Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Network Path Not Found"

I was CURSED with this error for 4 days trying to get WDS to work. I could capture an image and send it to the WDS server just fine, but I could not deploy any images.

Specifically, I could PXE boot to the WDS server and load the "Windows Vista Longhorn Setup" (aka boot.wim - with drivers added), but after hitting "Next" the prompt to authenticate to the WDS server came up, and the problems started. After putting in my valid Domain Admin credentials, i would eventually get a pop-up error box saying "Network Path Not Found."

I was getting the "network path not found" error earlier, but it was because I did not have the NIC drivers added to the boot.wim file. I've added those now. I can successfully CAPTURE images from the clients (this works fine). My issue occurs when I try to send an image to a client (re-image the client). I PXE boot to the WDS server, select the "Windows Vista Longhorn Setup" and it loads. I click next, then I am prompted to authenticate to my DC. I put in my account in the domain\administrator format, enter the password, and hit next. Around 30 seconds later, it pops up an error message that says "An error occurred while processing your request. The network path was not found". However, if I did a Shift-F10 to pull up the command prompt and do an ipconfig /all, I have all the IP information from DHCP. I could ping the server by IP and by its DNS name.

So, I started thinking I'd figure out how do to this through MDT 2010 and LiteTouch, instead of just through WDS. Then I had an issue where I would have needed to add the drivers to the winpe.wim file (I only added them to the boot.wim). I had already upgraded my WAIK to 3.0 (Windows 7 version) so that I could use MDT 2010. WAIK 3.0 DOES NOT let you work with Vista .wim files. So, I was going to load WAIK 2.0 on a laptop, and copy the winpe.wim file across the network from the server to the laptop, modify it, and push it back.

AND THEN I FOUND THE PROBLEM. When I did a "Start->Run->\\machine-name\share-name\", I got a NEW error, but it sounded like a cousin, or maybe even a brother, of the error I'd gotten with WDS. Here was the new error:

"no network provider accepted the given network path"

Interesting. A bit of googling landed me at multiple forum posts, but this one:


was the most helpful. Basically, it boiled down to this:


Specifically, in a Vista/Win7/Server2008 system, Go to Network -> Network and Sharing -> Turn on File and Print Sharing, then Turn on "Everyone on the network has access" (You can decide read only or allow everyone to change files as well). Also, go to "Manage Network Connections," go to the properties for the network adapter you're working with, and check the box beside "Microsoft File and Printer Sharing".

Make sure all that saves, then try to run WDS again. This worked for me! Hope it helps...


  1. thanks a lot...after scratching my head for 2 hours..now i am laughing at myself that it was so simple...
    thanks for the help..
    this has saved my day

  2. Saved me too. Thanks for sharing