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Diskless Windows 10 PC Setup Procedure

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I wanted to let you guys know that I may give up diskless boot. A LPS-1 is on order, and I'm going to compare ssd boot with LPS1 power vs. ISCSI boot.

 

Expect a report in the next few weeks.

 

Larry

 

Why not do both at the same time: diskless and LPS? Or do you find diskless too much hassle?

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Why not do both at the same time: diskless and LPS? Or do you find diskless too much hassle?

If I have no disk, then there is nothing to power with the UpTone LPS-1!

 

And yes, while diskless is a hassle the SQ benefits have been worth the extra effort.

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If I have no disk, then there is nothing to power with the UpTone LPS-1!

 

And yes, while diskless is a hassle the SQ benefits have been worth the extra effort.

 

Would not you expect clean power to be beneficial for the motherboard alone?

 

Could be interesting to compare:

(1) dirty power and diskless

(2) clean power with disk

(3) clean power and diskless

 

I currently have the latter.

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Would not you expect clean power to be beneficial for the motherboard alone?

 

Could be interesting to compare:

(1) dirty power and diskless

(2) clean power with disk

(3) clean power and diskless

 

I currently have the latter.

 

bodiebill:

 

I do not understand "clean power and diskless". My MoBo has a 24 pin connector connected to a 300W HDPlex ATX LPS, is that what you mean by clean power and diskless. I am sure you could not power up the MoBo with LPS-1. Thanks.

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bodiebill:

 

I do not understand "clean power and diskless". My MoBo has a 24 pin connector connected to a 300W HDPlex ATX LPS, is that what you mean by clean power and diskless. I am sure you could not power up the MoBo with LPS-1. Thanks.

 

Sorry, I was referring to LPS's in general. In my case a 100W HDPlex. So comparing the 3 scenarios may not work for Imitche...

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Yes, I was talking about the ssd only. Even with a proper LPS powering the motherboard, ram and CPU, many find that separate power to the ssd adds SQ benefits.

 

Obviously, the work to ISCSI boot the PC was designed to eliminate the ssd related noise entirely.

 

The LPS-1 was not available a year ago when the ISCSI boot work started. Now that it's here, it seems to make sense to revisit the topic. Also there is a lot that has changed in the past year, Roon, i7-6700k upsampling to DSD512, new HQplayer releases, usb galvanic isolation, three or four releases of Windows 10.... and I am sure I'm missing something. This all has created a different set of performance demands, and the virtual system disk over a 1gb network may not sound best anymore.

 

However, even with ultra clean power, the ssd technology itself may make a lot of noise that is best eliminated with ISCSI or ram boot. I aim to find out once my LPS-1 arrives.

 

If anyone has a strong preference for any specific SSD vendor from a SQ standpoint, please share.

 

Thanks, Larry

Edited by lmitche

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Larry: That will be interesting. I am booting my CtrlPC and AudioPC over the network using method suggested by scan in the first post here. Look forward to your findings.

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Hey been a while since I last visited. Has RS1 relaxed iscsi network driver requirements? I remember the driverstore being very difficult to modify so that I can deploy one disk with win10 preinstalled for use across many machines.

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Just to confirm that scan80269's setup procedure also works for two PC's running Server 2016 in GUI mode.

 

Thanks for the confirmation. I also succeeded with Windows Server 2016 just the other day, but you got there first.

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Hey been a while since I last visited. Has RS1 relaxed iscsi network driver requirements? I remember the driverstore being very difficult to modify so that I can deploy one disk with win10 preinstalled for use across many machines.

 

You may be better off using differencing disks. Create one parent virtual disk and write-protect it, then one child disk for each machine booting diskless.

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You may be better off using differencing disks. Create one parent virtual disk and write-protect it, then one child disk for each machine booting diskless.

 

 

well thats if you're using windows server. i was kinda planning on using linux.

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I was setting up an Intel NUC6i5SYH to run Windows Server 2012 R2 diskless, but found out the hard way that Intel's latest LAN drivers do not support Windows Server OS with their I217-V / I218-V / I219-V "consumer" gigabit Ethernet series. The NUC6i5SYH features onboard I219-V and I could get Win10 running diskless but not Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016, as the Intel LAN driver that works with Win10 refuses to install against these Server OS.

 

I've been on Intel's forum disputing their claim that Windows Server 2012 (not R2) is supported for I219-V with their drivers. Meanwhile, I discovered I could get this NUC6i5SYH to boot Windows Server 2012 R2 diskless by manually forcing the Intel LAN driver to install against I219-V by selecting I219-LM during INF-based driver installation. The driver will install and run with this trick, but this configuration is not supported by Intel.

 

If your motherboard features Realtek LAN or Intel I217-LM / I218-LM / I219-LM LAN there should be no driver-related issue getting Windows Server 2012 R2 or 2016 to run diskless.

Edited by scan80269

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well thats if you're using windows server. i was kinda planning on using linux.

lmitche can probably give you good advice using Linux as iSCSI server.

 

Separately, I've observed that Windows 10 Anniversary Edition (Version 1607) seems to lend itself better to over-the-network installation into a virtual disk directly on the diskless client. This Windows 10 edition is the first one to allow me to skip using a local hard disk as part of the diskless client setup procedure. I'm still testing sporadically to determine whether an updated procedure can work robustly.

 

The good news is that the original procedure I posted has been confirmed to work for Win10 (any edition), Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016.

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lmitche can probably give you good advice using Linux as iSCSI server.

 

Separately, I've observed that Windows 10 Anniversary Edition (Version 1607) seems to lend itself better to over-the-network installation into a virtual disk directly on the diskless client. This Windows 10 edition is the first one to allow me to skip using a local hard disk as part of the diskless client setup procedure. I'm still testing sporadically to determine whether an updated procedure can work robustly.

 

The good news is that the original procedure I posted has been confirmed to work for Win10 (any edition), Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016.

 

 

Good to know. When I did my testing on TH1 it was a complete disaster. I'm looking forward to structuring diskless win10 thin clients via linux. Will give it another shot when time allows.

 

Great thread.

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Still happy with diskless booting for my audio PC. However, once every week or so, it refuses to boot with error messages like:

"Could not open SAN device: Connection reset (http://ipxe.org/0f0a6039)" and

"Could not boot image: Connection reset (http://ipxe.org/0f0a6039)"

 

The Tiny PXE server log (see below) seems pretty normal, that is, similar to what it says when booting is succesful.

 

The only way to boot again is when I restore a previous image on the server. But I would rather not do that every week :-|

 

Anyone has an idea what can be the problem?

 

Tiny PXE server log:

13:19:29 ROOT=C:\TFTProot\

13:19:29 DHCPd:67 started...

13:19:29 DHCPd:4011 started...

13:19:29 TFPTd started...

13:19:29 HTTPd started...

13:19:48 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:48 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 PDHCPd:REQUEST received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, IP:192.168.1.202, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 Proxy boot filename empty?

13:19:52 PDHCPd: DHCP_ACK sent, IP:192.168.1.202:68, xid:4D6813CD

13:19:52 TFTPd: DoReadFile:ipxe-undionly.kpxe B:1456 T:0

13:19:58 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 DHCPd:iPXE user-class detected

13:19:58 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 TFTPd: DoReadFile:iscsi.ipxe B:1432 T:265

13:19:58 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:1494A56D

13:19:58 DHCPd:iPXE user-class detected

13:19:58 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:1494A56D

13:19:58 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:1494A56D

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Hi all, in the end I abandoned the diskless boot for my HQplayer upsampling machine. The use of a Crucial SSD powered by a LPS-1 creates a very fast and quiet solution that on balance is a major sound quality improvement from the ISCSI boot solution.

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Hi all, in the end I abandoned the diskless boot for my HQplayer upsampling machine. The use of a Crucial SSD powered by a LPS-1 creates a very fast and quiet solution that on balance is a major sound quality improvement from the ISCSI boot solution.

 

Hi Imitche,

 

This reminds me of my own JPLAY dual PC setup which is currently:

- HQPlayer upsampling machine = iSCSI server = Control PC

- diskless and optically isolated audio PC

Is your setup similar apart from the diskless boot?

 

And is it correct that if I will put an SSD in the audio PC and use this PC only for JPLAY with Audiophile Optimizer and Fidelizer Pro, then most processes will run from RAM and hardly any disk access is necessary while playing the music?

 

Just thinking aloud... I would love to have an unproblematic setup. Restoring a previous image every week is not ideal.

 

And how crucial is the SSD brand? :-)

Edited by bodiebill

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Hi bodiebill, I don't run Jplay or Fidelizer. My SSD based win10 image is treated with AO, and runs HQplayer + Roon on the same machine, with music served via a NAS. Please look in the Windows optimization script for details.

 

This machine has a direct USB connection to my DAC.

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Hi bodiebill, I don't run Jplay or Fidelizer. My SSD based win10 image is treated with AO, and runs HQplayer + Roon on the same machine, with music served via a NAS. Please look in the Windows optimization script for details.

This machine has a direct USB connection to my DAC.

 

Thanks Imitche. With all the heavy lifting going on your PC, I am impressed that you succeeded to get such a great sound – even better than diskless.

 

What is this Windows optimization script you mention?

And do you think SSD brand / size / specs make a difference?

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Still happy with diskless booting for my audio PC. However, once every week or so, it refuses to boot with error messages like:

"Could not open SAN device: Connection reset (http://ipxe.org/0f0a6039)" and

"Could not boot image: Connection reset (http://ipxe.org/0f0a6039)"

 

The Tiny PXE server log (see below) seems pretty normal, that is, similar to what it says when booting is succesful.

 

The only way to boot again is when I restore a previous image on the server. But I would rather not do that every week :-|

 

Anyone has an idea what can be the problem?

 

Tiny PXE server log:

13:19:29 ROOT=C:\TFTProot\

13:19:29 DHCPd:67 started...

13:19:29 DHCPd:4011 started...

13:19:29 TFPTd started...

13:19:29 HTTPd started...

13:19:48 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:48 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 PDHCPd:REQUEST received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, IP:192.168.1.202, XID:4D6813CD

13:19:52 Proxy boot filename empty?

13:19:52 PDHCPd: DHCP_ACK sent, IP:192.168.1.202:68, xid:4D6813CD

13:19:52 TFTPd: DoReadFile:ipxe-undionly.kpxe B:1456 T:0

13:19:58 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 DHCPd:iPXE user-class detected

13:19:58 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:7CD99905

13:19:58 TFTPd: DoReadFile:iscsi.ipxe B:1432 T:265

13:19:58 DHCPd: DISCOVER received, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:1494A56D

13:19:58 DHCPd:iPXE user-class detected

13:19:58 DHCPd:OFFER sent, IP:0.0.0.0, XID:1494A56D

13:19:58 DHCPd:REQUEST discarded, MAC:00-E0-4C-68-13-CD, XID:1494A56D

I have seen this on occasion months ago. The iSCSI image on the Control PC somehow gets corrupted and becomes unbootable. It's unlikely to be Tiny PXE Server's fault.

 

What is the brand & model of NIC in your audio PC? I may be able to provide an alternative diskless PC setup procedure that can make the audio PC less susceptible to this boot issue. I can generate a customized WinPE bootable disk image with iSCSI client enabled and NIC driver injected, to be used for OS installation into the iSCSI virtual disk for the audio PC without going through the local hard disk step. After testing this newer method to set up a diskless PC, I have yet to encounter this boot issue, so if you don't mind doing some work on your diskless audio PC, I can help you try this.

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I have seen this on occasion months ago. The iSCSI image on the Control PC somehow gets corrupted and becomes unbootable. It's unlikely to be Tiny PXE Server's fault.

 

What is the brand & model of NIC in your audio PC? I may be able to provide an alternative diskless PC setup procedure that can make the audio PC less susceptible to this boot issue. I can generate a customized WinPE bootable disk image with iSCSI client enabled and NIC driver injected, to be used for OS installation into the iSCSI virtual disk for the audio PC without going through the local hard disk step. After testing this newer method to set up a diskless PC, I have yet to encounter this boot issue, so if you don't mind doing some work on your diskless audio PC, I can help you try this.

Thanks scan80269.

 

I did backup the iSCSI image, but restoring that did not help. I had to restore the whole OS image.

 

My NIC is a Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller. I really appreciate your offer to supply a customized WinPE bootable disk image which could solve my issue, and I will be happy to spend some work on it. So thanks; and yes please.

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Thanks scan80269.

 

I did backup the iSCSI image, but restoring that did not help. I had to restore the whole OS image.

 

My NIC is a Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller. I really appreciate your offer to supply a customized WinPE bootable disk image which could solve my issue, and I will be happy to spend some work on it. So thanks; and yes please.

I forgot to ask you whether you prefer running Windows Server 2016 GUI mode on your audio PC. I actually have a bootable iSCSI image (.VHDX) for remote installing WS2016 for diskless clients. It's about 6GB in size. My Dropbox account does not have the capacity to hold such a file. Is there a place I can upload this file to for you to access?

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