The Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server in Windows Server 2008 stops working after the authenticating domain controller becomes unavailable if it cannot locate another available domain controller


Consider the following scenario:
  • The Windows Deployment Services (WDS) role is enabled on a Windows Server 2008-based computer.
  • This WDS server is part of a domain, and there are multiple domain controllers.
  • A domain controller becomes unavailable.
In this scenario, one or more of the WDS services cannot start. When this problem occurs, the WDS clients receive the following error message:
PXE-E55 Proxy DHCP Service did not reply to request on port 4011
Additionally, the following events may be logged in the Application logs on the WDS server:


When the WDS Server starts, it discovers a domain controller and a global catalog server pair to read the server settings. Then, the WDS server updates the server settings from this pair every 15 minutes. However, if the pair crashes, the server does not switch to an available pair as expected. Therefore, the server enters an error state.


The hotfix that was described in this article has been replaced by the hotfix in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, 971372. For more information, refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article, and then install the hotfix that is mentioned in that article:
971372 The memory usage of the Svchost.exe process for Windows Deployment Services keeps increasing after you install hotfix 960489 or install Windows Server 2008 SP2


To work around the issue, restart the Windows Deployment Services Server service.

Note You cannot determine which domain controller is the connected domain controller for a WDS server. Therefore, you must restart the WDS service after any domain controller goes down. If multiple WDS servers exists, you have to restart the Windows Deployment Services Server service on every WDS servers if any domain controller is down.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

For more information about the Windows Deployment Services role, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 960489 - Last Review: Sep 16, 2009 - Revision: 1