server side, and the Laptop doesn’t even seem to contact it.

If I had to guess I would say its network driver issue and this laptop has a very specific revision of network board .. or something. 

It seems I am not the only one running into PXE boot issues with a Lenovo.

Don’t really have that much time to dig deeply into it. I would like to see what the conversation is between our WDS server, the DHCP server and the laptop. Something wierd going on there.


  1. Only reasons for it to fail I can imagine are:
    – the NIC doesn’t support PXE (but I am pretty sure you already checked that ;))
    – the NIC does support PXE but is b0rked (bad firmware)
    – the Laptop is not in the same subnet as the DHCP server.
    – The PXE config is not supported. (although I’ve never seen that happen before)

    PXE is not horribly complicated; it’s pretty much modified DHCP and TFTP. The sequence is:

    – laptop NIC broadcasts an PXE extended DHCPDISCOVER
    – DHCP proxy broadcasts a extended DHCPOFFER
    – laptop NIC uses info to send DHCPREQUEST to boot server
    – Boot server responds with information where to get the network bootstrap program, supported PXE types and TFTP config.

  2. Hi!

    We have similar problems with lenovo systems, in 99% of the cases, it was caused by the cisco switch, where spanning tree protocol was enabled. It took the switch 15 seconds, to activate the link, and the lenovo is not waiting that long, so it wont get an ip address…. Maybe you had the same problem.

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