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Windows Thread, Running RIS Remotely and Automatically? in Technical; Is it possible to make a computer run RIS from a central location? E.g. At the moment, to rebuild a ...
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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    Is it possible to make a computer run RIS from a central location? E.g. At the moment, to rebuild a machine using RIS, you need to boot up the machine, invoke the network boot option, press F12 to boot in to the OSChooser, enter admin credentials, pick the image and press Enter twice.

    Is there any way to automate this so that you can rebuild computers from a centrally managed location rather than having to physically visit each machine?

    Zoom7000

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    I don't think so but could wrong....................i normally am ;-)

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    Nope, it needs a human as far as I know

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    You can get machines to boot to the NIC as everyone knows but thats a BIOS setting. You would then need a custom PXE image that went straight in. This would have implications other machines getting automatically wiped.
    If you were using flat images then you could basically create a PXE image that is a network boot disk that flattens the hard drive then starts the unattended setup.

    You couldnt do it in a conventional RIS way I would have said but you could do it another way as described. The only problem would be the accidental reinstallation of other PCs.
    If your lucky your PCs will have a boot menu option so you can instruct someone to press the right combo but once again someone could use this maliciously to mess up machine.

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    Homebrew is difficult unless your Linux guru.

    If you don't mind spending money I think Symantec Ghost can do push installs of disk images.

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    You can get round pressing F12 by switching the boot images round (there's one called "startrom.n12").

    To actually 'automatically' deploy your image to the client you need to tell RIS what to do. So you need to pre-stage the machine accounts with the right RIS settings and tell it what image to use.

    As for getting the bios to actually boot into RIS, I think this is where things will fall down. Unless you set them to boot to the network by default and have RIS disabled until you need it I don't see how this idea will work.

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by ITWombat
    Homebrew is difficult unless your Linux guru.

    If you don't mind spending money I think Symantec Ghost can do push installs of disk images.
    Nah I saw a guide somewhere that walked you through doing a boot disc then turning it into an image with a certain program. I think the basis of it was to use RIS to install Win 98.

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    Re: Running RIS Remotely and Automatically?

    You could probably do this if you had Intel vPro compatible PCs since these feature remote BIOS access.

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    We have all PCs Network boot to a pxe menu that lets you choose local boot, thin client boot or reinstall (password protected). Different machines get different menus depending on their capability (ie those that are thin clients don't get the option to run locally or reinstall. These options are set up in DHCP. You don't need to be a guru to get this working but it can help. Then you just need to set the default net boot option to be your ris image and reboot the pc. Ours works well from the menu but our installation package (Unattended on sourceforge) is proving to be less useful as we have replaced PCs that for some reson don't work well with it. We have 3 suites of vpro pcs and are looking at the best way of starting to use this. Openview adn altiris apparently support this. Many large organisations including our universities in Sheffield use Altiris which is apparently able to reprovision PCs on an automated schedule.

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