Product Documentation

Using the Manage Boot Devices utility

Jan 10, 2013

The Manage Boot Devices Utility is an optional method for providing IP and boot information (boot device) to target devices. It is an alternative to using the traditional DHCP, PXE, and TFTP methods. Using this method, when the target device starts, it obtains the boot information directly from the boot device. With this information, the target device is able to locate, communicate, and boot from the appropriate Provisioning Server. After the user is authenticated, the Provisioning Server provides the target device with its vDisk image.

The following boot devices are supported:

  • USB
  • CD-ROM (ISO)
  • Hard Disk Partition

The BDM boot mode option is not available for Generation 2 VMs.

Wireless NICs are not supported.

Caution: When an entire hard drive is selected as a boot device, all existing disk partitions are erased and re-created with a single active partition. The targeted partition is reserved as a boot device and cannot be used by the operating system or by data.

When a hard disk partition is selected as boot device, the selected disk partition data is deleted and set as an active partition. This active partition becomes the boot device.

Configuring Boot Devices

Boot devices are configured using the Boot Device Management utility. This wizard-like application enables you to quickly program boot devices.

After installing the boot device, complete the procedures that follow.

  • The vDisk must already be formatted and ready before the BDM.exe is run.
  • If using the target device hard disk drive as the boot device, copy BDM. exe from the product installation directory on the server, into the product installation directory on the target device.
  • The target device settings in the Console should be set to boot from the vDisk but the actual device should be set to boot from hard disk first.
  1. From the Provisioning Services product installation directory, run BDM.exe. The Boot Device Management window opens and the Specify the Login Server page appears.
  2. Under Server Lookup, select the radio button that describes the method to use to retrieve Provisioning Server boot information:
    • Use DNS to find the Provisioning Server from which to boot from. If this option is selected and the Use DHCP to retrieve Device IP option is selected (under Device IP Configuration settings), your DHCP server needs to provide option 6 (DNS Server).
      Note: The boot device uses Host name plus DHCP option 15 (Domain Name, which is optional) as the FQDN to contact the DNS server to resolve the IP address.

      If using HA, specify up to four Provisioning Servers for the same Host name on your DNS server.

    • Use the static IP address of the Provisioning Server from which to boot. If you select this option, click Add to enter the following Provisioning Server information:
      • IP Address
      • Port (default is 6910)

      If using HA, enter up to four Provisioning Servers. If you are not using HA, enter only one. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to sort the Provisioning Servers boot order. The first Provisioning Server listed will be the server that the target device attempts to boot from.

  3. Click Next. The Set Options dialog appears.
  4. Configure the following local boot options, then click Next:
    • Verbose Mode; enable/disables the displaying of extensive boot and diagnostic information. This can be helpful when debugging issues.
    • Interrupt Safe Mode; enable/disable for debugging issues. This is sometimes required for drivers that exhibit timing or boot behavior problems.
    • Advanced Memory Support; enables/disables the address extensions, to match your operating system settings. This option is enabled by default. Disable it only if your target device is hanging or behaving erratically in early boot phase.
    • Network Recovery Method; select to attempt to restore the network connection or to reboot from a hard drive if the target device loses connection to the Provisioning Server, and how long (in seconds) to wait to make this connection.
    • Login Polling Timeout; in general, start with values of one second for each of the polling and general timeouts. Extend these when using 3DES encryption. You should further extend the timers based on workload. A reasonable setting for 100 target devices running triple DES in the network would be three seconds.
    • Login General Timeout; a reasonable setting for 100 target devices running triple DES in the network would be 10 seconds for the General Timeout.
  5. On the Burn the Boot Device dialog, configure the target device IP. If the Use DNS to find the Server option is selected and your DHCP service does not provide option 6 (DNS Server), then enter the following required information (note that the server name must be less than 16 characters and the domain name less than 48 characters):
    • Primary DNS Server Address
    • Secondary DNS Server Address
    • Domain Name
  6. Configure the Boot Device properties.
    • Add an active boot partition . Check this option to add a boot partition. Note: A boot partition is required if booting from the device's hard drive (for example, when selecting a XENPVDISK boot device with small partition or partition offset).
    • Select the boot device from the list of devices.
    If a partition offset size is set, you are prompted to confirm the destination size. Type Yes (case sensitive) to continue.
  7. If applicable, configure Media Properties.
  8. Click Burn. A message appears to acknowledge that the boot device was successfully created. If selecting ISO format, use your CD burning software to burn the ISO image.
  9. Click Exit to close the utility.
  10. Boot the target device and enter the BIOS Setup. Under the Boot Sequence, move the boot device to the top of the list of bootable devices. Save the change, then boot the target device.

After the boot device is programmed, a target device boot sequence can be configured using the Console’s Target Device Disk Properties dialog. These boot behaviors are used after a target device connects to a Provisioning Server. The Console allows multiple vDisk images to be assigned to a target device. The way in which these vDisks boot depends upon the selected boot behavior.

When configuring the BIOS to work with the boot device (either USB or ISO image), the NIC PXE option must be enabled. The PXE boot option is required in order for the NIC Option ROM to stay resident in memory during the pre-boot process. This way, UNDI will be available to the boot device to properly initialize the NIC. Otherwise, the 'API not found' message is displayed by the boot device.