Enable PXE Responder without WDS (Windows Deployment Service)

In this post I will be showing you how to enable PXE responder without WDS (Windows Deployment Service). PXE responder service is now introduced in SCCM and offers many advantages.

We know that SCCM 1806 is released and comes bundled with lots of useful features. In my previous post we discussed about installing SCCM 1806 update. I also listed some of the best features of SCCM 1806.

With SCCM 1806, you enable PXE responder and get rid of WDS as it isn’t required anymore. This is a great feature because the PXE-enabled distribution point can now be a client or server OS.

In addition it can be a Windows Server Core. This new PXE responder service supports IPv6, and also enhances the flexibility of PXE-enabled distribution points in remote offices.

Enable PXE Responder without WDS (Windows Deployment Service)

To enable PXE responder without WDS, go to distribution points. Select the distribution point, right click and click Properties.

On the PXE tab of the distribution point properties, check Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service.

This new option enables a PXE responder on the distribution point, which doesn’t require Windows Deployment Services (WDS). On the confirmation box, click Yes to enable ConfigMgr PXE responder.

Enable PXE Responder without WDS

Note – Once you enable PXE responder, notice that all the options under Multicast tab are greyed out. That makes sense because previously whenever you enabled multicast, WDS was installed on the servers.

I need to add two basic rules here :-

  • If you enable PXE responder, Multicast options are greyed out / disabled.
  • If you enable multicast to simultaneously send data to multiple clients, then you cannot use PXE responder service.

Enable PXE Responder without WDS

Take a look at the status message details of SMS_DISTRIBUTION_MANAGER, you will find two things. First of all PXE is enabled on distribution point.

Confirm if PXE is enabled on distribution point

Take a look at status message details. On the SCCM distribution point we see the multicast is disabled.

Status Message Details

To confirm PXE responder service installation, launch services.msc. You will find ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service in the list of services.

ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service manages requests made by PXE enabled client computers. If this service is stopped, PXE-enabled client computers will be unable to install Windows remotely.

ConfigMgr PXE Responder ServiceI am going to test the OSD after enabling PXE responder in my prod setup. Let me know how PXE responder is working for you in comments section.

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I upgrade my config manager to 1806 and I follow all the steps, now I could not boot my unknown clients after pressing F12.


Hi – Not working for me. Trying to PXE boot an unknown computer. (This works fine using usb boot media)…

Log below:

Client Boot TS reply:

PXE: C8:D3:FF:A1:B1:91: No Task Sequence deployments.

PXE: C8:D3:FF:A1:B1:91: Sending abort.

PXE: Sending reply to, DHCP.

TFTP: connected.

TFTP: not able to open smsboot\x86wdsmgfw.efi.

Christophe Girardy
Christophe Girardy

Hi, Did you find the answer to your problem ? I’m trying to setup a 1902 LAB but I have the same problem. I don’t have any option in DHCP (no 67 or other option setup) as in all my other installations. I have tried reinstalling everything from scratch 5 times (1 AD server / 1 SCCM / 1 SQL using HTTPS only) but without success. I have tried 1905 TP, it gives me the exact same error. I don’t remember having so many difficulties in the past installing a LAB on my laptop. I’m running W10 Enterprise 1903 with… Read more »

Tomas Kozina
Tomas Kozina

Hi, I’m having a trouble booting.
SMSPXE.log says:
TFTP: connected. SCCMPXE 9. 8. 2018 10:00:40 5476 (0x1564)

TFTP: not able to open smsbootx86wdsnbp.com. SCCMPXE 9. 8. 2018 10:00:40 5476 (0x1564)

DHCP Option 67 is set “smsbootx64wdsnbp.com”
When I set it to “smsbootx86wdsnbp.com” then log says “not able to open smsbootx64wdsnbp.com”

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