Disable PXE Intel Boot Agent GE Which Displays Client Mac Addr
One thing that can be annoying on Dell servers is the long boot process though you can modify the BIOS and other items to make the boot process faster. One of this first things I always do is disable the PXE boot delay by making a modification to the BIOS and by modifying the settings of the Intel Boot Agent. A better view and description of the PXE boot delay on a Dell Poweredge 650 is displayed below as well as both of the modifications used to minimize the delay of the PXE Intel Boot Agent.
Intel Boot Agent: PXE Boot Delay
As you can see above there are a couple delays during boot caused by the PXE boot attempt including the Intel Boot Agent settings displayed twice and the PXE boot attempt displayed on the line starting with CLIENT MAC ADDR:. Below are the two ways to minimize the delay caused by the Intel Boot Agent.
Modify Dell 650 BIOS Boot Order To Not Attempt PXE Boot:
Click F2 during boot to enter he BIOS on the PE650. Once the BIOS is displayed scroll down until you can click on Boot Sequence. Once you have clicked Boot Sequence the box in the above image will appear and allow you to modify the boot order. Move both of the Ethernet cards, listed as Slot 2: IBA GE Slot 0118 v1210 and Slot 2: IBA GE Slot 0119 v1210, to the last boot option available which in this case are spots four and five. Doing this will guarantee the server will boot from the hard drive before attempting to boot from the network.
Modify Intel Boot Agent Settings:
You can enter the Intel Boot Agent settings by clicking Ctrl-S when displayed by the Intel Boot Agent during boot. By default the Intel Boot Agent has the Show Setup Prompt set to Enabled and the Setup Menu Wait Time set to 5 seconds. Modify each of these settings as shown in the image above and then reboot your server. This time you will only see the Intel Boot Agent settings prompt once and for a short amount of time as well as no PXE boot attempt making the PE650 boot process much quicker.