WDS Multicasting Errors

Our WDS (Windows Deployment System) has been working like a dream. Unicast and Multicast. I’ve created a new Windows XP Pro x86 image, uploaded it, deployed it to verify it worked. Took the laptop (Its our portable WDS since we have some schools still on T1’s) setup and created the multicast channel. Fired up 5 machines and PXE booted. Selected my image and formatted the drive. Clicked next and was given this error.


Windows Setup is unable to locate a valid hard drive to store temporary installation files. To install Windows, create more free space on the hard drive or add a new hard drive. 

Now I was extremely puzzled as my image was 9.7GB image wouldn’t fit onto this 40GB drive. I deleted my multicast and tried unicast for the same image. Worked like a charm. Fired up 3 machines with 100GB+ hard drives to try multicast again and they also worked. I have no idea why this is but they just wouldnt take the smaller drives for multicast.  Just as a note I used a 20GB hard drive to create my base image.

Hopefully this will help some of you out in the future as it was a process trying to figure out whats different. Why it works one way and not the other..

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Cory Fiala

Technology and outdoor enthusiast. Currently the sole systems administrator for a local K-12 school district with 800+ staff and 5,500+ students. I support windows servers, Linux systems (FreeBSD and Ubuntu), along with vSphere (4 node cluster). 60+ virtual machines and 8 physical servers. This doesn't include my personal homelab.

One Comment

  1. I suspect it’s the amount of memory on the target server. WDS is estimating a fully deployed server with pagefile included.

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