What Is Remote Installation Services Extension?

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

What Is Remote Installation Services Extension?

In this section

Remote Installation Services (RIS), originally introduced as an optional component with Windows 2000 Server, is an optional component of Windows Server 2003 family. RIS enables administrators or users to remotely install a copy of the Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000 operating system. Administrators use Remote Installation Services Extension to specify which options are presented to users by the Client Installation Wizard.

Remote Installation Services Extension Overview

Administrators who install multiple client operating systems on “bare-metal” computers—computers that do not have an operating system—one at a time from the installation CD, can spend a lot of time at each computer. This takes administrators away from their other responsibilities. Customizing and configuring each newly installed operating system to meet organization needs is susceptible to errors and takes even more time. Having an inexperienced end user install the operating system from the CD can be frustrating for the end user, result in installation errors, and increase the number of technical support service calls.

With Windows Server 2003, Microsoft provides two features to help administrators deploy Windows clients and servers over a network. These two features are RIS and Automated Deployment Services (ADS). Administrators can use ADS for deploying server farms. For more information about ADS, see AutomatedDeploymentServicesSupportResources under ManagementServices on Windows Server 2003 Support Center.

You can use RIS to:

Provide an operating system to users on demand.

Provide an operating system image that includes specific settings and applications.

Create automated installation images of products in the Windows Server 2003 family, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

You can also combine RIS with IntelliMirror features such as user documents and settings, Software Installation, and Group Policy. This combination can improve the efficiency of computer management in your organization, and reduce the number of technical support service calls.

The following figure shows the Remote Installation Services node of the Group Policy Object Editor, which is used to configure RIS policy settings. This figure shows the RIS server-side extension user interface, provided by rigpsnap.dll. There is no RIS client-side extension.

Group Policy Object Editor

Group Policy Object Editor

The settings you make in the RIS SSE determine which of the four options the user sees in the Client Installation Wizard of the target computer, as seen in the following figure.

Client Installation Wizard

Client Installation Wizard

This figure shows each of the options that are presented to the user on the target computer during a remote installation of an operating system. Because all four settings are enabled in the SSE, all four settings appear in the wizard. Maintenance and Troubleshooting in the wizard corresponds to Tools in the SSE.

Remote Installation Services Extension Core Scenarios

The core scenario for Remote Installation Services is operating system installation with no involvement of the administrator during client installation. By using the Remote Installation Services Extension node in the Group Policy Object Editor to configure RIS policy settings, the administrator can predetermine the options presented to users during installation. This saves the administrator time, and ensures consistent deployment of client computers across the organization.

Remote Installation Services Extension Dependencies

You can edit Remote Installation Group Policy settings on any computer that has the Group Policy Object Editor with the Remote Installation Services node (rigpsnap.dll). However, note the following about Remote Installation Services:

The Microsoft version of Active Directory is required.

The client computer using RIS to install an operating system must have a network card that:

  • Supports Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE), or

  • Is supported by the RIS remote boot floppy disk.

Windows XP Professional must have Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack installed to show RIS settings in Group Policy Object Editor.

RIS Help is not available by default in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) running on Windows XP Professional. Install Windows Help from the Windows Server 2003 CD onto the computer running Windows XP Professional.

RIS is not included in the Windows Server 2003, Web Edition operating system.

RIS installation image files must be located on a Windows NT File System (NTFS) partition not containing the system or boot files.

Related Information

The following contains additional information that is relevant to this section.

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