WDS – Configure Multiple PXE Servers

Windows Server 2012R2  Windows Server 2016  Windows Server 2019

Presentation

This article describes how to use multiple WDS servers on a single network.

This solution is undocumented by Microsoft, it is possible to have multiple WDS servers active on the same network.

To enable this feature, it is necessary to add a registry key to each PXE server. During boot, it will be possible to press the [F11] or [F9] key depending on the client (Legacy or UEFI) to discover all the servers available on the network.

The operations are to be performed on each WDS server, the client will start on the first server that responds.

Configuration

Open the registry editor (regedit) and go to the following location:

Double-click the AllowServerSelection 1 key to modify it.

regedit

Change the value to 1 1 and click OK 2 .

AllowServerSelection

From the Windows Deployment Service Console, restart the WDS services. Right click on server 1 , go to All tasks 2 and click on Restart 3 .

Restart service WDS

Repeat the operation on the other WDS server(s).

Results

Legacy Bios

When starting on the PXE, it is possible to press [F11] to choose another server.

F11 for server selection

The discovered servers are displayed, select the server with the up / down arrows and validate by pressing [Enter].

Select server

UEFI Bios

When confirming the start on the network, press the [F9] key.

F9 for server selection

Wait while discovering the available PXE servers on the network.

Discovering PXE Servers

Once the servers are discovered, select in one with the up / down arrows and press [Enter] to validate the choice.

Choose a PXE Server


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