How To Set Up and Configure Remote Installation Services in Windows 2000

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


This article describes the steps to install, configure, and use Remote Installation Services (RIS).

Description of Remote Installation Services

You can use Remote Installation Services (RIS) for Windows 2000 to install a local copy of the operating system to other computers from remote locations. You can start up your computer, contact a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server for an Internet Protocol (IP) address, and then contact a boot server to install the operating system.

RIS requires several other services. These services can be installed on individual servers, or all of these services can be installed on a single server. The type of installation depends upon your network design:

  • DNS server: RIS relies on DNS for locating the directory service and client computer accounts. You can use any Windows 2000 Active Directory service-compliant DNS server, or you can use the DNS server that is provided with Windows 2000 Server.
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server: RIS requires an active DHCP server on the network. The remote boot-enabled clients receive an IP address from the DHCP server before they contact RIS.
  • Active Directory: RIS relies on Windows 2000 Active Directory for locating existing clients as well as existing RIS servers. RIS must be installed on a Windows 2000-based server that has access to Active Directory, for example, a domain controller or a server that is a member of a domain with access to Active Directory.

Using RIS

To ensure a successful installation, you must install and configure the additional services previously described for RIS to function. Also, ensure that you have both the Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROMs available. The following steps are an overview of how to set up and configure the RIS process.

Installing RIS

  1. On Windows 2000 Server, click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remote Programs.
  3. Double-click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  4. Scroll down and click Remote Installation Services, and then click Next.
  5. Insert the Windows 2000 Server CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then click OK. The necessary files are copied to the server.

    NOTE: After you insert the CD-ROM, a dialog box is displayed that prompts you to upgrade the operating system. Click No, and then close this screen.
  6. Click Finish to end the wizard.
  7. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.
  8. When the server has restarted, log on to the computer as a local administrator.

Setting up RIS

  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type: risetup.exe to start the Remote Installation Services Setup Wizard.
  2. When the Welcome screen is displayed, which indicates some of the requirements to successfully install RIS, click Next.
  3. The next screen prompts you to enter the server drive and folder where you want to install the RIS files. The default drive and folder are going to be on the largest NTFS-formatted drive that is neither a system nor a boot drive. In this example, this drive is: E:\RemoteInstall. Then, click Next.

    NOTE: The drive on which you want to install RIS must be formatted with the NTFS file system. RIS requires a significant amount of disk space and cannot be installed on the same drive or partition on which Windows 2000 Server is installed. Ensure that the selected drive contains enough free disk space for at least 1 full Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM. That CD-ROM must contain a minimum of 800 megabytes (MB) to 1 gigabyte (GB) of disk space.
  4. The next screen enables you to configure client support. By default, the RIS server does not support clients until you have set up RIS and configured the server. If you want the server to begin supporting clients immediately after the setup of RIS, select the Respond to clients requesting service option. If you select this option, the server can respond to clients and provide them with operating system installation options. If you do not select this option, the RIS server does not respond to the clients that request service.
  5. The Setup Wizard prompts you for the location of the Windows 2000 Professional installation files. RIS supports only the remote installation of Windows 2000 Professional. Insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive of the server, and then enter the drive letter that contains the CD-ROM or browse to a network share that contains the installation source files. Then, click Next.
  6. The wizard prompts you to enter the folder name that contains the workstation files on the RIS server. This folder is created beneath the folder that is specified in the preceding step 3. The folder name must reflect its contents, for example, Click Next to accept the default name of
  7. You are prompted for a "friendly" description and help text that describes this operating system image. For this example, click Next to accept the default name of Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional.
  8. You are presented with a summary screen that indicates the choices that you have made. Click Finish to confirm your choices. When the installation wizard is complete, you can either service clients, or configure the RIS settings.
  9. The wizard installs the service and settings that you have selected. This process takes several minutes. When this process is finished, click Done.
When RIS is successfully installed, you must authorize the RIS server in Active Directory. If you do not authorize the RIS server, it cannot service clients that request a network service boot. The next section outlines these steps.

Authorizing RIS in Active Directory

To authorize an RIS server in Active Directory, you must be logged on to your computer as an enterprise administrator or a domain administrator of the root domain. You can complete the following steps on any domain controller, member server of the domain, or a Windows 2000 Professional-based workstation that has installed the Administrator Tools Package that contains the DHCP Server Management snap-in. This section describes the authorization process on a domain controller:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DHCP to activate the DHCP snap-in.
  2. Right-click DHCP in the upper-left corner of the DHCP screen, and then click Manage Authorized Servers. If your server is not already listed, click Authorize, and then enter the IP address of the RIS server. Click Yes when you are prompted to verify that the address is correct.NOTE: If you authorize the RIS server on a computer that is not a domain controller, use the following steps to install the Administrator Tools Package: Click Start, click Run, and then type: adminpak.msi on a server network. From a Windows 2000 Professional-based computer, run the Adminpak.msi program from the Windows 2000 Server CD-ROM.

Setting the Required User Permissions

The permissions that are granted by using the following steps can enable users to create computer accounts anywhere in the domain:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Right-click the domain name that is listed at the top of the snap-in, and then select the Delegate Control option. After a wizard starts, click Next.
  3. Click Add to add the users who are able to install their own computers by using Microsoft Windows 2000 Remote OS Installation.
  4. Select the necessary users, click Add, and then click OK.
  5. Click Next to continue.
  6. Select the Join a Computer to the Domain option, and then click Next.
  7. Click Finish. Users can create computer account objects during the operating system installation by using the RIS service.

    NOTE: You can either use the default RIS settings and immediately begin servicing clients, or you can make changes to the RIS settings first.

Installing Clients By Using Remote Installation

This section describes the steps that are required to successfully install Windows 2000 Professional on a network computer, a managed computer, or a computer that contains a network adapter that is supported by the remote installation boot floppy disk:
  1. Restart your client from either the remote floppy disk or the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot CD-ROM. When you are prompted, press the F12 key to start the download of the Client Installation Wizard.
  2. At the Welcome screen, press ENTER.
  3. For the username, enter a username from the domain. Enter the password and domain name, and then press ENTER to continue.
  4. After you receive a warning message that all data on the client hard disk is going to deleted, press ENTER to continue.
  5. After a computer account and a global unique identification (ID) for this workstation are displayed, press ENTER to begin Setup. Windows 2000 Setup starts.
  6. If you are prompted, type the product key (which is located on the back of the Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM case), and then click Next.

    NOTE: This step can be avoided by specifying the product key in the .sif file. You have successfully configured and installed a remote operating system by using RIS. Refer to the following section for additional information about configuration options.


By prestaging the client, the administrator can define a specific computer name, and optionally, the RIS server that can service the client:
  1. Locate the container in the Active Directory service in which you want your client accounts to be created.
  2. Right-click the container, click New, and then click Computer. The New Object-Computer dialog box is displayed.
  3. Enter the computer name and authorize domain-join permissions for the user or security group that contains the user who is going to use the computer that this computer account represents.
  4. In the next dialog box, you are prompted for either the globally unique identifier (GUID) or universally unique identifier (UUID) of the computer itself and whether you intend to use this computer as a managed (Remote OS Installation-enabled) client. Enter either the GUID or UUID, and then click to select the This is a managed computer check box.
The GUID or UUID is a unique 32-character number that is supplied by the manufacturer of the computer, and is stored in the system basic input/output system (BIOS) of the computer. This number is written on the case of the computer, or on the outside of the box that the computer had been shipped in. If you cannot locate this number, run the system BIOS configuration utility. The GUID is stored as part of the system BIOS. Contact your OEM for a VBScript (created with Visual Basic Scripting Edition) that can be used to prestage newly purchased clients in Active Directory for use with Remote OS Installation.

The next screen prompts you to indicate the RIS server that this computer is serviced by. This option can be left blank to indicates that any available RIS server can answer and service this client. If you know the physical location of the specific RIS server and where this computer can be delivered, you can use this option to manually load clients in the RIS servers in your organization as well as segment the network traffic. For example, if a RIS server had been located on the fifth floor of your building, and you are delivering these computers to users on that floor, you can assign this computer to the RIS server on the fifth floor.