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Technologies and components used by Remote Installation Services

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Technologies and components used by Remote Installation Services

Remote Installation Services (RIS) uses or depends upon a variety of technologies and components.

Network infrastructure
RIS depends on a network infrastructure that can identify computers on the network. RIS therefore requires that DHCP, DNS, and Active Directory be available on the network.

Remote-boot technology
RIS uses remote-boot technology to allow a computer with no operating system to begin a boot sequence from the network adapter, after which an operating system can be installed across the network. This remote-boot technology is called the Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE). For more information, see Network service boot and PXE architecture. For client computers that are not PXE-enabled--that is, pre-Net PC/PC98 computers--you can use a special remote boot disk if the client computer has a supported network adapter. For more information, see Remote Installation Services boot disk and Create a remote boot disk.

Technology to create an installation image
RIS includes technology that you can use to create an image of an operating system that will be installed on client computers. You can create the image in one of two formats: a flat image or a Remote Installation Preparation Wizard (RIPrep) image format. Use the flat image option to create an image directly from a set of operating system files-- for example, the files on a CD. Use the RIPrep image format to create an image that includes an operating system with specific settings and applications-- for example, an image that complies with a corporate desktop standard. For more information, see Add a new client operating system installation image and Creating an installation image with RIPrep.

Technologies for communication between RIS client and server
RIS includes technologies that establish communication between a client that has begun a PXE boot sequence and the RIS server that contains installation images available to that client. For this process, RIS uses DHCP to provide the client with an Internet Protocol (IP) address. RIS then downloads the Client Installation Wizard, which prompts the user to log on and provides a menu of installation options customized for that user. You can control these images through Group Policy. For more information about the Client Installation Wizard, see Client Installation Wizard and Installation options available through RIS.

Services added by RIS

When RIS is enabled, the following services are automatically added to the server:

  • Remote Installation (BINLSVC)

    This service listens for client network service requests and provides overall management of the RIS environment. BINLSVC ensures that the correct files are passed to the client computer. It also ensures that when the settings for a prestaged client specify that it is to be answered by a particular RIS server, the response comes from the specified server. If the client computer has not been prestaged, BINLSVC creates the client computer account object within Active Directory.

  • Trivial File Transfer Protocol Daemon (TFTPD)

    RIS server uses the Trivial File Transfer Protocol Daemon (TFTPD) to download the initial files required for the remote installation process to begin. The most common file downloaded to the client using TFTPD is Startrom.com, which is responsible for bootstrapping the client computer. The default version of Startrom.com then prompts the user to press F12 to initiate a network installation. If the user responds to the prompt, the Client Installation Wizard is downloaded to begin the remote installation process.

  • Single Instance Store (SIS)

    Single Instance Store (SIS) reduces the overall storage required on the RIS volume. The SIS drivers contain a feature, called a groveler agent, that scans the RIS volume for duplicate files. If the SIS groveler finds duplicate files, it copies the original file into the SIS and leaves a link file in its place. The link file contains information about the original file, such as its current location, size, and attributes. If an image contains duplicate files, those duplicates are copied into the store; as a result, less disk space is required on the RIS server.

    SIS has two limitations: it cannot act upon any files that are referenced through junction points, and it cannot be used with any file system except NTFS file system, which is the file system to use on RIS servers.


  • This topic does not apply to Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

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