Use Remote Installation Service to Install Windows on Remote Computers

How To Use Remote Installation Service to Install Windows Server 2003 on Remote Computers

This step-by-step article describes how to use Remote
Installation Service (RIS) to install Windows Server 2003 on remote

You can use RIS to remotely set up new Microsoft Windows
Server 2003-based computers by using a RIS network shared folder as the source
of the Windows Server 2003 files. You can install operating systems on remote
boot-enabled client computers. Client computers are connected to the network,
and are then started by using a Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE)-capable
network adapter or remote boot disk. The client then logs on with a valid user

RIS Hardware Requirements

The following is the minimum hardware that is required for the
RIS server:

  • The server must meet the minimum hardware requirements for
    the version of Windows Server 2003 that is installed.
  • A four gigabyte (GB) drive that is dedicated to the RIS
    directory tree on the RIS server.
  • A 10 or 100 megabit per second (Mbps) network adapter that
    supports TCP/IP. 100 Mbps is preferred.

    NOTE: Dedicate a whole hard disk or partition specifically to the RIS
    directory tree. SCSI-based disk controllers and disks are preferred.

    The drive on the server on which you will install RIS must be formatted with
    the NTFS file system. RIS requires a lot of disk space, and you cannot install
    it on the same drive or partition on which Windows Server 2003 is installed.
    Make sure that the chosen drive contains enough free disk space for at least
    one full set of the installation files for the operating system you plan to
    remotely install.

Client Hardware Requirements

The following list describes the minimum hardware that is
required for RIS client computers:

  • Meet the minimum operating system hardware requirements.
  • PXE DHCP-based boot ROM version 1.00 or later network
    adapter, or a network adaptor that is supported by the RIS boot disk.

    NOTE: Always contact the manufacturer of your network adapter to
    obtain the latest version of the PXE DHCP-based boot ROM.

Software Requirements

Several network services must be active and available for RIS.
You can install the following services either on the RIS server or on other
servers that are available on the network:

  • Domain Name System (DNS Service)
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Active Directory “Directory” service

Prerequisites for Client Installations

Make sure that the client computer’s network adapter has been set
as the primary boot device in the computer BIOS. If the network adapter is
configured as the primary boot device, the client requests a network service
boot from the RIS server on the network when the client starts. After the
client contacts the RIS, the client is prompted to press the F12 key to
download the Client Installation Wizard. Do not press F12 unless you need a new
operating system installation or access to maintenance and troubleshooting

After the client operating system has been installed by using
RIS, you can ignore the prompt to press F12 during future client computer
startups. You can also reset the client BIOS so that the primary boot device is
the floppy disk drive, the hard disk, or the CD-ROM drive.

To use the
remote boot disk to start the installation, insert the boot disk into the
floppy disk drive, and then start the client computer. The floppy disk drive
must be set as the primary boot device in the client BIOS. After the computer
starts from the disk, you are prompted to press F12 to start the network
service boot process. You must remove the boot disk after you press F12 and
before the text-mode portion of the operating system installation

NOTE: You may have to press F12 on some Compaq computers during
startup. In this case, you must press F12 on the Compaq startup screen, and
then press F12 again when you are prompted by the RIS server.

Install Windows Server 2003 RIS

  1. Click Start, point to Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  3. Click to select the Remote Installation Services check box, and then click Next.

    NOTE: If you are prompted for the Windows Server 2003 installation
    files, put the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive, and then click OK. After you do so, you may receive a message with options for
    upgrading the operating system. Click No.

  4. Click Finish, and then click Yes to restart your computer.

Set Up RIS

  1. Log on as a user with administrative privileges.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type risetup.exe, and then click OK to start the RIS Setup Wizard.
  3. When the “Welcome” screen appears, click Next.
  4. Type the drive letter and folder in which the RIS files are
    stored, and then click Next. For example, you might type E:RemoteInstall, and then click Next.
  5. After the RIS Setup Wizard copies the files, you are be
    prompted to enable or disable the RIS service, and the options are:
    • Respond to client computers requesting
      . If you select this option, RIS is enabled, and it will
      respond to client computers that are requesting service.
    • Do not respond to unknown client
      . If you select this option, RIS only responds to known
      client computers.
  6. Click Respond to client computers requesting
    , and then click Next.
  7. You are then prompted for the location of the client
    operating system installation files. Put the client operating system CD-ROM in
    the server CD-ROM drive, and then click Next.

    Microsoft only supports the use of Microsoft media when creating a
    client operating system image. The use of non-Microsoft media is not

  8. Type the folder name for the client operating system
    installation files on the RIS server, and then click Next.
  9. Type a friendly description for the operating system image.
    This is displayed to users after they start a remote client and run the Client
    Installation Wizard.
  10. Click Next, click Finish, and then click Done.

Authorize RIS in Active Directory

After you install RIS, the RIS server must be authorized in
Active Directory. Authorization determines control of which RIS servers can
serve client computers on the network. If the RIS server is not authorized in
Active Directory, client computers that request service cannot contact the RIS

NOTE: To authorize a RIS server in Active Directory, you must be
logged on as an enterprise administrator or a domain administrator of the root

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DHCP.
  2. In the left pane, right-click DHCP, and then click Manage Authorized Servers.
  3. If your server is not listed, click Authorize, type the name or the IP address of the RIS server, and then
    click OK.

    NOTE: If you are prompted to confirm the RIS server, verify the name
    and IP address, and then click OK.

  4. Click Close, and then quit the DHCP console.

Set User Permissions

With RIS, clients can install their own client operating system.
The users must also be granted permissions for creating computer accounts in
the domain. To make it possible for users to create computer accounts anywhere
in the domain:

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. In the left pane, right-click your domain name, and then
    click Delegate Control.
  3. In the Delegation of Control Wizard, click Next.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Type the name of the group that requires permission to add
    computer accounts to the domain, and then click OK.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click to select the Join a computer to the domain check box, and then click Next.
  8. Click Finish.

Install Clients By Using RIS

This section describes how to install a client operating system
on a computer that contains a network adapter that supports PXE DHCP-based boot
ROM. To install a client operating system:

  1. Make sure that the network adapter is set as the primary
    boot device in the computer BIOS.
  2. Restart the client computer from the network
  3. When you are prompted to do so, press F12 to start the
    download of the Client Installation Wizard.
  4. At the “Welcome” screen, press ENTER.
  5. Type a user name that has permissions to add computer
    accounts to the domain, and then type the domain name and password for this
  6. Press ENTER.
  7. When you receive a warning message that states that all
    data on the client computer hard disk will be deleted, press ENTER.
  8. A computer account and a global unique ID for this
    workstation are displayed. Press ENTER to start Setup.
  9. If you are prompted to do so, follow the instructions on
    the screen to complete the client operating system installation.

Remote Installation Boot Disk Option

You can use the remote installation boot disk with computers that
do not contain a network adapter that supports PXE DHCP-based boot ROM. The
boot disk is designed to simulate the PXE startup process.

is a utility for creating network installation disks, and it is located in the
RemoteInstallAdmin folder on every RIS server.

Creating a Boot Disk By Using the Windows Remote Boot Disk Generator

To create a remote installation boot disk:

  1. Locate the
    drive:RemoteInstallAdminI386 folder on the RIS
    server, where drive is the drive on which RIS is
  2. Double-click the Rbfg.exe file.
  3. Put a floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, and then click Create Disk.
  4. When you prompted to create another disk, click No, and then click Close.

NOTE: To view a list of supported network adapters, click Adapter List. You cannot add network adapters to this list.

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