Installing and Configuring RIS
RIS can only be installed on a Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller or a Member Server. Also ensure
that DHCP and DNS are available on the network. Also ensure that the server has a static IP address and
has a free NTFS partition to copy the images to.
The Add/Remove Programs utility is used to install RIS. Click on Add/Remove Windows Components.
Scroll down the list of available components to find Remote Installation Services (RIS). Select the
checkbox for Remote Installation services. Click on Next to install the selected components. The
necessary files are copied over and configured. You may be asked for the Windows Server 2003
Installation files. RIS has successfully been installed. The computer will then need to be restarted. Click
on Finish to close the wizard.
Creating a new RIS image
To create a new RIS image, click on Start. Then Administrative Tools, Remote Installation Services Setup
The RIS Setup Wizard will appear. Click on Next to continue. The Wizard will ask you where to install the
Remote Installation Folder. Accept the default and click Next. In order for the RIS server to respond to
computer requests select the Respond to client computers requesting service checkbox. RIS clients can
be prestaged so that only known computers can be installed by selecting the Do not respond to
unknown client computers checkbox. To continue click on Next. The Windows source files are needed
for the image. Specify the location in the path box. The source files are normally located inside the i386
folder on the Windows CD-ROM. Click on Next to continue. The Windows installation files will need to
be copied to a folder. The default name is WINDOWS Click on Next to continue. A friendly description
and help text box will appear which can be used to identify the image during installation. Click Next to
The summary page will appear. If all settings are correct then click on Finish to create the new image. All
files needed for the RIS installation are copied. Once all files have been copied, click on Done. The
RemoteInstall folder containing the image and various configuration files has been created on the empty
NTFS partition (E:).
Configuring the RIS Image
The Active Directory Users and Computers console is used to configure RIS, click on Start……
Administrative Tools……and finally select Active Directory Users and Computers.
The Active Directory Users and Computers management console will appear. To view the contents of es-
net.co.uk domain, click on the + sign. Expand Domain Controllers to find the RIS server. N.B. If RIS was
installed on a standard member server then by default it will be located in the Computers folder.
Right-click on the Domain Controller. Select Properties. The Domain Controller properties page will
appear. Click on the Remote Install tab to configure Remote Installation Services. To check the server for
any problems click on the Verify server button. The RIS Properties dialog box will appear. The Client
support box shows the options that were given previously. Ensure that the Respond to client computers
requesting service box is selected. The Check Server Wizard will appear. Click on Next to continue.
Once the server has been verified click on Finish. (No errors were detected on this RIS server.) The
required RIS services are restarted. Click on Done to close the wizard. To edit the Advanced Settings,
click on Advanced Settings. Various options such as naming conventions and new images can be
configured from here. To customize how to name the client computers, click on the Customize button.
To change the naming convention, type the new naming format into the Format box:
A list of various naming conventions is given, e.g. the name “computer%#” would generate names using
incremental numbers, e.g. computer1, computer2, etc. Click on OK to close the Computer Account
Generation box. To view and install additional images, click on the Images tab. From the Images page
additional images can be added, removed or configured. Click on the Tools tab to view currently
installed RIS tools. The Tools page displays installed maintenance and troubleshooting tools. (Currently
none are installed.) Click on OK to close the RIS properties box.
The RIS Server is now ready to accept installation requests. It may be worth at this stage verifying that
DHCP and DNS are installed and configured correctly. If there are more than one RIS server on the
network, then the client machines may need to be Prestaged.
Prestaging Client Computers
As a security measure, client installations can be prestaged. This means that only specified computers
can be installed using Remote Installation Services. Prestaging is also useful when there is more than
one RIS server on the network. The process of prestaging involves the creating of a client account,
supplying a GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) and then specifying which RIS server to use. The GUID or
UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) can be used to identify a machine. This value is set by the
computer’s manufacturer and resides in the computer’s BIOS.
The RIS server can be configured to accept only prestaged clients by selecting the Do not respond to
unknown client computers checkbox. To prestage a client computer its computer account will need to
be created on the Domain. To do this open up Active Directory Users and Computers, and right click on
the location in which the account is to be created.
Select New. Select Computer.The New Object box will appear. Type the name of the computer into the
Computer name box. The Computer’s NetBIOS name will also be specified. By default the Domain
Administrator is given responsibility of installing this computer to the domain although this can be
changed by selecting Change. Click on Next to continue. To specify the computer’s unique ID select the
This is a managed computer box. Type the computer’s unique ID number into the GUID/UUID box. This
number can normally be found in the BIOS or on the computer’s case. Click on Next to continue. Next,
specify which RIS server this client can use. Click the box for The Following remote installation server.
Next, specify which RIS server this client can use. Click the box for The Following remote installation
server. Type in the RIS Server’s name or IP address into the box, this name must be a fully qualified DNS
hostname. Click Next to continue. The Summary page will appear. Click on Finish to create the new
The new computer is displayed. Only the computer with the matching GUID can be installed with the
name Comp1 and joined to the domain.
Configuring Client Setup Options
Specific options can be enabled or disabled during the installation of clients by configuring a group
policy object. These options specify what a user can and can’t do during the initial stages of a client
machine’s installation. These settings are applied like any other group policy and can be applied at
different levels and overridden.
Client Setup Options are configured through group policies. To change the group policy for the domain
right-click on es-net.co.uk. Select Properties. The Domain properties page will appear. Select the Group
Policy Tab. Select Edit to edit the selected GPO. If you are changing the group policy for an OU then a
new GPO may need to be created. The GPO for the domain will appear. Expand Windows Settings in the
User Configuration folder. Select Remote Installation Services. Double-click on Choice Options. The
various choice options will appear. These are the options that will appear to the users on their screens.
Configuring Client Setup Options
Automatic Setup. If this option is selected then the user is not given any choices during the Client
Custom Setup. If this option is selected then the user is allowed to specify various options such as the
name of the computer.
Restart Setup. Allows the user to resume setup (in case of failure) from the point at which it failed.
Tools. Allows the user to access various tools that are available during the Client Installation Wizard
Enable Users to whom this policy applies will have this option.
Not Configured Policy settings of the parent container will be applied.
Disabled Users affected by this policy cannot access this option.
Click on OK to close the Choice Options box.