Install Remote Installation Services for Windows 2000 Server

You don't need to stand over your computers while you install Windows 2000 Professional. Here's how to understand and use Remote Installation Services to install the operating system over the network from your Windows 2000 Server.

Remote Installation Services (RIS) is a special set of services in Windows 2000 Server that allows for installation of Windows 2000 Professional on client computers without administrator assistance. End users have to turn the computer on, press [F12], log on to the domain, and voila, the OS is on the system.

A lot of services work together to provide this functionality. RIS uses DHCP, DNS, AD, Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), and a special service called BINL (Boot Image Negotiation Layer). On the client side, the computer, especially the network card, has to support PXE (preboot execution environment). PXE lets a computer use a network card as a boot device, allowing you to start the computer not only from floppy, hard drive, or CD, but also from the network.

The process of installing Windows 2000 on the client machines from the network is as follows:

  1. The user starts the computer and presses [F12].
  2. The network card tries to get an IP address from the DHCP server. It also asks for the name of the computer that holds the bootstrap program, BINL.
  3. TFTP downloads the boot image to the computer and starts the Client Installation Wizard.
  4. The wizard prompts for username and password.
  5. Windows 2000 installs.

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