How to Set up a Remote Installation Service for Windows

Hi EE,

Currently working within a company and all their rebuild of machine's are only able to be done through an installation CD.

I want to propose to set up a network RIS where the end user will be walked through tapping some buttons to get a network service boot and then it will cut out the need to send all new workstations/laptops to us to build them.

I have searched and cannot seem to find a decent process of how this can be achieved.

Is there any specific things that the network needs to be capable of? (eg. SCCM, etc)

If this was to be implemented, would we need to purchase a corporate/group license to install windows on many machines?

Your input and assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
RIS is a server technology (win2K,win2k3) replaced by WDS (win2k8,win2k8r2)

You cannot purchase anything for Windows XP anymore.. it is not available for purchase, you can recieve it as a downgrade if you have a Volume Licensing agreement with SLA from microsoft.
Windows XP must be pro, preferrably corporate, Vista must be professional or higher, Windows 7 ditto.

you can use the Microsoft deployment toolkit to make customized images and use a customized winpe disk to install/capture the operating system.
If you currently have SCCM setup, then you can setup the build process for them.  But if you have not used SCCM then its quite a hefty product in license and in use for just building machines.

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AaronDukeAuthor Commented:
yeah we are currently building the SCCM environment and i have done an implementation course ran by microsoft, however they did not cover that.

Looks like we are moving to Windows 7 also.

Can I get a link to a source that helps me set this up?
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AaronDukeAuthor Commented:
I required assistance with showing me how to set this up via SCCM.
I liked the direction, just not too pleased with the lack of information
Sorry AaronDuke, i had not revisited this.  

If you have a secondary or primary site where they are, you can create a Task Sequence to advertise to their machines and if they want to rebuild the machine you can get them to select the required task sequence from Run Advertised Programs in the control panel.
AaronDukeAuthor Commented:
Thanks Kezzi,

Familiar with SCCM and to RIS a machine, should be done upon startup of the machine, be invoking the RIS prior to logging in. I will keep searching for a viable solution.

Thanks for all your efforts.
If you have your Primary or Secondary site located where the users are set up as a PXE point as well as distribution point, then when the users turn on the machines, depending on your BIOS options, you either hit F9 for boot options and select LAN or F12 to start LAN, or it will automatically start LAN booting prior to CDROM, USB and HDD.  Once it starts the LAN boot it will contact the PXE point and get an IP from DHCP and then after few seconds it tells you to hit F12 to boot.  Once you hit F12 it then starts to download your boot image from the PXE point and presents you with a list of Task Seqeunces you have assigned to either the Unknown Computers collection or to another known collection like All Systems.

After they select the required Task Sequence, and as long as you have the OSDComputerName variable on the collection with the Task sequence assigned to it, (you do this by right clicking the collection and choosing Modify Collection Settings, then on the Variable tab you add OSDComputerName and leave the value as blank and dont tick the option to hide the value), they can double click the word OSDComputerName and enter the name of the PC and press next which will then run your Task Sequence and Build the machine, join it to the domain with the PC name they chose.

You can also run scripts to gather variables that can be passed to the Task Sequence.  Some people prefer to have scripts that collect which OU a machine should belong to, and which domain and also prompting for computer name.  I dont find these necessary as you can have a Task Sequence that joins the right domain into the OU you want.  And with the OSDComputerName prompt it will name the machine correctly.

If you are wanting to do a state migration of capturing user settings prior to the rebuild, there is plenty information on the web for this.  If a machine is being rebuilt and the object exists in SCCM, you can have them select the Task Sequence from the Control Panel applet Run Advertised Programs.  
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