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2565 Discussions

Intel 2-stage Boot keyboard Input


I recently setup and configured Intel AMT in our environment and am training staff on how to use it. We would like to deploy images to PC using IDE-r and VNC KVM remote control. I have created a working iFast boot ISO that points to a network share with some commonly used ISO's. The problem that I am having and have not been able to remedy is that once I select the ISO to be booted it needs some keyboard input and VNC doesn't seem to be passing the key strokes to the remote PC.

Examples: Boot to ifast that points to a network share, boot to Win7PE.iso. After the ISO loads it prompts "Press any key to boot to CD/DVD..." No key strokes are able to be passed to actually continue the boot to the selected ISO and boot resumes to the OS.

I have tested this with Kaspersky's rescue cd that needs an input to boot to the menu and give you a 10 second count timer. No input seems to be passed to continue booting to this. Have even tried clicking the "Ctrl+alt+del" button inside VNC's console.

I also have tested this with a modified version of Hirens boot cd and once it is booted to the menu you are unable to make a selection. I even set the timeout on the menu for an extended time and it never took input.

I have checked the settings inside of VNC and keyboard strokes are check to be passed to the connected PC. The option to use KVM for the ifast.ISO was selected when creating it. I can't think of anything else to do except having to go back and modify the actual ISO's so that they load directly into them without any extra input which would be difficult for some like Hirens as it would have to be broken into several pieces.

I should also note that if a computer is booted to the "Launch Start up Repair or Start up Normally" prompt screen I am also unable to choose between the two which would indicate that any keyboard input during the boot process isn't processed. Through VCN I am able to pass key during the BIOS splash screen time to specify to boot to the BIOS or change boot order.

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5 Replies


In order for the USB keyboard to work in Linux (2 stage), Linux loads a USB driver. It's possible that driver is leaving the USB bus in a state that the next ISO isn't able to access.

Can you please tell me which Intel AMT computer models and KVM software you're using? I will try to reproduce it using the same setup.




I have tested this out on an HP 8200 Elite SFF that has AMT Firmware Version I have also tested this out on an HP 8300 Elite SFF that has AMT Firmware Version I was using the Intel vPro Platform Solution Manager and VNC Viewer Plus to KVM into the machines.

That is along the lines to what I was initially thinking, it might be related or a separate issue but on a normal boot if the computer was powered off improperly and boots to "Start windows normally or Launch start up repair" you are also unable to select either choice as well with VNC Viewer Plus.


I decided to create a new Win7PE SE boot disk that will boot directly to the disk without a prompt. When I boot directly from the disc everything works correctly. When I attempt to boot using the ifast.iso it hangs when trying to load into the win7pe.iso and then doesn't load the customization that I have loaded into the win7PE.iso. Specifically I had a simple .bat file on the desktop and we use Symantec ghost to image and have loaded these into the into the win7pe.iso. Anyone else experiencing anything like this?


I just noticed this post. When booting via 2 stage, WinPE can not see the 2nd stage ISO without a special driver. My guess is that your customizations are not stored in the boot.wim file but rather just on the ISO file system. So, you could either move the customizations (and anything else you need access to) into the boot.wim file. Or you could try to add a driver that can expose the 2nd stage ISO, such as firadisk or winvblock

I've successfully used Firadisk for this purpose ( FiraDisk (latest = - FileDisks/RamDisks: Firadisk, etc. - with WinPE 3.1 32 & 64 bit. When I did this I found that using DISM to include firadisk did not expose the 2nd stage image. Maybe I was doing something wrong. What did work for was me was to place the firadisk drivers in boot.wim at x:\firadisk\ and then loaded them via startnet.cmd with "devcon install x:\firadisk\firadisk.inf root\firadisk". With that, WinPE could see the 2nd stage ISO. Note that this may or may not work for you. I have no experience with Win7SE. Good luck if you try it, and please let me know how it goes.

BTW - if this were my imaging scheme I would place my tools and custom batch scripts on a network share. In my WinPE I'd have startnet.cmd map the share with the net use command and then call the batch scripts and tools from there. This way the PE image is as small as possible for faster booting and I could change the tools and scripts without changing the PE image.


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