3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2006 1:43 PM by James Hollinger

    odd hang while provisioning Windows 2003 on an IBM x336

    Chris Zappala

      So here's an odd one. We're provisiong an IBM xSeries 336 server with dual NICs. when the network cable is plugged into the "primary" (that is, the ethernet interface marked 1 on the backplane) the system will provision to the point that setup copies files to the server, then it hangs around 96%. This happens consistently. When we provision on the "secondary" there are no issues.


      I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the way we specify the unattend entries for the ethernet adapters in the system package and what interface we're working on. The strange thing is that we specify that we're working with "Adapter1" yet we're plugged into the second interface. The following are the relevant entries from the exported system package in XML.


      Any ideas here? The parameter below that specifies InfID, which Identifies a network adapter with a value that is the same as the adapter’s Plug and Play ID, we set to "*"


      According to Microsoft Technet "If you use the entry InfID = *, Setup matches the first enumerated or detected network adapter on the computer with the settings in this section. Therefore, on a computer with a single network card, you can specify adapter-specific entries without knowing the name or type of the network adapter.


      For computers with more than one network adapter, you must specify the correct Plug and Play ID of each adapter. For computers with multiple adapters of the same type (that is, the Plug and Play ID for each is the same), you must specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location information. If you do not specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location, only the first adapter enumerated or detected that matches the InfID receives the answer file entries.


      If you specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location, Setup does not use this entry because it is the least specific entry."




        • 1. Re: odd hang while provisioning Windows 2003 on an IBM x336

          The interface info which is in the Unattend.txt file is only used to set the Windows network adapter properties well further along in the installation. At the file copy stage you are still using the IP info retrieved from the DHCP server by the DOS boot image (and not using any of the net adapter configurations from the Unattend.txt).


          My guess is that there is some adapter setting such as duplex (set in the bios) or network issues (switch settings/packet loss etc) that is happening. Are you connecting the second NIC to the same switch port that the 1st one was plugged into for the test? If not it may be a network issue. If so, it would be a NIC issue. I really doubt it has anything to do with the entries in the Unattend.txt, because they are not even being used at this point.

          • 2. Re: odd hang while provisioning Windows 2003 on an IBM x336
            Chris Zappala

            Hi James,


            It is plugged into the same switch on the same port. So that would point to a NIC issue.


            I'll take a look at the settings in the BIOS, and I'll see if there have been any updates from IBM that reference any issues related to this.


            It was very odd because the failures would always occur after approximately 96% of the setup files for the windows 2003 install had been copied to the bare-metal server. Then it would just sit there and hang, eventually coming back with a message indicating " to try again."



            • 3. Re: odd hang while provisioning Windows 2003 on an IBM x336

              Not sure why it would always be happening at the same point, unless there is a large file or something that is copied at that time. Are both NICs the same type? Are they both onboard? Also, the NICs sometimes have their own little bios you can get into by hitting a key during the boot sequence which is different from the main bios. Not sure about that model, but it is something to look into. Also, do you have another same type of server you can try booting from each NIC? This might isolate the problem to that specific server.