". . . bind to enceladus-svr.piperspace.com failed. The operation couldn't be completed. Host not found"
Sounds like DNS hostname resolution might not be what it should be? Is your DHCP service configured to hand out the appropriate search domain information?
You can use the tools available in the RecoveryHD to run basic network diagnostics such as ping, nslookup etc. Try using it to test hostname resolution of the server you're trying to bind to on both pointers.
If you're familiar with DeployStudio you can create a minimal netboot set (SIU can do the same if you're more familiar with it?) that will give you similar tools you use in the same way.
Maybe the problem is as simple as that?
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree it seems like a networking issue.
However my DNS setup seems good. I am able to bind the target manually right after NedtBootClientHelper fails.
Has anyone ever seen this feature work?
Or are we saying its been busted so long (since 10.6.x) we should just give it a decent burial and forget about it?
The point I'm trying to make is whether DNS solution is working or being given time enough to work when booting clients using the network bootloader or a DS netboot set? I've seen similar issues as yours and it turned out clients were not getting the correct information when booting using the service yet were when booting normally simply because it took longer to boot normally.
Sorry, I still don't get it.
Why would my DHCP and/or DNS service work differently when a client is booting?
And anyway the helper runs after NetRestore completes and the machine is booting normally.
Unless someone has seen this feature working I think its reasonable to conclude it does not.
That is the point I am trying to make.
No I did not get it either but it turned out to be true as there was another DHCP server on the network. It was a cheap SOHO router that had fallen behind a filing cabinet in the admin office. The network administrator had used it temporarily to get over a problem in the mistaken belief it was a small 4 port hub and forgotten all about it.
I'm not saying this is the case for your situation and I'm only offering it as a possibility. If it's not a real or even remote possibility then please ignore whatever I've offered.
OK. I isolated my lab gear & tested your idea.
The set up is a new Apple Airport providing DHCP, a Mavericks Server providing NetInstall and Open Directory services, a Windows 2008 Server providing DNS plus Active Directory and a Mac Mini client.
Its still busted.
To your point though, I did notice that the Airport DHCP takes quite a while to assign an IP to the client.
Will this feature work properly if I use a faster DHCP service?
Possibly although I'm confused about how your network is arranged? Are you saying you're using the Airport Express DHCP Service rather than what's coming from your DC? Do you have more than one DHCP server on your network? If so are you certain which DHCP Service your clients are using?
IMHO I class Apple's networking products as SOHO and its DHCP service is not something I'd give serious consideration to in an 'enterprise' environment. Don't get me wrong they're nice enough products (if slightly over-priced IMO) and I've used them many times as WAPs and nothing else.
What happens if you use what your Windows Server is providing or even OS X Server instead?
What can I tell you? If configured correctly it works and it has worked for me in the past when I used it although I did use other methods to bind to AD and OD or OD on its own as part of the deployment. I've never used an Airport Express as the DHCP Server at any time. I do have a Cisco based DHCP Server and router which I have used on occasion and it has worked and continues to work well for me. However since 10.7 I moved to a DeployStudio and Munki based deployment solution which does everything I want. Prior to that (10.6, 10.5, 10.4 and 10.3) NetBoot did all I asked of it.
I occasionally still use SIU/NetBoot in smaller (20 or less) environments simply because it's easier for my customers to understand than other similar products.
Antonio - Thanks so much for your thoughts & ideas. I really appreciate it.
You are probably right that the symptoms will change if I use a faster DHCP service.
However, my specific issue is that I have never yet seen the "connect to directory" feature work.
It seems to lack robustness (i.e. Its busted.)
IMHO - Apple should either make it work under field conditions or deprecate/remove the feature from SIU.
If it works properly for someone I would love to hear about it.
Additional follow up: I adpated for 10.9.x the Bash script I wrote four years ago to get around a very similar issue in Mac OSX 10.6.
The script works.
NetBootClientHelper still does not.
Opened bug report 619689 with Apple.