winpe download too slow

  • I am looking to use the winpe imaging environment as I am trying to build a setup where reimaging is done very often, and i need it to be done very fast too. I have a dual port 10gbit NIC in each machine, and in a Windows environment, with SMB NetworkDirect enabled, i reach a full 1.98 GB/s rate--nice. In Ubuntu, i reach barely 10% of that, not enough.

    Building the WinPE image went fine, but i run into these issues:

    1. downloading the wim through tftp takes too long (at this point, the 10gbit nics are not used because no driver)
    2. would like to have a client console in the WinPE environment for testing

    For 1, i thought to use iPXE instead, and get it to load the winPE environment over HTTP. I have not yet managed to get this ported though, moving the files to the kernels and images directory and then adding this to the ipxe boot menu:

      imgfetch --name BCD
      imgfetch --name boot.sdi
      imgfetch --name boot.wim

    But then i don't really know what i am doing yet. Will RTFM, but if the solution is obvious, i'd be happy to hear.

    For 2, I'd be happy to implement that myself in the WinPE environment, but could you give me a hint which file i should be looking at? Will contribute back if this works out well.

    Thanks a lot!

  • If your looking for speed, I would abandon the thought of using WinPE. It's an alternative method to Linux for compatibility issues, not designed for speed. First of all tftp is very slow so transferring the large WinPE boot image will take a while and that won't change with 10G

  • Thanks! I'll see if i can get the Linux side fast then first. The thought was that, assuming that the WinPE environment has a proper network stack supporting the same advanced SMB features as Windows Server (not desktop, RDMA is not supported there), then the client image can be deployed fast. If the WinPE image itself can be downloaded faster through HTTP, that would be nice too. But thats a lot of hurdles, and I would prefer to stick with the most-trodden path of CD usage. I come from a few-years old Crucible install, which was already great, and i love what you have done with the place now!