Unable to PXE Boot on a Dell Optiplex 990

When attempting to PXE/network boot a Dell Optiplex 990, you may receive the following error:

optiplex_990_not_pxe_bootingIntel(R) Boot Agent GE v1.3.63
Copyright (C) 1997-2010, Intel Corporation

Intel(R) Boot Agent PXE Base Code (PXE-2.1 build 089)
Copyright (C) 1997-2010, Intel Corporation

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PEX-M0F: Exiting Intel Boot Agent.

The issue appears to be caused with several different managed switches that include PoE (Power over Ethernet) that cause the media test portion of the network boot process to fail.

If you receive this error, check the BIOS revision on the computer.  BIOS revision A06 resolves this issue, but there are newer versions available.  Also be aware that you may have to install multiple BIOS updates to get the Optiplex 990 to the latest version.

Product Support for Dell Optiplex 990

Kyle Beckman

Kyle Beckman

Kyle is a Systems Administrator with 15+ years of experience. He currently works in Higher Education supporting everything from smartphones to desktop PC's to Hyper-V Failover Clusters. (If it has a IP address, he probably supports it!) He has also worked in Small Business IT consulting supporting a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Kyle is also the Vice President of the Atlanta Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group (WINVUG).You can find additional articles he's written on 4sysops.com.
Kyle Beckman

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