Friday, June 12, 2009

Error "The Network is not present or not started" at WinPE

While capturing Image using Windows Vista WinPE environment, when you specify the server name and click on Connect, you may get error "The network is not present or not started"

This happens because the network is not yet initialized under the WinPE environment due a conflict of Ethernet drivers under WinPE.

1. While in Windows Vista WinPE environment, press Shift + F10 and it will bring up the WinPE Command prompt.
2. Type ipconfig to check the IP address details.
3. If the IP address does not show up, it means the network is not yet initialized and there could be a conflict of NIC card drivers within winpe.
4. Try to initialize the network using the command from X:\Windows\System32
Wpeutil initializenetwork
5. If the command completes successfully, you will be able to see the IP address details by executing command ipconfig /all. Try to ping the WDS server to verify network connectivity.
6. If the command fails, then you will have to install the NIC drivers again within winpe.
7. Locate the Ethernet driver cd and put it in to the cdrom. Browse to the CD drive from winpe command prompt and install the drivers again.

Alternate method, is to locate the driver file ex; driver.inf and burn it to a CD. Put the CD in the drive. From the prompt X:\Windows\System32 execute the command

DRVLoad Driverletter:\driver.inf

Replace the word driver with the name of the driver file, ex: e1000325.inf

8. Once the drivers are installed, switch to the X:\windows\System32 prompt again and execute the command wpeutil initilializenetwork command once again.

Now the command should initialize the network and you should be able to ping the WDS server.


  1. Start the workstation service-worked for me

  2. "Wpeutil initializenetwork" this fixed my dreaded "Workstation Service is not started" issue with the "Net Use" I run it and I get a proper address and can map a drive for the WDS capture.

  3. Great explanation. Thanks a lot. Greetings from PerĂº.

  4. How do we fix the conflict within the WinPE boot wim?
    Added drivers to WDS and updated image, yet we still need to run
    wpeutil initializenetwork

    Before we can capture to the WDS server