I’ve hit this issue in the past, and I’ve hit it again this week!
One of our deployment servers had deleted a load of data off of it’s OS drive. As this is a physical server, we didn’t have a snapshot to resort to, so I pulled the short straw and was given the task of rebuilding it.

Unfortunately this our prime time and we need this deployment server back up and running ASAP!

In this case, the server is Dell hardware running Windows Server 2008 R2 with 2x Intel Xeon X5650 processors. This is the cause of this error message.
The processors in question, have 6 cores with hyper threading. That gives us a total of 24 logical processors.
There is a bug in WDS which means the service will not start in a timely fashion if there are more than 20 logical processors available.

One fix for this bug is open up a command prompt window and enter:

This will edit your boot config to only use 20 of the logical processors available.
This change is easily reverted, by running the following command:


Alternatively, Microsoft have released a Hotfix (KB2121690) to resolve the issue.


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