Remote OS Installation

In Windows 2000, Remote OS Installation is part of change and configuration management. Remote OS Installation simplifies the task of installing the Windows 2000 Professional operating system on PXE-based remote boot–enabled client computers throughout the organization. It allows computers to connect to a networked server during initial start-up, and then it allows the server to perform a local installation of Windows 2000 Professional.

Remote Installation Services (RIS) is the technology that is used during initial start-up before the resident operating system loads. RIS supports clients without an initial operating system or failed computers that need to have the operating system restored. RIS allows computer hardware connected through a LAN to find a networked RIS server and request installation of a new copy of Windows 2000 Professional appropriately configured for the user and computer. Remote OS Installation cannot be used to upgrade an existing operating system.

Remote OS Installation uses these key technologies to install Windows 2000 Professional on a computer:

  • Active Directory

  • Group Policy

  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

  • Domain Name System (DNS)

  • PXE-based remote boot technology

  • Remote Installation Services

Using RIS servers to deploy and upgrade operating systems throughout a company reduces the costs incurred by either preinstalling the client computer or physically visiting each client to install the operating system. Automatically installing the operating system by using Remote OS Installation and Group Policy can reduce the IT staff support overhead in adding new computers to a network and reinstalling operating systems.

You use a RIS server as a remote source, to install the network equivalent of a CD-based installation of either Windows 2000 Professional or a preconfigured Windows 2000 Professional desktop image. The following are descriptions of these two methods.

CD-Equivalent Installation    This is similar to setting up a client computer that directly uses the unattended installation options available on the Windows 2000 Professional operating system CD. The source files, however, reside across the network on available Windows 2000–based servers rather than on a local CD.

Preconfigured Desktop Image Installation    This allows you to reproduce a working copy of a corporate desktop configuration, including operating system configurations, desktop customizations, and locally installed software. After the reproduced image is configured, it is stored on Windows 2000 RIS servers. On request, the server downloads these images to new computers. The new computer does not need to have identical hardware to the computer on which the image was created. Windows 2000 Professional support for Plug and Play can adjust for hardware differences.

It is important that your DHCP, DNS, and Active Directory servers are configured appropriately to work with Remote OS Installation. These services can be installed either on individual servers or the same server, and these services must be active and available in order to use RIS. RIS uses these components in several ways to detect client computer requests for service.

For more information about DHCP technology and its use, see "Determining Network Connectivity Strategies" in the Deployment Planning Guide and "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol" in the Microsoft ® Windows ®  2000 Server Resource Kit TCP/IP Core Networking Guide . For more information about DNS technology, see "Introduction to DNS" in the TCP/IP Core Networking Guide . For more information about Remote OS Installation, see "Remote OS Installation" in this book.