I'm a system administrator for a hosting company, and we're looking to integrate the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit into our existing WDS setup for automating our client VM setups. I've already configured MDT and the task sequences for what we're looking to do, and we have WDS setup with our fully sysprepped and captured images. The issue we're running into is that once the Lite Touch boot image loads up and goes into the Install OS stage, it fails out since it can't contact our WDS server.

Let me give you some background on our infrastructure. Right now, we have three WDS servers, one for each of our locations, and they're all connected together via a domain. I'm working with the MDT on one computer right now, trying to get the master configuration perfected so I'm not changing configs in three locations while I'm still tweaking. The machines that we're deploying via WDS/MDT should not be joined to the domain, as they are unmanaged virtual servers. When the Lite Touch image attempts to install the OS, it fails to connect to the RemoteInstall directory, as the UNC path it's trying to connect to has the Active Directory DNS name, which isn't accessible to the client machines. I've tried adding custom network settings to the Task Sequence, but I think the issue I'm running into is that the DNS server is returning 4 different addresses for the server, only one of which is the correct address for the server.

I've configured the path of the Deployment Share to be an IP address and in Bootstrap.ini I use the server's publically accessible domain. My big question is is there any way to either force the Microsoft DNS server to return a specific record first or force MDT/WDS to use the publically-accessible DNS name, not the domain one? Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


Well, I answered my own question. After doing some more digging, I found that MDT determines if it was booted via WDS or not by means of its ZTIGather.wsf script. The file is located at:


In this file, there is a section of code that checks to see whether or not it booted via PXE. In particular, one line reads the registry settings for the PXE server information. By changing sWDSServer = oShell.RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PEBootServerName") to say sWDSServer = oShell.RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PEBootAddr"), it now pulls the IP address instead of the domain name, and the deployment continues as normal. Update the Deployment Share and import the new boot image into WDS, and you're good to go.

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