Extend Remote Installation Service's functionality with third-party tools in Windows 2000 Server

Remote Installation Service is handy for deploying Windows 2000 Professional across your network from your Windows 2000 Server. But what else can you do with RIS? Learn how you can maintain and improve your network with third-party tools and utilities.

The primary function of the Remote Installation Service (RIS) is deployment of Windows 2000 Professional on client machines. But RIS can do much more than that — RIS also allows you to update your computer BIOS, scan for viruses, or perform any other maintenance task before installing the OS over the Windows 2000 Server network.

If you open the Properties sheet for your RIS server in the Active Directory Users And Computers console and go to the Remote Install tab, you'll notice an Advanced Settings button. Click it and a new window with three tabs will appear. Click Tools. This tab contains any maintenance and troubleshooting tools installed on your RIS server that you can use on client computers. It will be empty until you install third-party utilities.

One of the tools you can use to extend RIS functionality is RIS Menu Editor from 3Com. It extends RIS by allowing administrators to add menus and options to the RIS Client Installation Wizard — this is the wizard that's run on the client machine before OS installation. When you select an option in the RIS Client Installation Wizard, the wizard downloads the boot image file from the RIS server and executes it on the client machine. You can use RIS Menu Editor to create a boot image file that can, for example, automatically upgrade clients' BIOS, scan for viruses, or create additional partitions on the client machine.

RIS Menu Editor is available from emBoot. After you download it, you can create a boot image file.

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