RIS Experts and Microsoft Please !

Discussion in 'Server Setup' started by Paul B T Hodges, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    Firstly let me appologise for the length of this query, its a tricky one and
    its been bugging me for over a week. I've sifted through countless articles
    about Ris on the Ms website and in the wider web, but can't find an answer
    anywhere. If you read to the end, even if you can't answer it, it might
    contain some useful info for you.

    This url first first got my attention.


    It points to a Technet article on RIS which states that:-

    "You can also make the Recovery Console available to a user of a RIS client
    computer if the client computer is configured to support it. When the
    Recovery Console is available to a user, it is displayed in the Client
    Installation Wizard under "Maintenance and Troubleshooting." For information
    on using RIS to start the Recovery Console, see Resources."

    If you follow the links you end up at Q222478 which shows how to boot the
    Text Mode part of setup from RIS. I've tried this and OK it works, but it
    doesn't address the issue in the previous paragraph.

    I don't know what, "if the client computer is configured to support it",
    means. I tried the following:-

    I installed recovery console on an XP client running XP SP1 and all the hot

    Next ran dsa.msc, right click domain, properties,group policy, select
    default, edit(starts group poicy editor for domain), user configuration,
    windows settings, remote installation sevices, choice options, and select
    enable for all 4 RIS client menu choices.

    Note that you can also follow this route if you start by right clicking
    Domain Controller instead of Domain but this doesn't appear to have any

    With this done, I booted the RIS client. Client installation wizard displays
    the following screens

    \RemoteInstall\Oschooser\welcome.osc (Hit enter)
    \Remoteinstall\Oschooser\english\login.osc (Username, password domain)

    Normally,unless group policy settings have been changed as described above,
    the FILTER CHOICE command near the top of choice.osc only resolves to option
    1 below so the menu does not get displayed and
    \remoteinstall\oschoose\englis\osauto.osc (Checks GUID) is called which then
    calls oschoice.osc which displays the usual list of os images on offer by
    the ris server. It does this through the
    <META SERVER ACTION="ENUM IMAGES"> , basically it looks for every sif file
    under \RemoteInstall\Setup\english\images\*\i386\Tempates. And displays the
    Description= "string" in the [OSCHOOSER]section of each sif.

    However with the GP setting change you are offered:-

    1. Automatic Installation(leads to original image menu)
    2. Custom Installation(Useful if you want to change the client name
    3. Restart Existing Install
    4. Maintenance and Troubleshooting Option

    If you pick option 4 Maintenance and Troubleshooting you just get an error
    that no OS was found and have to reboot the client. So what's going on ?

    If you have a look at the tools screen which is run when you choose option 4


    <TITLE> Client Installation Wizard
    \RemoteInstall\OSChooser\French\tools.osc </TITLE>
    <FOOTER> [ENTER] continue [ESC] go back [F1] help [F3] restart
    <BODY left=5 right=75>
    Use the arrow keys to select one of the following options:
    <P left=8>

    You see that on the fifth line it tries to enumerate files(I assume it looks
    for sifs similar to the ENUM IMAGES in oschoice.osc) in a TOOLS and in a
    CMDCONS directory.

    As a test I created the directory


    the same structure as the Images directories and copied a sif file into it
    from one of my image templates directories and sure enough, it was displayed
    as an option on the Maintenance and troubleshooting menu.

    However this does not work for a similar structure for CMDCONS, and even if
    it did I can't find any documentation on what files to install and in what
    directories for recovery console to boot, (or for Tools).

    So now even though I have some understanding as to how this hangs together,
    I'm not really any wiser in how to get recovery console to display and be
    accessible through the Maintenance and Trouble Shooting Menu. I now have the
    following questins :-

    1a. Seeing that the line <META SERVER ACTION="ENUM CMDCONS TOOLS"> is what
    generates the menu options, how does the client configuration mentioned in
    the technet article affect what gets displayed on the Maintenance and
    Trouble Shooting Menu. The TOOLS argument is enumerated like the IMAGES
    option in oschoice.osc, whats the CMDCONS for ?

    1b Do you need recovery console already installed on the client in order for
    it to be displayed on the M&T menu. I don't really see the point unless its
    for the situation when the MBR on the client is corrupt, anyhow if this is
    the case, I have recovery console installed client and it isn't being
    displayed as an option

    2. How do you install Recovery Console on a Ris Server to be accessible to
    Ris Clients.

    3. Can you install different versions of recovery console for different
    Operating Systems on Ris to be accessible by clients.

    4. If CMDCONS is the top of a recovery consoles directory hierarchy where is
    it supposed to go, what sub-directories and files should it contain.

    5. Access to Tools can be removed through, dsa.msc, right click Ris Server,
    properties, Remote Install tab, Advanced Settings, Tools. However nowhere
    can I find documentation on how to create access to tools from the client
    which would be very useful.

    If you've stayed with me to the end. Thank you for your time and I hope
    you've gained something. If you can shed any light on any of my questions,
    even better !

    Best Regards

    Paul B T Hodges, Aug 30, 2003
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