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Remotely Installing a Client Operating System

After you have configured the WDS server and placed boot and install images on the server, you are ready to use WDS to remotely install a client operating system on a computer. Follow these steps:

1. Start the client computer; it does a network boot from the PXE-enabled network interface. The client should be assigned an IP address by the DHCP server on the network (in some cases you may have to press F12 to enable the network boot).

2. If the network boot is successful, the WDS client begins to load the boot image from the WDS server (see Figure 5.11).

Figure 5.11. The WDS downloads the image from the WDS server.

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3. The Install Windows window opens, denoting that it is being supplied by the Windows Deployment Services. Set the locale (such as United States) and then the keyboard type (such as U.S.). Then click Next.

4. When you click Next, the Connect box opens. It requires a username and password for a user account within the domain. Supply the username in the format domainuser, where domain is the name of the domain. Enter the password and then click OK.

5. On the next screen you or the user installing the OS selects the operating system that should be installed (see Figure 5.12). Select the client OS and then click Next.

Figure 5.12. Select the client OS to be installed on the computer.

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6. On the next screen, you are asked to select the disk where Windows should be installed. Select the disk (and unallocated space) and then click Next.

7. The Windows installation begins. Complete the installation for Windows (such as Vista or Windows Server 2008) as you would for a local installation (see Figure 5.13).

Figure 5.13. Complete the installation as you would for a standalone OS installation.

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After the Windows installation is complete you need to add the computer to the domain (if you didn’t prestage the computer to the Active Directory. As soon as the computer is a domain member, users can access domain resources by logging on to the computer using their domain username.

Obviously, WDS can make installing operating systems on network clients a much less time-intensive endeavor. With boot and install images for a number of desktop client operating systems stored on the WDS server, you can quickly get a new computer up and running with any number of operating systems.

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