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RIS or better Solution


ChunkDog
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Well, I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the Server OS forums, but I thought it would be best suited here because it revolves around Windows XP installs.

I would like to setup and maintain (Patches and Stuff) network installs of Windows XP Home and Professional for the computer shop I work for. I have been looking into RIS for Windows 2000, but I dont think it supports Windows XP Home, or it forces Domain Logon or something, I have not takin the time to fully research it.

I would like to be able to boot the clint machine via PXE, then be presented with a boot menu with the OS you would like to install, then have that OS installed, only asking for the CD-Key.

Thanx for any help in advance.

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Save your money on RIS, we are currently using unattended:

http://unattended.sourceforge.net/

We also use Ghost with UIU,

http://www.binaryresearch.net/UIU/About.htm

for faster re-imaging.

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You should be able to specify NOT to join a domain in the ristndrd.sif..

Everybody has there own preference on what is best to install. Me personally I dont like using cd images.. i would much rather download it on a gigabit network and be installed in 15 min.

RIS can be harder to configure though.. but once you get it, it makes things real easy

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Thanx for the input guys,

I would like to be able to boot the system with a boot cd that connects to a network share, and installs windows through the network, but I dont want to deal with FAT32 patitions and the such. I would like the installation to be exactly like if it was installing from a CD, but it's installation source is on a network share.

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Thanx for the input guys,

    I would like to be able to boot the system with a boot cd that connects to a network share, and installs windows through the network, but I dont want to deal with FAT32 patitions and the such. I would like the installation to be exactly like if it was installing from a CD, but it's installation source is on a network share.

I would definitely recommend RIS, but I don't know how it works with XP Home and no domain, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Here at work we have several choices after PXE-boot, w2k, w2k with novell, wxp, w2k3server, and so on.

It's basically a bunch of unattended CD's customized for different reasons that are installed over network :)

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Hi guys!

Please excuse me chiming in here, I would like to add two questions regarding RIS.

1. As far as I know (or have been able to find out) RIS only works with either PXE enabled NICs or a special small bootup tool from MS but that ones does not support a lot of NICs. Is there an alternative (WindowsPE, BartPE) that could be used to connect to a RIS server ? If yes, how would you do that ?

2. Can RIS be used to deploy software to domain clients after initial setup ? I mean installing software on already existing machines, not reinstalling from scratch. I know you can use GroupPolicy for that but that method is limited to msi installers as far as I know. Any alternative available ?

Thanks a lot for your help guys ! :hello:

Alex

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Hi guys!

Please excuse me chiming in here, I would like to add two questions regarding RIS.

1. As far as I know (or have been able to find out) RIS only works with either PXE enabled NICs or a special small bootup tool from MS but that ones does not support a lot of NICs. Is there an alternative (WindowsPE, BartPE) that could be used to connect to a RIS server ? If yes, how would you do that ?

2. Can RIS be used to deploy software to domain clients after initial setup ? I mean installing software on already existing machines, not reinstalling from scratch. I know you can use GroupPolicy for that but that method is limited to msi installers as far as I know. Any alternative available ?

Thanks a lot for your help guys !  :hello:

Alex

1: Well, as far as I know RIS only works with PXE NIC's or with MS PXE-bootdisk.

2: Again, as far as I know... RIS cannot be used for deploying software or software changes to already installed machines. As you say gpo can be used, but msi limited.

There is a software though, Specops Deploy that can be used for distributing software in your domain.. Others might exits of course :)

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1.) Yes, almost every new NIC support boot from network... You must just enable it.

2.) Nope... There are deployment tools for this. You can create your own, you can use GP or more professional ones - SMS, Unicenter, Tivoli or Altiris...

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Well, I decided to play around with RIS, and it is exactly what I wanted.

1. Have a boot menu with operating system selections for the version of windows you want to install (currently, I have XP Home and Pro Retail and OEM versions, depending on the CD-Key our customer's have).

2. Was able to setup an unattended install that only asks for partitioning, formating, user name and org., CD-Key, Area Code, and the user account.

3. Install applications like adobe reader and WinZip at first boot.

4. Have all the updates, critical and optional, installed durring installation and first boot.

I also found a program that will let you edit the RIS boot, so you can add things like Memtest, and other diagnostic tools.

Thanx to all for your input on this.

Edited by ChunkDog
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Martin Zugec, chilifrei64 and kti^:

Thanks for your answer to my questions ! As for the software deployment thing I have not found a solution yet. SMS, Unicenter, Tivoli or Altiris seem all to be overkill for our needs (we only have <8 PC´s in our domain currently). Deploying using GP is not reliable enough and is too limited. Is there a simple freeware/shareware solution available that can deploy software to all computers in a OU. I already have batchfiles that installs silently from my unattended DVD project, I just wish I would be able to deploy them easily and reliably without much effort.

Specops deploy looks better but maybe there are other options yet ?

Thanks,

Alex

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