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Lanarkshire IT Services

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  1. Hi All I just wanted to see what forum members thought of my latest project One of the best ways to deploy Microsoft Windows operating systems automatically is via Remote Installation Services (RIS) / Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server over a LAN. I won't go into depth regarding of the setup of these services but will explain briefly what they do. If you need help with a RIS /WDS server setup then please Google it With these methods the target machines boot from a PXE network interface card (NIC), they are then offered a choice of operating system images to install from a RIS / WDS server. An authorised user choose the correct image, supplies the appropriate domain credentials and away you go. Now traditionally these types of deployment setups required dedicated equipment such as a server, switches, cables etc etc. I am going to show you how to do this with nothing more than a laptop, virtual machine software, a simple switch (or cross over cable) and network cables But first of all let me clarify what this setup will and won't do. It Will: Give you a portable deployment server Save you the expense of a dedicated server Save you installing from CD Allow you to deploy to one or multiple target machines Allow you to turn up a clients premises and deploy operating systems with nothing more than a laptop, switch or cross over cable Allow you to install RIS or RIPREP images to target machines Be more than capable for small workgroups / domains Customise deployments for each clients It Won't: Replace a full, dedicated server with server hardware Be as fault tolerant as a dedicated server however you can backup / duplicate your server to a USB / external drive A PC or laptop NIC will not be as good as a server NIC so you probably cannot deploy to hundreds of target machines in one go So if your still happy with that then here we go First of all you will need: A licensed copy of Server 2003 (Standard or Enterprise, Web Edition won't work) A copy of XP Home or Pro Virtual PC downloaded and installed A decent amount of RAM on the laptop (2 GB+) Free HDD space on the laptop A small 4 / 8 port switch or a crossover cable Got all that? OK let's begin Download and install Virtual PC Create a virtual machine (VM) for Server 2003 with atleast 512 MB RAM. For VM creation / setup here Configure the machine with ATLEAST 2 virtual hard disks Install Server 2003 on the virtual machine Once installed configure the server as a Domain Controller (a .local domain is fine) (DC) via the Add Server Roles wizard or dcpromo from the command prompt Make sure you have Active Directory (AD), DHCP and DNS services setup From Add / Remove Windows components install Remote Install Services Run risetup and configure your image Once done, create an XP VM and configure the BIOS to boot from the PXE NIC - This will allow you to test your setup for errors Tips for better performance: If you have router at home / office disable DHCP on the router (atleast while the VM server is running) Set the VM server NIC with a static IP Set clients to DHCP Use your computers NIC for the VM and NOT local only For clients that do not have a PXE NIC, create Remote boot floppy disk Once you have successfully created a RIS /WDS client. Install the intended applications then create a RIPREP image back to the server - This way you can then deploy full images to clients Create different folders for different images By default RIS / WDS creates a ristndrd.sif file - You can edit this view Notepad to alter settings such as Product Keys, Do Not Join A Domain etc Well thats it - Have fun testing Comments welcome
  2. hi all i was just wondering if it was possible to create an unattended setup of SBS 2003 and if so how can it be done? cheers
  3. and does it matter if it was done on an OEM and reused on a retail etc? also is there a way to include all vista versions on the xml?
  4. hi all my first post here so be gentle. anyway i wanted to if the autounattend.xml files are transferable to any computer, regardless of hardware differences, providing the OS's are the same? I mean if i create an automated for vista business can this be used on any computer to auto install vista business. sorry if this seems obvious or stupid cheers
  5. hi all my name is stuart and im from scotland.

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