How to Turn Off Intel® Boot Agent (IBA) or Prevent It from Running


Install & Setup



What is the Intel® Boot Agent (IBA)?

The Intel® Boot Agent (IBA) is firmware in the Network Interface Card (NIC). The Intel® Boot Agent (IBA) allows your networked client computer to boot using an image on a remote server. PC vendors can implement the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) to accommodate various environments and protocols. The BIOS inserts the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) into the list of boot devices. When the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) is ahead of any other bootable device in the list, it executes and tries to boot the computer over the network.

Disabling the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) applies to add-on adapters plugged into a PCI, PCI-X, or PCI Express* slot.

If you have a built-in network connection, refer to your computer's documentation. Usually the settings to disable or enable a boot agent are in the BIOS.

If you have a laptop computer, this information doesn't apply. See your computer BIOS for settings to disable the Intel Boot Agent (IBA).

Note For the latest information on accessing your system BIOS, contact your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) directly.

How do I stop the Intel Boot Agent (IBA)?

You can either:

  • Prevent the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) from executing.
  • Turn the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) off or prevent it from running by using the utility.
Note You don't have to do both options.

To prevent the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) from executing:

  1. Go into the BIOS and find the order settings for the boot devices.
  2. Move the boot agent down the list after the hard drive or the device you prefer to boot from.

To prevent the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) from initializing, use the Intel® Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility (BootUtil.exe) to turn it off. Intel Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility is a program that:

  • Changes the default settings of your Intel® Ethernet Adapter.
  • Enables or disables the Wake-on-LAN.
  • Enables or disables Intel® Boot Agent capabilities and settings.
  • Allows in-the-field upgrades to the image stored in the flash component of the NIC.

The download package contains versions of the utility for DOS, Windows*, Linux*, and UEFI. It also includes the Intel® Boot Agent Guide. Launch index.htm to open the guide, which includes detailed instructions to disable Intel Boot Agent (IBA).

Note This will not work on all OEM motherboards. If this doesn't work, contact your OEM manufacturer.

Instructions on running Intel® Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility.

Download the Intel® Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility (BootUtil.exe).

How do I install the Intel® Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility?

For DOS or UEFI, you can run the program from the folder for that operating system (OS). If you try to run the DOS version of the utility from the Windows* command line, the program fails. The DOS version only runs under DOS.

For Linux* and Windows*, you must first run the installation program.

The installation and boot utility programs are in the folder for your OS, inside the \APPS\BootUtil folder. If the folder for your OS includes an installation program, run the installation before running the Intel Boot Utility.

Installing the boot utility in Windows* overwrites files required for Intel® PROSet for Windows Device Manager. Installation can cause system bug checks or loss of functionality when you use Intel® PROSet or other tools with the same driver. Uninstall Intel® PROSet before installing the utility. After using the utility, reinstall Intel® PROSet. Reinstalling Intel® PROSet overwrites files used by the utility.

Intel Boot Agent (IBA) settings

Intel Boot Agent (IBA) initializes during the system startup, even if it isn't the first boot device. Once the initialization screen displays, press Control-S to configure the Intel Boot Agent (IBA) settings.

  • On desktop adapters: Intel® Boot Agent (IBA) is enabled by default.
  • On server adapters: Intel® Boot Agent (IBA) is disabled by default.
Related topics
Intel® Ethernet Connections Boot Utility
How do I troubleshoot PXE boot with a network protocol analyzer?
Download the Intel® Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility