Solved

RIS - Remote Installation Services configuration OSC/SIF file trail

Posted on 2006-11-07
6
754 Views
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hey experts
I'm being thrown into the RIS environment with no RIS experience.
We've already got RIS server set up and existing images available.. but here's the issue. The people who used to do the scripting for RIS left. So it's up to me to take responsibility. I understand the basic concepts of RIS however, I need to fully understand the "file trail" that RIS goes thru. I need to be able go into the source to configure it. I need to be able to create new images and configure the set up menu.

From what I understand, you boot a machine and hit F12 and the BIOS initiates a PXE boot and then you magically get the blue installation screen with all the options. My question is not creating the image itself, but modifying the RIS interface. I need to know what file gets accessed first and how the "variables" are getting accessed and called from. I want to eventually edit the OSC and SIF files, but first I need to understand when it's being called and how it's being used.

Can someone take a look at this...
This is what I figure for how the OSC files is called...
welcome->login->choice-> osauto or custom or restart ->(suppose we pick custom)-> oscust->x8664->oschoice->warning->install->reboot

What I am guessing is that the oschooser.exe is called first and runs the OSC files and somewhere along the line the SIF files and STARTROM.COM is called.. But when is this being accessed/called? Or I am completely wrong about this?

Also.. how are the variables defined ( %MACHINENAME%, %MACHINETYPE%, etc)? Is this from the SIF file and how does it grab it? Or is it dependent on how you structure the REMINST folder?

For instance... in OSCHOICE.OSC we have something like:

<OSCML>
<META KEY=F3 ACTION="REBOOT">
<META KEY=ESC HREF="CHOICE">
<META SERVER ACTION="ENUM IMAGES">
<TITLE>  Client Installation Wizard                                        OS Choices</TITLE>
<FOOTER>  [ENTER] continue            [ESC] go back             [F3] restart computer</FOOTER>
<BODY left=5 right=75>
<BR>
<BR>
Use the arrow keys to select one of the following operating systems:
<P left=8>
<FORM ACTION="WARNING">
<SELECT NAME="SIF" SIZE=12>
%OPTIONS%          <------------------- where is this from?
</SELECT>
</FORM>
</P>
<BOLD>Description:</BOLD>&nbsp&nbsp
<TIPAREA>
</BODY>
</OSCML>

Where is it getting the OPTIONS from???
Can someone please clarify this for me?
0
Comment
Question by:ThinkPaper
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 2
6 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:sow56091
ID: 17891160
I used RIS once for a testing environment of over 400 laptops. It was a NIGHTMARE--and, sorry, I'm not trying to discourage your efforts here, but my experience was very negative. What you might consider doing, after receiving input from other experts to resolve SIF formatting confusing, is migrating away from RIS and move toward Ghost or Acronis True Image (when I used RIS, there was a way to deploy Ghost images via RIS but was not broadly accepted so Ghost and others created their own RIS-like installation methods), where you could deploy images in a much simpler way (with better worldwide support, since RIS was not very well supported / deployed and has even been replaced by Windows Deployment Services in 2003 / Vista), not only for yourself but for your end-users. If budget concerns are an issue, then you might lobby for a test group and get user buy-in. Why RIS, by the way? Why not DeepFreeze from Faronics?
0
 
LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
gvlob earned 500 total points
ID: 17891971
Sorry for your bad experiences with RIS, but my experience is the exact opposite. You can find some good information on RIS at the following two sites:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/deploy/depopt/remoteos.mspx
or
http://labmice.techtarget.com/windows2000/install/RIS.htm

The labmice link has multiple resources for RIS.

Some variables come from the osc files, some come from the Remote-Installation properties pages, and some come from the sif file. The selection of images comes from the Image tab of the RI properties page. If I remember correctly, that's the %options% variable (it's been a while). The variables that come from the sif file are only used during the installation process, so I don't think they are available during the oschoice stage.

I hope this helps a little.
0
 
LVL 16

Author Comment

by:ThinkPaper
ID: 17930027
Thanks. it does help. I wanted to basically figure out how it worked without having to run the RIS install. I don't have a "test machine" to play with.. and I'm hesitant to run/test any RIS programs on my machine since it's my desktop machine and it's connected to the network. They're supposed to set up a test machine for me, but who knows how long it takes for them to get around to it.. =/
0
Optimize your web performance

What's in the eBook?
- Full list of reasons for poor performance
- Ultimate measures to speed things up
- Primary web monitoring types
- KPIs you should be monitoring in order to increase your ROI

 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:gvlob
ID: 17930135
It would be much easier to test using a virtual server with MS Virtual Server or VMWare. You can find more info on this here:

Mircosoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/default.mspx

VMWare:
http://www.vmware.com/products/server/
0
 
LVL 16

Author Comment

by:ThinkPaper
ID: 17982426
FYI For anyone who wanted to know about the OSCHOICE.OSC:

The %OPTIONS% are being called from any SIF file you have in your REMINST\Setup\English\Images\ folder. The SIF file has a [OSChooser] Section which specifies the titles, which are then listed in the OSCHOICE page. This way you can have different OS installs to choose from when you run a new RIS.

So for example suppose you have 2 SIF files:

Inside winXPpro.SIF file:
[OSChooser]
Description ="Windows XP Pro"

Inside win2003server.SIF
[OSChooser]
Description ="Windows 2003 Server Baseline Install"

So in the OSCHOICE file:

<OSCML>
<META KEY=F3 ACTION="REBOOT">
<META KEY=ESC HREF="CHOICE">
<META SERVER ACTION="ENUM IMAGES">
<TITLE>  Client Installation Wizard                                        OS Choices</TITLE>
<FOOTER>  [ENTER] continue            [ESC] go back             [F3] restart computer</FOOTER>
<BODY left=5 right=75>
<BR>
<BR>
Use the arrow keys to select one of the following operating systems:
<P left=8>
<FORM ACTION="WARNING">
<SELECT NAME="SIF" SIZE=12>
%OPTIONS%  now show:  
-----------------------------
Windows XP Pro
Windows 2003 Server Baseline Install
-----------------------------
</SELECT>
</FORM>
</P>
<BOLD>Description:</BOLD>&nbsp&nbsp
<TIPAREA>
</BODY>
</OSCML>
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:gvlob
ID: 17982486
Thanks for posting your findings! I'm sure this will help someone.
0

Featured Post

Ransomware: The New Cyber Threat & How to Stop It

This infographic explains ransomware, type of malware that blocks access to your files or your systems and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid. It also examines the different types of ransomware and explains what you can do to thwart this sinister online threat.  

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Organizations create, modify, and maintain huge amounts of data to help their businesses earn money and generally function.  Typically every network user within an organization has a bit of disk space to store in process items and personal files.   …
ADCs have gained traction within the last decade, largely due to increased demand for legacy load balancing appliances to handle more advanced application delivery requirements and improve application performance.
If you’ve ever visited a web page and noticed a cool font that you really liked the look of, but couldn’t figure out which font it was so that you could use it for your own work, then this video is for you! In this Micro Tutorial, you'll learn yo…
In this video you will find out how to export Office 365 mailboxes using the built in eDiscovery tool. Bear in mind that although this method might be useful in some cases, using PST files as Office 365 backup is troublesome in a long run (more on t…

622 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question