Question on RIS on Windows Server 2003



Forgive my ignorance but I'm trying to decide which method to use for RIS
installations. I've been reading some documentation on RIS and am slightly

Why would anyone use RISETUP to create an image of an operating system when
they could use RIPREP which (according to the documentation) is faster and
can be used on different hardware (as long as the HALs are compatible).

Also RIPREP can install the O/S, settings and other applications whereas
RISETUP can't store desktop settings and can only install applications with
a script (and also it's a lot slower than RIPREP). With a fast ethernet
network connection RIPREP is supposed to be able to copy a 2.5Gb image to a
client machine in 3.5 minutes. RISETUP would take much longer.

Even if I didn't have to roll out a standard desktop environment and just
wanted a flat O/S then wouldn't RIPREP be better because it's faster?

Any comments appreciated.


You MUST run RISETUP at least once for RIS to work.

Basically copies the CD to the RIS server. You NEED a CD-Based image
(referred to as a "flat" image) in order to make RIPREP images.

Once you image a machine with a RISETUP image. You can do all kinds of
stuff, like add software, etc. When you have all the things set up
correctly, you can use RIPREP to turn that into a RIPREP image. The RIPREP
image is the one you'll most likely deploy to client computers.

The way RIS works is by Combining a RIPREP image (everything you've added
on) with a RISETUP (Original Windows files) image to make new clients. You
rarely use a RISETUP (aka FLAT) image.

Here's some things to keep in mind:
- Don't make a RIPREP image off a machine with a big hard drive, because you
can only put an image on to a machine that has that size of a hard drive or
smaller, regardless of how much space you've used.
- When you make a RIPREP image, install and configure the look you want
under a single user profile. Log in with another profile, and then copy the
profile you set up to the default user profile. Then run RIPREP.
- Make use of the Riprep.sif file in your Riprep images, referred to as an
"answer file." You can actually totally bypass the "Welcome to Windows"
screen where you put in the product key, time zone, admin password, etc. So
basically you can pick an image and walk away, no need to hang around to
walk through setup.
- If you ever apply Windows updates or Service packs to an image you're
creating, and then try to use Riprep to add it to the server, it won't let
you... because now your Riprep image is more up to date than the Risetup
image. The way around this is to "slipstream" the updates to a new RISETUP
image. You'd use the update command. (More info all over the web).

RIS is awesome, 4 guys here once RISed 200+ machines in a few hours one
night, we logged in to each PC, picked the image and moved on to the next PC
using an unattended installation setup (using the riprep.sif setup
information file). Our helpdesk call volume dropped significantly within the
week by standardizing/cleaning up all these machines.

good luck!

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