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How to Disable PXE

Updated July 20, 2017

The Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) enables a PC to boot to 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. Since PXE booting is mostly used in specialised corporate environments, most users can safely disable it. The exact 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.

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" or "F2." If Windows loads, you waited too long. If you do it correctly, the BIOS screen will display.

Navigate to "Integrated Devices" using your arrow keys, which may be located under "Advanced." If you cannot find "Integrated Devices," go to step 4.

Find "Network Interface Controller" and set it to "On," rather than "On with PXE" or similar verbiage.

Navigate to "Boot Order," or "Boot Sequence." These options may also be listed under "Advanced."

Disable "Network Boot" or "LAN" if they are listed in your boot order list.

Exit BIOS and save your changes (In most systems, press F10). If you did everything correctly, you won't see any PXE messages at start-up, and your computer will boot directly to whichever device is first on your boot list (usually your hard drive).

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About the Author

A writer and proofreader since 2006, B. Steele also works as an IT Help Desk analyst, specializing in consumer and business user tech support. She earned a B.A. in English and journalism from Roger Williams University. Steele also holds certifications as a Microsoft-certified desktop support technician, Microsoft-certified IT professional, Windows 7 enterprise support technician and CompTIA A+ IT technician.