Remote Installation Services overview for GPMC

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

Remote Installation Services

Remote Installation Services (RIS) is an optional component of the Windows Server 2003 operating system. It works with other Windows technologies to enable administrators or users to remotely install a copy of the Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000 operating systems. Administrators use the Remote Installation Services extension of Group Policy only to specify which options are presented to users by the Client Installation Wizard.

Client computers that install an operating system through RIS must be equipped with network cards that either support Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE), or are supported by the RIS remote boot floppy disk. The client computer starts (boots), connects to the network, and accesses the RIS server to install the operating system. The RIS server queries Active Directory to determine remote installation options defined for the user via policy setting. Based on that result, RIS determines which screens to send to the pre-boot RIS client code for display to the user.

The RIS settings that control what the user sees are visible in the Group Policy Object Editor console tree under the Remote Installation Services node.


  • Group Policy object name/User Configuration/Windows Settings/Remote Installation Services

You can customize these settings using Group Policy Object Editor:

  • Automatic Setup This option supports the predefinition of the computer name and a location within Active Directory for the client computer accounts.
  • Custom Setup This option supports user definition of a unique name for a computer and specification of where the computer account is created within Active Directory.
  • Restart Setup This option restarts an operating system installation attempt if it fails prior to completion.
  • Tools This option supports user access to tools from the Client Installation Wizard.

For each of the Client Installation Wizard options, the following choices are available:

  • Enable Users to whom this policy applies are offered the specific option.
  • Not Configured The policy settings of the parent container apply to the specific option. For example, if you choose Not Configured and the administrator for the entire domain has set Group Policy specific to Remote Installation Services, the policy that is set on the domain is applied to all users affected by that policy.
  • Disabled Users affected by this policy cannot access this installation option.

For more information on Remote Installation Services and the options offered by the Client Installation Wizard, see the Remote Installation Services Help, which is accessible in Windows Server 2003 family, either from Group Policy Object Editor or the %systemroot%\Windows\Help folder (RISconcepts.chm).


  • Windows XP Professional does not show RIS settings in the Group Policy Object Editor (GPOE) unless the Admin Tools Pack is installed.

  • If you are running Group Policy Management Console on a computer running Windows XP Professional, Remote Installation Services Help is not available by default. To access the Help, install Windows Help from the Windows Server 2003 installation CD onto a computer running Windows XP Professional.

For more information about RIS, see Remote Operating System Installation( on the Microsoft Web site.

See Also


Group Policy Object Editor Extensions Security settings overview for GPMC