How to Disable PXE

By B. Steele

The Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) enables a PC to boot from a network location, eliminating the need for locally-attached hard disk drives. In PCs with PXE-enabled Network Interface Cards (NICs), PXE appears as a boot option when you start up the PC. The procedure for disabling PXE boot varies from vendor to vendor, but in all cases, you can only disable it from the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) interface, also known as the System Setup screen on some computers

Step 1

Turn on your computer, and press the needed key to enter “Setup.” The specific key to use will appear briefly at the bottom or top of the display when the initial splash screen loads. Common keys are ESC, F2, or F12. Consult the documentation for your computer. If you successfully pressed the right key, the BIOS screen will appear without loading Windows.

Step 2

Navigate to “Integrated Devices” using your arrow keys, which may be located under “Advanced.” Find “Network Interface Controller” and set it to “On,” rather than “On with PXE.” The exact wording varies with each manufacturer. This disables PXE.

Step 3

Navigate to “Boot Order,” or “Boot Sequence” if you can't find the PXE option. These options may also be listed under “Advanced.” Move the network card from the top of the boot order list to the bottom. This essentially disables PXE, letting the computer boot from the hard drive or other media instead of the network card.

Step 4

Save your changes and exit the BIOS. In most systems, press F10 . If you did everything correctly, you won’t see any PXE messages at startup, and your computer will boot directly to whichever device is first on your boot list, like your computer hard drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since PXE booting is usually enabled for specific reasons on a network, contact the network administrator before accessing a computer's BIOS.