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how do you troubleshoot a slow PXE OS deployment?

My deployment is slow in 2 areas -

  1. Retrieving policy for computer at the beginning; it takes 5-10 minutes!
    1. I only have 1 task sequence!
    2. My boundary groups are configured, I believe, optimally
      1. I used subnets for associating clients to boundary groups
        1. The client is on a subnet that is associated with only 1 boundary group
      2. The configured boundary group has no fallback at all (just to eliminate possible issues with client falling back improperly, causing slow deployment)
  2. Resolving task sequence dependencies
    1. Again, this takes 5-10 minutes before the task sequence actually begins

Why does the above steps take so long? How can I go about troubleshooting this?

Any help is much appreciated!

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if I create a standalone task sequence media, the retrieving policy step takes mere seconds!

I don't understand why if booting from PXE, it's so much slower.

I'm almost tempted to create a standalone WDS to let my clients PXE boot the standalone media (and from there proceed with the task sequence).

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When booting from PXE, SCCM will use the version of the Windows PE boot image on your PXE enabled distribution point.

If this is not updated on the DP,  it will still be using the last version that you uploaded, along with any SCCM binaries that were present in there.

You should where possible ensure that the latest version of the Windows 10 ADK (and therefore WinPE) is updated, and ensure that your boot images are updated with those ADK binaries (there is an option for this when you update the boot images).

The latest WinPE images also have correct and updated network drivers, so should be quicker retrieving policy and dependencies from each of the DPs and management point.

Also check how site assignments are set on your boundaries and boundary groups as well as the site servers including DPs are associated to those groups.  It could be for example you're PXEing to a local DP,  but the boundary group doesn't have the local DP as a server it can use, and may be going elsewhere.

See also this article for increasing the speed of loading the WinPE image - the TFTP Window Size setting really works well and works in all versions from 1606 onwards:

https://ccmexec.com/2016/09/tweaking-pxe-boot-times-in-configuration-manager-1606/

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