Install SCCM Distribution Point Role on Windows 10

This post covers the steps to install SCCM distribution point role on a Windows 10 computer. We will also enable SCCM PXE responder service on Windows 10.

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

This is going to be interesting configuration because we have always installed Configuration Manager distribution point role on a Windows Server. However for the first time let’s see how easy is it to install a Windows 10 SCCM distribution point.

Consider a remote site with few users and it doesn’t have a distribution point server yet. And now you want to set up a distribution point server in that site but you don’t have enough hardware resources.

The good thing here is you can use a client OS for example – Windows 10 to respond to PXE requests without WDS. You don’t need a Windows Server and WDS to image the clients.

In addition, if you have remote sites with no DP, you could use a laptop running Windows 10 OS, enable SCCM PXE on it and use it as distribution point.

Prerequisites for Windows 10 Distribution Point

  • The following client OS versions are supported for use as a SCCM distribution point – Windows 10 (x86, x64) Pro and Enterprise. Windows 8.1 is also supported but I recommend not to use it to install DP role because it’s outdated.
  • Starting in version 1806, you can PXE-enable a distribution point on Windows 10. However the option to enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service is a must.
  • The distribution point must have the following inbound rules configured in the Windows firewall :-
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (DCOM-In)
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI-In)
client OS versions are supported for use as a ConfigMgr distribution point
Client OS versions are supported for use as a ConfigMgr distribution point

Install and Configure Windows 10

The first step here is to install Windows 10. Your distribution point can be either a VM or a laptop running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. To deploy Windows 10 using Configuration Manager, refer this post.

After you install Windows 10, ensure you install the latest updates. Restart the computer if required.

Install Windows Updates
Install Windows Updates

Ensure you have enough space for the content library.

You must add the SCCM site server computer account to the Local Administrators group on Windows 10. This step must be done before you install distribution point role else the DP role installation fails.

In this example, CORPSCCM is the name of the site server and CORPDP is my Windows 10 on which I am going to install distribution point role.

Add SCCM site server computer account to the Local Administrators group
Add SCCM site server computer account to the Local Administrators group

If you are running the DP’s on HTTP, skip the below step. If you have the DP’s and Management point running on HTTPS, you must enroll the Distribution Point certificate and Web Server certificate on this computer.

In case you need the detailed steps to do that, refer the ConfigMgr PKI guide.

Install SCCM Distribution Point Role on Windows 10

Launch Configuration Manager console. Go to Administration > Overview > Site Configuration. Right click Servers and Site System Roles and click Create Site System Server.

Create Site System Server
Create Site System Server

On the General page, click Browse and select Windows 10 computer. Select the site code and click Next.

Select the Site System Server
Select the Site System Server

On the Proxy page, specify the internet proxy server if you have one in your setup. Otherwise click Next.

On the System Role Selection page, from the list of Available Roles, select Distribution Point. Click Next.

Install Distribution Point Role on Windows 10
Install Distribution Point Role on Windows 10

You can add a description and check the box Install and configure IIS if required by Configuration Manager. Click Next.

Since my DP and MP are on HTTPS, on the Communication page, I will select HTTPS and specify the DP certificate and password. If you are not using HTTPS, select HTTP and select Create self-signed certificate. Click Next.

On the Drive Settings page, specify the drive space reserve which is 50 MB by default. Specify the content locations for the content library and package share. By default the content locations are set to Automatic.

The primary content location will be set to the disk drive that has the most disk space at installation and the secondary location assigned the disk drive that has the second most free disk space. Click Next.

Specify driver settings for the distribution point
Specify driver settings for the distribution point

On the Pull Distribution Point page, click Next.

Enable SCCM PXE Responder on Windows 10

We have come to the point where we enable SCCM PXE responder on Windows 10 distribution point. On the PXE settings page, enable the following.

  • Enable PXE support for clients
  • Allow this distribution point to respond to incoming PXE requests
  • Enable unknown computer support
  • Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service

Additionally, you may set or configure a password when computers use PXE.

Enable ConfigMgr PXE on Windows 10

Notice that when you enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service option, you get a warning box.

This option enables a PXE responder on this distribution point without requiring Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Because WDS is not required, the PXE enable distribution point can be a client or server operating system. This action disables WDS, therefore this distribution point cannot use multicast. Disabling PXE responder enables WDS.

When asked are you sure you want to enable PXE responder without WDS, click Yes.

Enable ConfigMgr PXE on Windows 10
Enable PXE on SCCM Distribution Point on Windows 10

Do not select Multicast, click Next.

Do not enable multicast
Do not enable multicast

On the Content Validation page, click Next.

Enable ConfigMgr PXE on Windows 10

You may add or specify the boundary groups to associate with this distribution point. To add the boundary group, click Add and select the boundary group(s). Click Next.

Enable ConfigMgr PXE on Windows 10

Click Next on Summary page and finally click Close.

Enable ConfigMgr PXE on Windows 10

Monitor Distribution Point Role Installation

To monitor the DP role installation, you can use both Monitoring workspace and log files. On the site server, open the Distmgr.log file. This file records content creation, compression, delta replication, and information updates.

After few minutes, notice that on Windows 10 distribution point, ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service is up and running.

ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service
ConfigMgr PXE Responder Service

Go to Monitoring > Overview > Distribution Status > Distribution Point Configuration Status. Select the Windows 10 distribution point and check if it’s all green.

Monitor Distribution Point Role Installation
Monitor Distribution Point Role Installation

On the Windows 10 DP, open the SMSPXE.log file. Look for the line Start SCCM PXE as a service. Next, you can also see the sccmpxe.exe version 5.0.8913.1032 with file location.

SCCM PXE as service
SCCM PXE as service

When you enable PXE responder service on Windows 10 DP, there is no RemoteInstall folder created. Instead sccmpxe.exe executable will respond to PXE requests. In case you are wondering, the Boot Images and content are in the SCCMContentLib folder.

Note – If you have setup this distribution point to run on HTTPS mode, you must perform an additional step. Launch IIS Manager > right click Default web site and click Edit Bindings. Ensure HTTPS is listed along with HTTP. Edit HTTPS and select a valid certificate. If you don’t do this, you may encounter socket connect failed 8007274d. Sending with winhttp failed 80072efd error.

Before you test the PXE and OSD, ensure you distribute your boot Image and OSD content to this Windows 10 DP.

Go to Software Library > Operating Systems > Boot Images. Right-click Boot Image and select Distribute Content. Select the newly created Windows 10 Distribution Point from your DP List.

Congratulations on setting up Windows 10 as distribution point. You can start testing the operating system deployment now.

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Adam

Hi there, if you wanted to use PXE to serve a lot of computers over multicast, how much work is involved in installing and configuring WDS with this method?

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