Reimaging Compute Nodes

Applies To: Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003

Occasionally, one or more compute nodes on a cluster may need to be reimaged, such as in the case of disk drive failure, software upgrade, or for testing purposes.

You can reimage a single compute node or a series of compute nodes one at a time by following this general procedure:

  1. Delete the node's computer account from Active Directory.

  2. Run the Add Node Wizard and select the Automated Installation method.

  3. Start Remote Installation Services (RIS).

  4. Restart the computer. This will install a new image on the node, and the node status will be Pending Approval.

When reimaging multiple compute nodes, the order in which you reimage the nodes is very important.

For example, suppose you have three compute nodes, which have the computer names CN001, CN002, and CN003. You now want to reimage all three nodes using the Add Node Wizard and the Automated Addition (RIS) method. After removing these computer accounts from Active Directory and using the Add Node Wizard to start RIS, each computer will receive a node series computer name in the order in which it is restarted. The implication of this is that if you restart CN003 first, it will now become CN001. This might create confusion for your administrators, and may introduce license key issues.


Typically, only the creator of an Active Directory computer object can delete that object. Since the Add Node Wizard creates a computer account object in Active Directory, only domain administrators, the user account used to create the node, and users with delegated permission to delete computer accounts objects in Active Directory container can delete the computer account.

To reimage a compute node

  1. Delete the Active Directory computer account of the compute node(s) you want to reimage.

  2. Run the Compute Cluster Administrator.

  3. From the Node Management pane, click Add Nodes.

  4. On the Before You Begin page, click Next.

  5. On the Select Add Node Method page, select Automated addition using Remote Installation Services (RIS) for installation, and then click Next.

  6. On the Select Image page, select the RIS image you want to use for the node.

  7. Provide a domain account user name and password to install the nodes. Click Next.

  8. On the Enter Node Series Name page, enter a name for the node you are adding, and then click Next.

  9. On the Enable RIS page, note that RIS will reformat the disk drives of the computer as part of the operating system installation, and then Next.

  10. On the Install Nodes page, click Start RIS. In order to actually install the image, restart the computer that you are reimaging. When the computer restarts, RIS will reformat and install an image.

  11. If you are reimaging more than a single node, restart the next node.

  12. After all nodes have an image installed, click Stop RIS.

  13. The Completing the Add Node Wizard page reports the installation process results. You can print, send e-mail, or save the results shown. Verify that the report displays that the installation is complete, and then click Finish.

  14. The node or nodes you have added will be displayed in the Node Management page as Pending Approval. This node status allows you to run additional scripts, install applications, and perform other configuration tasks prior to accepting a node. When you are finished configuring the node as appropriate, right-click that node and accept it for inclusion into the cluster. The head node of your cluster will then begin scheduling jobs for that node.