Tech Tips / Windows 2000 Server / Installation and Configuration

Limitations of RIS and Ghost images

The Remote Installation Service that comes with Windows 2000 Server only allows for remote installation of Windows 2000 Professional - you can't use it for remote installs of Windows 2000 Server. However, Microsoft has provided documentation on how to perform an RIS-like install of Windows 2000 Server in Knowledge Base article Q214794; still, a lot of administrators think RIS is too limited.

Another limitation, at least until recently, is that you couldn't upgrade an existing OS with RIS, nor use those very popular Ghost images for client deployment. However, Symantec, the producer of Ghost (one of the most successful disk-imaging programs), solved the latter problem. Ghost 6.0 Enterprise will now let you add Ghost images to RIS, thereby allowing you to install any operating system you like.

After you successfully install and configure RIS and Ghost 6.0 Enterprise and create the Ghost image you want to deploy, open the Multicast Assist utility that comes with Ghost and follow the wizard to create Microsoft RIS Boot Option. This will create an additional folder for RIS installations.

You'll then be prepared to turn on the RIS client machine. After you log on, select the Ghost image and the client will download the boot files necessary to start Ghost. You'll then be presented with the familiar Ghost interface. This is an excellent way to deploy any operating system with RIS.

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