Install Remote Installation Services

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To install Remote Installation Services

  1. If you have not already installed Remote Installation Services through Control Panel or through an unattended Setup answer file, open Add or Remove Programs and use Add/Remove Windows Components to install the RIS component.

  2. Open the Remote Installation Services Setup Wizard.

  3. In the wizard, click Next.

You are prompted for the following information:

  • Remote Installation Services Drive and Directory
    Enter the disk drive and directory where you want to install Remote Installation Services (RIS). The disk should be dedicated to the RIS server and contain enough space to store as many client images as you plan to host with this server. The recommended minimum amount of space is four gigabytes.
  • Initial Settings
    Select Respond to client computers requesting service if you want the RIS server to begin responding to client computers as soon as you finish the wizard. Select Do not respond to unknown client computers if you want the RIS server to respond only to prestaged client computers in Active Directory. You can change these settings later.
  • Source Path
    Enter the location of the client images. This can be either the compact disc or a shared folder that contains the installation files.
  • Friendly Description and Help Text
    Enter the friendly description for the client computer installation. This description will be displayed to users or clients of this server. The Help text describes the operating system installation choices to users or clients of RIS.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group in Active Directory, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure. For more information, see Default local groups, Default groups, and Using Run as.

  • To open Add or Remove programs, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove programs.

  • This topic does not apply to Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

  • To start the Remote Installation Services Setup Wizard, click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Installation Services Setup.

  • The Installation Wizard might prompt you to restart the computer if RIS was added after Setup.

  • For information about the technologies that RIS requires to identify network computers (for example, DHCP and other technologies), see Related Topics.

  • For information about RIS system requirements, including important information about requirements for the partition on which you install RIS, see Related Topics.

  • To manage a RIS server from a computer running Windows XP, install the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack on the computer running Windows XP. To manage a RIS server from any remote computer, use Remote Desktop for Administration. For more information, see Related Topics.

  • Do not use Network Load Balancing in front of the RIS server. If you do, RIS will not work. This is because the computer will appear to Active Directory as if it has two Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and is therefore a multihomed computer. Similarly, a computer with more than one network adapter is also multihomed, and cannot be used as a RIS server.

  • Installation images that are stored in locations other than \\Server_name\REMINST\Setup\Language\Images

    and referenced through junction points cannot be used with the Single Instance Store (SIS) because the SIS groveler agent does not work with junction points.

  • RIS does not currently support the Encrypting File System (EFS). The Distributed File System (DFS) is not supported as a target location. You can, however, run RIS on a computer that is also running DFS.

  • To ensure that all of the services have started successfully, open Event Viewer and review the entries for System Log and Application Log. For more information about using Event Viewer, see Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Working with MMC console files
Configure Remote Installation Services
View an event log
Using the Event Viewer snap-in
Event Viewer overview
Running the Remote Installation Services Setup Wizard
Technologies used by Remote Installation Services to identify network computers
Remote Installation Services system requirements
Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack
Using Remote Desktop for Administration for remote server administration