This is something that has beeen bugging me ever since I set up our BDD 2007 + WDS setup almost a year ago. Even though I was able to create a 64-bit WIM boot image via MDT and load it onto the WDS server, the 64-bit Boot Image was never shown to me when PXE booting from a 64-bit capable PC. All I could see and boot, was the 32-bit boot images. Argh!

After fruitless searching I resigned myself to the fact that if I wanted to deploy Vista 64 I’d just burn an ISO of the 64-bit WinPE Boot Image and install from there. Fortunately, we rarely need to deploy 64-bit Vista, but this may change soon.

However, just now, I found the solution…

To enable 64-bit Boot Images via PXE with WDS, you need to run this command on the WDS Server:

wdsutil /set-server /architecturediscovery:yes

Why this was never mentioned in the Documentation that I read for MDT/BDD I’ll never know (maybe I just missed it), but finally I can boot to 64-bit WinPE and deploy 64-bit Vista from the network, hooray! 😀

I found the answer on EggHeadCafe by searching for: “mdt 2008 deploy 64-bit vista pxe”. Roughly half way down the hard-to-read page was the nugget I needed.

For reference, there’s a proper Microsoft KB article explaining the solution.

Really hopes this helps someone out!

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.



wow, I am so glad i found this.
I was really not looking forward to taking out my frustration physically on this server.


“Why this was never mentioned in the Documentation that I read for MDT/BDD I’ll never know (maybe I just missed it)”

Oh my god you are so right… And no you didn’t miss anything. I went through everything by the [MS] book and this was never mentioned.

From the MS Article you posted:
“By default, architecture detection is turned off.”

What a decision. This is ridiculous…

moonjumper's admin blog

WDS und 64bit Bootimage…

Nachdem ich jetzt einige Zeit mit WDS (Windows Deplyment Service) rumgespielt habe und mit MDT 2010 (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) auch einigermassen vertraut bin wollte ich mich nun mal an die 64bit images machen. Verwunderlich war nur, dass beim Netz…


Thank you very veyr much for “wdsutil /set-server /architecturediscovery:yes”. It was driving me mad!


Thanks. Very handy. Luckily I googled this before I had a chance to get too frustrated. Trying to PXE boot a VM and install Server 2008 R2

[WDS] Tips for beginners

[…] boot x64 from x32 wds server but just would not see the x64 images. Then came across this article how-to-boot-64-bit-boot-image-from-wds-pxe-when-only-32-bit-will-show Now all is fine Reply With Quote […]



I had to restart the WDS services to get it working properly. Otherwise it just sat there after detecting the x64 environment and never connected to the WDS to load the Boot menu.

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