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Installation options available through RIS

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Installation options available through RIS

The Client Installation Wizard is a text-based setup wizard that guides the user through the remote installation process. You can use Group Policy to control which installation options are offered to users. For more specific information about this, see Controlling client installations through Group Policy.

You can specify that the user be presented with automatic setup or custom setup, or that a previous setup attempt be restarted. You can also specify that the user be given maintenance and troubleshooting options.

Automatic Setup

Use this option if you want to predefine the computer name and a location within Active Directory for the client computer accounts. For more information about computer names and the options for predefining them, see Computer names. You can also prestage the client computer; for more information about this, see Prestage client computers.

Custom Setup

Use this option to allow users to define a unique name for this computer and specify where the computer account will be created within Active Directory. Typically, you use custom setup for users outside of your own organization who are setting up computers.

Restart setup ("Restart a Previous Setup Attempt" in the Client Installation Wizard)

This option restarts a failed operating system installation attempt if the installation procedure fails during text-mode setup. This option does not copy files from where the previous installation attempt failed. However, the user is not required to answer any questions that were already answered during the previous setup attempt.

Tools ("Maintenance and Troubleshooting" in the Client Installation Wizard)

This option gives users access to tools that are used to maintain and troubleshoot client computers. These tools include memory virus scanners, updating the flashing for system basic input/output system (BIOS), and computer diagnostic utilities. In addition, if Recovery Console has been made available to a client computer, and if the client computer is configured to support the Recovery Console, it is displayed in the Client Installation Wizard under "Maintenance and Troubleshooting." For more information about maintenance and troubleshooting tools, see Maintenance and troubleshooting tools and options.

Additional options and other considerations

  • Remote Installation Services (RIS) does not fully support unattended installations on computers that contain Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) devices or devices that are non-Plug and Play.

  • Users who are setting up a remote boot-enabled client computer are not offered installation choices when automatic setup is their only installation option. For more information, see Controlling client installations through Group Policy.

  • The unattended installation setup answer files (.sif) are text files that describe the installation process for an installation image. An unattended installation template, which you can customize, is provided by RIS. The .sif file must be associated with one of the available installation images. For information about associating a .sif file with an installation image, see Associate an unattended setup answer file with a RIS installation image. For information about creating unattended installation files and automating installations, see "Automating and Customizing Installations" at the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

    One of the things you can control through a .sif file is the enabling of the Administrator account (which by default is disabled when the client joins the domain). If you do this, be sure to use a tool called Setup Manager to ensure that the Administrator password is encrypted in the .sif file before being transmitted over the network. For information about this, see the following:

    • For specific information about working with .osc and .sif files for RIS, see "Designing RIS Installations" at the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

    • For information about Setup Manager, see Deploy.chm in \Support\Tools\deploy.cab on the Windows CD.

  • By default, the Client Installation Wizard uses the Welcome.osc file located in \RemoteInstall\OSChooser to manage client installation image choices. For multiple language installation image options, you must remove the Welcome.osc file and rename the Multilng.osc file to Welcome.osc. The Client Installation Wizard then provides the user with a menu of multiple language choices. You can also edit Welcome.osc to create custom language options. For more information about .osc files, see "Designing RIS Installations" at the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

  • For most client computers, the user must press a particular key (for example, F12) to initiate the remote installation process. Some client computers have settings in the basic input/output system (BIOS) that cause a prompt to be displayed when it is time for the user to press the key. Not all client computers display a prompt. By default, RIS causes a prompt to be displayed on the client computer, telling the user to press F12. To change this so that RIS does not cause a prompt to be displayed, in \\RIS_server_name\REMINST\oschooser\i386, rename Startrom.com to Startrom.old, and then rename Startrom.n12 to Startrom.com.


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

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