A simple task sequence deployed to a collection, a virtual machine (Hyper-V guest) booting with PxE to run that task sequence.
WinPE starts up, loads the networking (which gives a working IP address, can ping/connect to servers) but then the computer just reboots. No errors or warnings.
With WinPE debug mode enabled, you can press F8 to load the command prompt, but smsts.log doesn’t report an obvious error. Lot’s of “access denied” type messages that led me hunting issues with Network access accounts and such
While there are several possible causes, this is not one that occurred to me at first. Simply, check the virtual machine has enough *startup* RAM configured. I had the VM set to use dynamic memory, but WinPE doesn’t support that, so while my VM was happily starting with 512MB, that’s all WinPE ever got.
The only hint I found was in the smsts.log was an entry saying “cannot load XML reply” just after processing policy assignments and computing the hash size. the next step is to download the policy, and it just reported a 0x80004005 error when trying to do so.
To fully load default WinPE for OSD, you need at least 600MB. If you add extra WinPE modules you will need more. If you do want to go with dynamic memory, then it’s probably best to play it safe and just go with 1024MB as your minimum. Chances are your OSD would fail with anything less anyway.