Configuring DHCP option 60 for PXE clients

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I’m currently working to implement a standard operating environment (SOE) for a client’s server infrastructure, using their preferred deployment platform – the HP ProLiant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack (RDP), which is based on software provided by Altiris and is effectively a wrapper around the standard unattended build process, but uses the Altiris server instead of Microsoft’s Remote Installation Services (RIS).

According to HP’s implementing RDP and PXE in an enterprise network environment technology brief, when DHCP and Altiris Express are installed on the same server, DHCP will automatically be configured with option 60, which tells the client to make a boot information negotiation layer (BINL) request to the same server to retrieve boot information; however we were placed in a situation where DHCP option 60 needed to be configured manually.

I found the instructions for configuring advanced DHCP options on the website for a competitive product, Rembo Auto-Deploy. For NT DHCP servers, the new client class string option with an identifier of 60 can be added through the normal DHCP server user interface and then configured as a scope option with a value of PXEClient; however for Windows 2000 servers, the option is not present in the graphical user interface and consequently it is necessary to use the netsh command to enter the following commands:

dhcp server \\servername
add optiondef 60 PXEClient STRING 0 comment="Option added for PXE support"
set optionvalue 60 STRING PXEClient
show optionvalue all

(dhcp server \\servername can be replaced with dhcp server serveripaddress).

60 thoughts on “Configuring DHCP option 60 for PXE clients

  1. Two more DHCP options which might come in useful are 66 (Boot Server Host Name) and 67 (Bootfile Name). In a RIS environment, 67 would be set to OSChooser\i386\ Tim Farrell has posted more details on enabling RIS on a remote subnet although it should also be noted that Microsoft knowledge base article 259670 states that this method of identifying servers is unsupported.

    I’m currently working on a solution where I have centralised DHCP services and about 160 remote servers upon which I would like to install RIS. Because I want to force clients to use their local server (and DHCP Discover packets could theoretically be picked up by any RIS server), I will probably use option 66.

  2. Great stuff thanks… this Bug is relly crappy… I wonder if W2k8x64 R2 is supported at all… couldnt find a clear statement. could you?

  3. I struggled with this “missing option 60 for PXEClient” for two days on W2008R2. It turns out that after configuring WDS for option 60, I had to restart the system before it appeared in the DHCP scope. -_-

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