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[How To] Unattended RIS Installations


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09/28/2005 -- This guide is no longer valid. I have discovered several issues that must be addressed and in the process have concluded that a rewrite of the guide is necessary. A new guide is forthcoming. Use of this guide in a production environment IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

10/11/2005 -- The NEW GUIDE is posted along with a new automatic tool, AutoRIS, that will perform most of the guide functions automatically.

The intended audience for this guide is an IT professional who already has a basic understanding of RIS and can set RIS up to work in it's "out of the box" form.

In order of appearance, this guide currently covers:

Windows XP Service Pack 2

jcarle's Compression Bin

RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack V1.3.1

nLite V1.0 Beta 6 (MSFN Forum)

XPize uAE

Notepad2

Media Player Classic

Bâshrat the Sneaky's Driver Packs V5.08x (MSFN Forum)

08/05/2005

Initial posting

09/09/2005

- Updated compressing of files to include some .dll and .exe files.

- Updated RyanVM's Update Pack to cover V1.3.1.

- nLite V1.0 Beta 6 tested and works

- Longwinded dissertation about about adding NIC drivers and it's quirks.

Make An Initial RIS Image

First we need to start out with a proper foundation. At the time of this writing, the best source to use for your initial RIS image is a Windows XP Gold CD with SP2 slipstreamed. Your source CD should have nothing else at this point. Only Service Pack 2!

1. Once you have created this base image on the server machine, create a new directory on your local workstation called RIS. We'll be using this as our working directory.

2. Copy the i386 directory from the RIS image to the RIS directory on the local machine.

3. Copy the tag files (WIN51, WIN51IP, WIN51IP.SP1, WIN51IP.SP2) from your SP2 CD to the RIS directory on the local machine. The tag files will be necessary for later use with both nLite and RyanVM's Update Pack (this requirement may not be necessary as future releases of both products are released).

4. Next we are going to compress a lot files. When you create your initial RIS image on the server, files with the extensions .inf, .nls, .ocs, .pnf, and .sys are not compressed. But they can be and I always compress them in the interest of making as efficient of an install source as possible. There's a more important reason however. In their current forms, nLite and RVM are not designed to be "RIS-aware" - again this may change with future releases. Example: Your RIS image will contain a file called SWFLASH.INF and when you integrate RVM you will now have a file called SWFLASH.IN_. Now you will have both SWFLASH.INF and SWFLASH.IN_. This isn't good as the file from RVM is more current. I have found the easiest way to compress all of these files is to use jcarle's Compression Bin program. There are some files that must not be compressed and they are:

BIOSINFO.INF, .PNF
DMREG.INF, .PNF
DOSNET.INF, .PNF
DRVINDEX.INF, .PNF
HIVECLS.INF, .PNF
HIVEDEF.INF, .PNF
HIVESFT.INF, .PNF
HIVESYS.INF, .PNF
HIVEUSD.INF, .PNF
INTL.INF, .PNF
LAYOUT.INF, .PNF
MSTASK.INF, .PNF
NTPRINT.INF, .PNF
SYSOC.INF, .PNF
WAVEMIX.INF (does not seem to have a corresponding .PNF file)
KSECDD.SYS
NTFS.SYS
SPCMDCON.SYS

UPDATE 09/09/2005: Fencer128 from RyanVM's forum brought to my attention that some .exe and .dll files are not compressed in a RIS image but they are compressed on an XP CD. This brings about two issues. First and most importantly, it could interfere with the proper integration of the RVM Update Pack if they are not compressed. Second, we can save a little more room, making the initial file transfer a little faster (albeit hardly noticeable). The following files can be compressed in your RIS image:

BOOTVID.DLL
HAL.DLL
HALAACPI.DLL
HALAPIC.DLL
HALMACPI.DLL
HALMPS.DLL
HALSP.DLL
KD1394.DLL
KDCOM.DLL

NTKRNLMP.EXE
NTOSKRNL.EXE
OSCHOICE.EXE
OSLOADER.EXE
SETUPLDR.EXE

5. At this point you may wish burn a CD with the contents of the RIS directory on your local machine. If you make any mistakes later on or just want to do things a little differently, this will save you a huge amount of time. Trust me on this, I've wasted literally tens of hours remaking everything up to this point in the guide because I never backed it all up.

The Extras

6. My personal preference for RyanVM's Update Pack is to perform a manual integration. Version 1.3.0 is due out before too long with a new GUI interface for integration so this section may change in the next few weeks. But for now download V1.2.2 and the V1.2.2b update. Follow the instructions for the manual integration. I don't know why so many have had a hard time with the manual integration, but the instructions are dead on accurate and I haven't had a problem with them. Only my own inattention got me in trouble once. I stress a manual integration because I have never had good luck with letting nLite do the integration for me. So I'm posting what I know works.

UPDATE 09/09/2005: Version 1.3.1 has been released. I have tested it using Ryan and Siginet's RVM Integrator and it works great. I have not tested the pack by integrating it via nLite and quite honestly I probably won't. I don't have the time to test out a method I never use. If I get reports of it working, I'll indicate that here in the future.

7. At this point I run XPize. The version for unattended installations. I have used it and can verify that it works just fine on a RIS image.

8. Now is time to use nLite and lighten the load on this pig. You are going to point nLite at the RIS directory on your local machine. I don't remove a huge amount of things using nLite, but I can report that the following can be taken out and your RIS will work:

Components

Briefcase, Paint (I use Paint.NET), Wordpad (useless)

Drivers

ATM, Display Adapters (new ones only, use BTS DPs for new adapters), IBM ThinkPad, ISDN, Sony Jog Dial, Toshiba DVD decoder card

Languages

All

Multimedia

Music Samples, Old CD Player and Sound Recorder, Windows Media Player

Network

Client for Netware Networks, Communications Tools, MSN Explorer, NWLink, Windows Messenger (install V5.1 if you need it)

Operating System Options

Administrator VB scripts, Disk Cleanup, Document Templates, File and Settings Wizard, Framework, Manual Install and Upgrade, Search Assistant, Security Center, Shell Media Handler, Tour, Zip Folders

Services

Alerter, Application Layer Gateway, Messenger, Telnet Server

I always select to patch uxtheme.dll and windows file protection, keep the keyboard layouts, remove the MUIs, and perform higher compression. Keep in mind that if you are performing RIS installs that your target computers are members of a domain (more than likely). So I wouldn't recommend wiping out Internet Explorer, some of the other networking components or anything that makes you think it may be involved with authentication, etc.

9. I always replace notepad with Notepad2 and mplayer2 with Media Player Classic. This is a good time to use throw those in. Rename notepad2.exe to notepad.exe, rename mplayerc.exe to mplayer2.exe, send them through Compression Bin and toss the resulting files in the i386 directory overwriting the existing files.

10. It wouldn't hurt at this point to do a dry run and make sure everything is working as it should. We've done quite a bit of manipulating to the original image and it's pretty easy to make a small mistake somewhere. Delete the i386 directory on the RIS server in the folder that contains your RIS image. Copy over the i386 directory from your local machine to the RIS server. If you have the time and ambition you may even want to do a test install after each major step of the way so that if there's a failure, you will know where that failure happened.

The BTS Driver Packs

I started a whole new section here because IMHO this is where people are bound to have the most difficulties. It's where you need to do the most hands on work. For integration of the Driver Packs, I use Method 2 exclusively. Method 1 will work, but it takes longer and puts more stress on the network and the RIS server. Also I have not used the Keep the Drivers (KtD) option, so you're on your own with that part.

11. Run the BTS_DPs_Slipstreamer_Vxxx.cmd file and chose Method 2. Follow the remaining instructions.

12. In your BTS working directory you will see a new directory called UWXPCD_ROOT. Copy the contents over to the RIS directory on your local machine. Run the RUN_ME.cmd file as per the instructions. This will integrate the mass storage drivers and patch various .inf and .sif files. When finished our directory structure is going to look as follows:

RIS
 |
 |-$OEM$
 |  |-$$
 |  |  |-System32
 |  |-$1
 |  |  |-D
 |-i386
 |-OEM
 |  |-bin

13. Move the file 7za.exe from \OEM\bin to \$OEM$\$$\System32.

14. Move SetDevicePath.exe and WatchDriverSigningPolicy.exe from \OEM\bin to \$OEM$\$1\D.

15. Move all of the .7z archives from \OEM to \$OEM$\$1.

16. Delete the directory \OEM.

17. Go to the i386 directory and delete both WINNT.SIF and WINNT.old. They are no longer needed. You will need the line

command9 = "%SystemDrive%\D\BTS_DPs_Finish.cmd"

for later use.

18. We need to edit the TXTSETUP.SIF and DOSNET.INF files if you integrated RyanVM's Update Pack as described earlier. RVM and BTS both make entries for KB888111 in these two files. No sense in having duplicate entries and I'm not sure if duplicates would cause problems but why take the risk? The files with duplicate entries are:

hdaprop.dll
hdashcut.exe
hdaudbus.inf
hdaudbus.sys
hdaudio.inf
hdaudio.sys
hdaudres.dll

Check the [Files] section of DOSNET.INF and the [sourceDiskFiles] section of TXTSETUP.SIF. You may have to scroll down a little bit. BTS's entries will be at the top followed by entries for the added mass storage driver files, then the RVM entries.

19. We need to edit PRESETUP.CMD so that it reads as follows:

7za.exe x -y -aoa %SYSTEMDRIVE%\DriverPack*.7z -o"%SYSTEMDRIVE%"
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\D\SetDevicePath.exe %SYSTEMDRIVE%\D
START %SYSTEMDRIVE%\D\WatchDriverSigningPolicy.exe
EXIT

20. Now for the SIF file. In the \i386\templates directory should be a lone .SIF file. Delete this one and create your own with setup manager or you can do a little bit of cut and paste with mine:

;SetupMgrTag
[Data]
   AutoPartition=1
   DisableAdminAccountOnDomainJoin=1
   MsDosInitiated="1"
   UnattendedInstall="Yes"
   floppyless="1"
   OriSrc="\\%SERVERNAME%\RemInst\%INSTALLPATH%"
   OriTyp="4"
   LocalSourceOnCD=1

[Components]
   AccessOpt=Off
   chat=off
   deskpaper=off
   freecell=off
   hearts=off
   hyperterm=off
   IEAccess=off
   media_clips=off
   media_utopia=off
   minesweeper=off
   msnexplr=off
   OEAccess=off
   pinball=off
   solitaire=off
   spider=off
   templates=off
   WMAccess=off
   WMPOCM=off
   zonegames=off

[Display]
   BitsPerPel=32
   Xresolution=800
   YResolution=600
   Vrefresh=75
   
[SetupData]
   OsLoadOptions="/noguiboot /fastdetect"
   SetupSourceDevice="\Device\LanmanRedirector\%SERVERNAME%\RemInst\%INSTALLPATH%"

[Unattended]
   AutoActivate=No
   DriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
   NonDriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
   UnattendMode=FullUnattended
   OemSkipEula=Yes
   OemPreinstall=Yes
   OemPnPDriversPath=
   TargetPath=\WINDOWS
   FileSystem=LeaveAlone
   NtUpgrade=No
   OverwriteOemFilesOnUpgrade=No
   CrashDumpSetting=0
   Hibernation=No
   WaitForReboot=No

[GuiRunOnce]
   command9 = "%SystemDrive%\D\BTS_DPs_Finish.cmd"

[Shell]
   CustomDefaultThemeFile="%WINDIR%\Resources\Themes\royale.theme"

[GuiUnattended]
   AdminPassword=encryptedpasswordgoeshere
   EncryptedAdminPassword=Yes
   OEMSkipRegional=1
   TimeZone=%TIMEZONE%
   OemSkipWelcome=1
   DetachedProgram=

[UserData]
   ProductID=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
   FullName="Your CEO's Name"
   OrgName="Your Company Name"
   ComputerName=%MACHINENAME%

[TapiLocation]
   CountryCode=1
   Dialing=Tone
   AreaCode=123
   LongDistanceAccess="9"

[TerminalServices]
   AllowConnections=1

[Identification]
   JoinDomain=%MACHINEDOMAIN%
   DoOldStyleDomainJoin=Yes

[RemoteInstall]
   Repartition=Yes
   UseWholeDisk=Yes

[OSChooser]
   Description="WinXP SP2 - Custom"
   Help="This will install Windows XP SP2."
   LaunchFile="%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\templates\startrom.com"
   ImageType=Flat

[Networking]
   InstallDefaultComponents=Yes
   ProcessPageSections=Yes

[WindowsFirewall]
   Profiles = WindowsFirewall.TurnOffFirewall

[WindowsFirewall.TurnOffFirewall]
   Mode = 0

You can name it pretty much whatever you want. Just put the .SIF extension on it and place in the \i386\templates directory.

21. Now we'll add NIC drivers for newer NICs that aren't natively supported by RIS, like most of the newer Intel Pro NICs. In the past with Intel you had to find and download a special .inf file for RIS purposes. The driver included .inf files would not work. I have found with version 10 however that they have finally resolved that issue. So download the newest Intel NIC drivers and extract them to a temporary directory. There should be seperate directories for Fast Ethernet and for Gigabit Ethernet adapters. From each copy the .sys and .inf files to your \i386 directory.

22. Copy the entire contents of your \RIS directory on your local machine to the folder on the RIS server where your RIS image belongs. On the RIS server stop and then start (or simply restart) the Boot Information Negotiation Layer service. This is necessary in order for the new NIC drivers to work.

23. The first time you go to boot up a machine into RIS it may fail to boot. At least it always does for me. That first time you do it seems to be when the RIS server decides it's going to generate .PNF files for the new NIC drivers. So if it fails the first time, even the second maybe, don't panic. Give it a minute and try again.

24. Once you have this all working (let us pray), you could go to the \i386 directory on the RIS server and look for any .INF, .PNF, and .SYS files that need compressing with Compression Bin. Remember not to compress any of the files listed above in step 4. But you may fine portcls.sys and the newly added NIC drivers could be compressed. Once those .PNF files have been generated by the RIS server it is safe to compress them.

UPDATE 09/09/2005: I have discovered some caveats that may be giving users a difficult time. First off, even though we are compressing a lot of files in this procedure and it all works fine, it seems as though RIS wants them to be in their uncompressed form when it comes to NIC drivers and the whole .pnf file generating thing. For instance, VMware emulates an AMD PCnet NIC, which is indeed RIS compliant. But when you go to RIS a VM you'll get a nasty message stating that there are no compatible drivers for your hardware. The solution is to decompress the NETAMD*.IN_ files, delete the NETAMD*.PN_ files, restart the BINL service on your RIS server and have another go at it.

This leads me to the second issue. Let's say you integrated your Intel NIC drivers as I outlined above and then compressed the corresponding files. Now you notice this little hangup with VMware so you go through the procedure I just outlined in the previous paragraph. Guess what? Your workstations with the brand spanking new Intel NICs won't boot to RIS anymore. Needless to say this really leads to a pain in the butt situation. What I've done for now, until I can come up with something a little more efficient is this:

1. Make a directory somewhere called NIC Files.

2. Copy over all of the NET*.INF files into it (these are the uncompressed files).

3. Copy the uncompressed .inf files of other NIC drivers (Intel, etc.).

4. For good measure I also copy over an uncompressed copy of the RVM*.INF and NLITE.INF files. May as well let the server create .pnf files for these too. NLHIVE.INF and NLHIVE.PNF MUST remain uncompressed, so don't bother with these.

5. In your RIS image directory delete NET*.IN_ , NET*.PN_ , RVM*.IN_, and NLITE.IN_.

6. Now copy the uncompressed .inf files from the NIC Files directory over to your RIS image i386 directory.

7. Restart the BINL service on the RIS server.

8. Try to RIS a computer. If you try too soon after restarting the BINL service, the DHCP may fail. Don't worry, just try again. When the blue setup screen says "Please Wait..." at the bottom of the screen this is when the RIS server is generating the .pnf files.

9. You should now have a ton of .pnf files to correspond with all of those uncompressed .inf files. At this point you can compress all of them and delete the uncompressed originals.

Unfortunately if you later decide to add another third party NIC driver, you're going to have to go through all of this again. Luckily that shouldn't happen too often so you should feel the pain only one time. BTW.. a tip for using Compression Bin. I have noticed that if Compression Bin is not open when you right click on a group of like 100 files, there is a good chance not all of them will get compressed. If you open Compression Bin ahead of time however, you should have much better luck. I did see recently that jcarle said he planned on rewriting Compression Bin from the ground up. So this may be a short term issue.

Closing Words

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your RIS server up and running properly before attempting anything at all in this guide. If the basics are not there, you can't reasonably expect anything else to work. I have not and would not attempt to explain RIS itself and all of the little details about it. There are simply too many resources out there that do a fine job at that already. The same goes for all of the other products named here. They have support forums, web sites, etc. You will have to do a certain amount of legwork all on your own for this to work for you. I cut my teeth in RIS with the help of Mark Minasi's excellent book "Mastering Windows 2000 Server." I would not only recommend it to anyone involved with administering a Windows network, but would go so far as to say it should be required reading. I'm sure it has been updated to "Mastering Windows 2003 Server" and should be easily located at BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com. If you want it cheap try going over to Bookpool.

Remember basic troubleshooting. Start with as little as possible and work your way up, adding things one piece at a time. Yes it's very time consuming, but understanding how and why something works (or doesn't work for that matter) is so much better than just having everything handed to you on a silver platter. This way when a problem crops up down the road, and they will, you will have some idea as to how to fix that problem yourself.

Edited by RogueSpear
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Every once in awhile I run across a topic here at MSFN that merits bookmarking and printing for further study. This is one of them. A sincere "thank you" for making the effort and taking the time to document your procedure.

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For someone whose avatar has its head up its a**, you sure can make a fine post. :P Thanks for the excellent info! RIS is something I cannot implement in my work environment. However, I need to learn it just the same. After all, odds are I'll work somewhere else sooner or later.

- Ravashaak

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Hi Rogue,

just read your guide ... very nice ! Thanks ! :thumbup

I have not yet installed RIS in our company yet so I was just reading your guide in advance. I also have not read the Mastering windows 2003 book yet but I will soon :D

I do have three small questions for you though, hope you don´t mind.

1. The new .sif file:

You can name it pretty much whatever you want. Just put the .SIF extension on it and place in the \i386\templates directory.

Mhh, this sif file has to be linked to the installation in the RIS server if I am not mistaken, right ? Are you sure the location of this sif file does not matter ?

2. The Bootdisc/network cards problem:

I am a bit confused. As far as I read, RIS needs either a PXE enabled NIC or this special bootdisc by Microsoft. The latter cannot be modified to support additional NIC´s. Logic tells me that network card support would have to be in that bootdisc and not in the i386 directory of the installation image. So why would you be adding those Intel NIC drivers there ? Wouldn´t installation via RIS fail anyway because the bootdisc does not detect the NIC and therefore won´t be able to contact the RIS server ? Or do those NIC´s all support PXE ?

Sorry, I am a bit lost there.

This PXE requirement is THE ONE weak point in all of this wonderful RIS world I think. Most newer onboard NICs do not seem to support remote booting so one would have to install special NIC´s in all client machines ... :unsure:

If one could only use WindowsPE/BartPE or something similar to connect to RIS, that would be cool !

3. Will this installation process of additional NIC´s also work for non Intel cards (copy sys and inf files to the i386 directory) ? Wouldn´t it be possible to use Bashrat´s LAN driverpack for this ?

Thanks and bye :hello:

Alex

Edited by midiboy
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..... PXE requirement is THE ONE weak point in all of this wonderful RIS world I think. Most newer onboard NICs do not seem to support remote booting so one would have to install special NIC´s in all client machines ...  :unsure:

If one could only use WindowsPE/BartPE or something similar to connect to RIS, that would be cool !

...

1. You can boot WinPE from RIS, no problem, and if u r buying named computers (IBM/HP/SIEMENS...)

2. You most likely (99%) end up with PXE boot support as almost everyone in the industry adopted this boot procedure.

3. In case u dont have it, RIS features a boot floppy for some of the most common brands (3Com) always works, which u can use to boot the machine into PXE even if the native NIC does not support PXE booting.

At my company we support about 10 models of servers from DELL and 25 models of desktops / laptops of a grand total 30.000 units through deployment using RIS through one generic image for each of the OS (WinXP & Win2003).

One weak spot, in my humble honest opinon, when using RIS:

The disc support options are to few, you will need to have something like WinPE to adjust HDD size automatically (example, for servers) while the Repartition = Yes would work for almost any configuration on a desktop / laptop.

P.S Lovely summary, thanks for the time u spent on it. It will defintly be in my favorites...

Best Regards

Tha Sausage Eater

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1. The new .sif file:
You can name it pretty much whatever you want. Just put the .SIF extension on it and place in the \i386\templates directory.

Mhh, this sif file has to be linked to the installation in the RIS server if I am not mistaken, right ? Are you sure the location of this sif file does not matter ?

I said that the name of the file does not matter. Only the file extension, and then to place the file inside the \i386\templates directory. It's all in the quote of my original post.

2. The Bootdisc/network cards problem:

I am a bit confused. As far as I read, RIS needs either a PXE enabled NIC or this special bootdisc by Microsoft. The latter cannot be modified to support additional NIC´s. Logic tells me that network card support would have to be in that bootdisc and not in the i386 directory of the installation image. So why would you be adding those Intel NIC drivers there ? Wouldn´t installation via RIS fail anyway because the bootdisc does not detect the NIC and therefore won´t be able to contact the RIS server ? Or do those NIC´s all support PXE ?

Sorry, I am a bit lost there.

This PXE requirement is THE ONE weak point in all of this wonderful RIS world I think. Most newer onboard NICs do not seem to support remote booting so one would have to install special NIC´s in all client machines ...  :unsure:

If one could only use WindowsPE/BartPE or something similar to connect to RIS, that would be cool !

A perfect example for explanation here is the Intel Pro 100 NIC. The original release of this NIC and some versions thereafter are supported out of the box by RIS. Some newer versions however are not. When you try to do a RIS boot you get a blue screen message stating that a driver supporting your NIC could not be found. So we need to go through this procedure of adding NIC drivers. It's somewhat analogous to adding mass storage drivers, just not exactly the same. I believe so long as the NIC is PXE V2.0 or greater compliant, it should work. The utility RBFG.exe, which makes a boot floppy for RIS, I think is allowing you to use a non-PXE NIC with RIS. That's why it's support is so limited.

3. Will this installation process of additional NIC´s also work for non Intel cards (copy sys and inf files to the i386 directory) ? Wouldn´t it be possible to use Bashrat´s LAN driverpack for this ?

Yes it is possible to do this with other NICs. I haven't run into a situation yet where this was necessary however. RealTek and Kingston branded NICs will both use the built in Intel Pro 100 NIC drivers for instance. At some point, BTS could probably make his DP LAN "RIS aware" and have the option integrate the NIC drivers for this purpose as an option, much like the option to KtD (Keep the Drivers).

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RogueSpear, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this guide.

I didn't try it yet to make a RIS, but I feel like I've done it already.

Everything is clear and plain.

Only one notice.

nuhi insists to not use his tool (nLite) in corporative environment by means of profit.

If you use it to ease your work - pay for it. In case of nLite - donate.

Well, it's his right, am I right?...

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Hi,

Thanks for this document. It helped me a lot.

I have one question though:

When its all finished and I run my RIS image to a pc, i get 2 errors during setup that the following files could not be found:

%SYSTEMDRIVE%\D\SetDevicePath.exe

%SYSTEMDRIVE%\D\WatchDriverSigningPolicy.exe

I changed the presetup.cmd like you said, but i suspect it doesnt copy the files to this location in my case. Do you have any idea where i can fix this path?

I also did the file copying from the OEM directory to the $oem$\$1\D directory.

Regards,

Maarten

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As somebody who dove headlong into RIS about 3 months ago and is just now coming up for air, I would also like to say thank you for this guide. I cant wait to try and integrate the driver packs into my RIS install. Hopefully that will once and for all do away with the dreaded "the image you selected does not contain the necessary network drivers" message.

The tip about the intel pro100 driver is spot on and is going to be the first stumbling block for people who are stuck with legacy or new equipment sporting the pro100 chipset. Fiixing that driver problem was my first major hurdle in the RIS process and was a great learning experience in fixing it. (the hard way of course)

Another tip for the people who are just going into this (and one I learned the hard way) when you make a change to your RIS image, such as adding a NIC's INF file, make sure to search your entire image folder for a .PNF file that matches the name of your newly inserted INF file. Delete any matching .PNF files (or delete ALL .pnf files..windows will regenerate them) before restarting the Remote Installation service.

One more tip that should keep you out of harms way is to make sure that you always name your folders sequentially in the Images folder, keeping them in the order in which they were created. Make sure the Flat file you copy in (the one rogue spear walks you through creating) is named 111 or AAA or something similar so it is always at the top of the list. As you add more workstation images name them 2, 3 ,4...whatever your namimg scheme.

There's a service called "single instance storage groveler" running in the background that does funny things to your RIS Image folder if you put newer files at the top of the list than those that were previously there. I completely broke one of my RIS workstation images by placing a BartPE image above it in the "images" folder. Doing this caused windows to somehow overwrite needed files in my workstation image with "hacked" ones that were in the bart folder. (this is my guess at least..by correcting the folder order and putting bart at the bottom of the list the problem went away) This is a process I dont really understand yet so if i explained it completely wrong I apologize...just be careful the order you put stuff in that folder and you'll be ok :)

Thanks again for the guide rogue spear and I cant wait to try the driverpack integration. Im also excited to see what kind of speed differences your techniques can make over what I'm getting right now. I'm currently able to RIS image a workstation in about 15 minutes...are you getting comparable or faster times than this???

Also, do you know of anyway to integrate hotfixes into the RIS image? (via SVCPACK or whatever)...that would be really cool if that would work.

Edited by brainstane
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@Brainstane, integrating RyanVM's Update Pack is probably the best way to integrate Microsoft's hotfixes, but you can use the /integrate switch with current hotfixes.

Regarding the groveler; this is a pretty interesting service. The idea behind it is that it searches out duplicate files and essentially takes the duplicates and turns them into pointers to a "single instance" of that file. This way if you have half a dozen images (think RIPrep here), most of the files are all the same so you will save huge on disk space. I've actually heard of outfits making a RIPrep image for every single workstation in the enterprise so that if one goes down, the end user can just boot to the network and dump his workstation back. Not quite my cup of tea, but if you have say 400 images where 98% of the files are identical, this is obviously quite a savings. It would actually be nice if you could run the groveler on any partition. Think about the savings and the lack of fragmentation on a partition that stores a couple thousand roaming profiles.

@Kreabea, I think you may have to doublecheck your various files to make sure the paths are correct.

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I've been trying to do a RIS installation myself since yesterday, but I'm haveing major driver troubles. The machine I want to install to uses a Via Gigabit Lan onboard card and Via Sata controller. I did try following the steps in this guide but I can't get past the network drivers issue. I also can't download the driverpacks as the site seems to be down for it. Is there a mirror anywhere?

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@kanesama, I know that BTS is aware of the site problems and plans to migrate to another hosting provider. This may take a couple of weeks however. I don't know of anybody mirroring his project right now. If you do have an older version of the DPs you may want to try and see if you can get the SATA controller working using an unattended CD first. If you get that part working then at least you know it will work under RIS as well.

Regarding the NIC. I'm not familiar with Via's line of products. Due to some fairly bad experiences in the past, I always shy away from anything they make. What you may want to do though is check their web site and see if there is any documentation about RIS. In the past, Intel's NICs used to require a special .inf file in order to properly boot. Also doublecheck to make sure the NIC claims PXE compliance.

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kanesama

I have the Via K8t800 chipset at home and have been unable to boot it via RIS so far myself as well. Most of my efforts have been focused on the Intel pro100 and broadcom drivers so far tho, and I've only given a passing attempt at booting the Via board. I would have to concur with rougespear on this issue tho about via..they seem to be more

trouble than they're worth and this board will be turned into a cheap server shortly to bel be replaced with something more RIS friendly. As for the SATA drivers, you can definitely pick them up at the Via site.

Rogue,

Im currently in progress on your guide. I'm going to attempt to use the SVCPACK method for the hotfixes, by including the entry SCVPACK in the DOSNET.INF file

under [OptionalSrcDirs] value.I am currently utilizing that technique for my unattended installations and would like to be able to update both unattended and RIS using a common source location. One other question..are you familiar with customizing the .OSC screens and the values that can be inserted into these menu screens? I've googled but can only find mention that they can be customized but haven't really found any examples for doing this. If you have any links in regards to doing this stuff I would be HUGELY appreciative.

Edit: (I wacked a huge chunk of post due to some dumb questions on my part which were the result of a mistake)

Ran through your guide and everything went perfect. By adding SVCPACK as described above my entire catalog of current hotfixes was installed, along with the driver packs which were installed per your guide. Thanks for the info!

Edited by brainstane
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Rogue, (and everybody)

Im not sure if you're familiar with this or not, but I just learned that the Net Use command can also be employed during the RIS installation. Doing this gives you an alternate way of running applications from a network share after the sysprep portion of your installation has completed. Credit for this idea goes to the following microsoft article:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...t/superris.mspx

The gist of it is this:

You add the following to [GUIRUNONCE]

[GuiRunOnce]

"net use n: \\<server>\<share>

password /USER:username

/persistent:no"

"n:\sp1\update.exe"

utilizing the Net Use command during the RIS install also lets you kick off a custom batch .cmd file (to do XCOPY commands and such) or whatever other batch file techniques you would like. I havent utilized this yet in RIS..but its something I do alot when building servers unattended and copying the I386 folder to the HD before the server is built. It's a big time saver if you routinely have to copy a large amount of data to the HD in a predictable manner in each build.

Edited by brainstane
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi.

1. What is the meaning of including BTS DriverPack when it's not used for RIS?

All the drivers are i packed stage when the RIS setup starts, and if you have a unsupport netcard, you will get an error telling you that windows does not support your NIC.

[EDIT]

Dont you have to extract all the drivers into the i386 folder before RIS can use them?

[/EDIT]

2. Should the $OEM$ folder not be located in the i386 folder and not in the root of the RIS image ? or does windows search all folders (and subfolders) for the $oem$ folder and use %SystemRoot% as an alias ?

Edited by gentoobox
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