Multiple Deployment of Windows 2000 Server/XP using RIS




With one computer to be deployed with one image, RIS works great. But, I
have a problem here for deploying 50+ computers all at the same time totally
unattended in both these cases:

1. With different images

[ I cannot fully automate CIW screens. How to list only one image in the
CIW Screen without giving options to the user. Is there anyway to place the
"Imagename" [or Image ID, if one exists] in the OSChoice CIW Screen with
AUTOENTER functionality, without asking the user for picking up an image
interactively at deployment time. Or any other way to automate all the CIW
screens in Windows 2000. I heard AUTOENTER also works for Windows 2003, does
it work with Windows 2000 RIS server and RIS Images.
I figured one way of doing this is by setting the permissions to sif file.
But this restricts the user to deploy multiple machines with different images

2.With one image and different network settings.

I want to set different IP's statically to different computers after they
get installed with the same image through RIS. I can specify Network
configuration in .sif files, but I can use that image only for one machine.
Can I have only one sif file and any other way to assign the network
parameters to multiple computers simultaneously fully unattended and

Any help would be greatly appreciated on both these issues.

Stephen Hewlett


A few months ago I looked into deploying RIS fully automatically, and after
a lot of searching I eventually found some information on the AUTOENTER
feature. It is described in KB article 824184, which has been removed from
the MS website. I have it on the July 2004 version of the MSDN Library CDs.
Even then the article is about something else which just happens to use

The other place from MS that I have heard the autoenter feature mentioned is
a presentation about new features in Windows 2003, so I would not expect it
to work in 2000, although I haven't tried it.

The steps you need to follow are:

1. Modify Welcome.OSC by inserting <META ACTION=AUTOENTER> just before
<BODY..., like this:

<TITLE> Client Installation Wizard
<FOOTER> [ENTER] continue </FOOTER>
<BODY left=5 right=75>

2. Modify Login.OSC similarly:


3. Also in Login.OSC, add VALUE=*** attributes to the two INPUT tags for
username and password, so they look like this (if your usernam is ristest
and password is deploy):


4. Add the <META ACTION=AUTOENTER> tags to Install.osc and Warning.osc.

The first image in the list will be selected automatically.

It is very important to note that according to the documentation, the CIW
screens are only encrypted from the point of logon. This means that the
first screen, login.osc, will be sent to the client computer in plaintext
with the username and password. This is my theory on why the KB article has
been withdrawn. I recommend you make an account just for RIS and only give
it the minimum permissions needed to install RIS and do nothing else.

All the other steps you need to do a completely automated install are
described in the documentation at
Chapter 4 will be most relevant. Even from reading the documentation, it
looks like the original intention was to include the autoenter feature in it
but that it was later removed.

There is, however, one last thing which I didn't manage to do completely
automatically. If you want to boot the machines automatically, you will have
to change the boot order to make them boot from the hard disk first and then
network. You can then re-image machines by erasing the MBR of their hard
disks remotely (This will make the hard disk boot fail and cause a network
boot). How to do that is described in the documentation linked to above, but
I've never got it to work. The only way I have found to do it is
semi-automatically by using a tool called DiskProbe,,
connecting to the machine to be reimaged by remote desktop and running it on
that machine to overwrite the MBR. I started looking into automating this
but never succeeded.

I can't really help with your second issue, apart from recommending you
don't do it! If you're using RIS you will have to set up DHCP anyway, so you
may as well use that. It is possible to configure DHCP to assign certain IPs
to certain MAC addresses. This might be enough for what you want to do.


Stephen Hewlett.

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