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  • WDS service refuse to start with error 0xFFFFFBB3 when using more than 20 logical cpus

    Posted on October 13th, 2010 By Andreas Stenhall + 2 comments

    The other week I stumbled across a very interesting fact, a fact that the Windows Deployment Server service refused to start on a clean installed Windows Server 2008 R2. After troubleshooting for a whole day, even reinstalling the OS, reproducing the error even without any patches seemed very strange. The WDS service is a service that normally just works. The following error was logged:

    Log Name: Application
    Source: WDSServer
    Date: 2010-10-04 17:14:23
    Event ID: 257
    Task Category: WDSServer
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: wds.contoso.com
    An error occurred while trying to start the Windows Deployment Services server.
    Error Information: 0xFFFFFBB3

    An important fact is that the server to be used for deployments was a retired yet powerful TS/RDS server with two six core processors using hyper threading, making it 24 logical processors.  Not likely to be the hardware specs of a regular deployment server but hey, it can obviously be scenarios where this might be an issue. Thanks goes to a colleague (Jeanette) who figured out that we could try to set the number of logical processors being used to two. Guess what, after a reboot the WDS service started just fine!

    To change the number of used processors we used:

    bcdedit /set {current} numproc 2

    To revert this change you could use:

    bcdedit /deletevalue {current} numproc

    After some work with Microsoft Product Services and Support it appears to be a bug nevertheless. The limit for the number of logical processors you can have for the WDS service to start is 20. Bear this in mind…