›› Remote Installation Services

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Remote Installation Services (RIS) is part of the Windows Server 2003 operating system family and is an optional service that you will probably not find in your Services Control Panel unless you have installed it on your computer. Typically, Remote Installation Services is used by system administrators to allow operating system and application installation over a network from a RIS server to client computers. Put simply, this service allows clients the ability to install operating systems and applications on their computer without the help of an IT professional.

Most large (and small) companies prefer to remain uniform with a single operating system for all of their computers. The problem is that businesses can spend a lot of time and money hiring IT professionals to manually install the latest version of the operating system on each individual computer. With the release of Windows 2000, Microsoft recognized this problem and made available RIS to improve the way that operating systems and applications were installed in businesses. The key feature of RIS is that PC users are able to install a new operating system or application remotely, without the assistance of the helpdesk. This allows businesses the ability to save time and money by not having to use up IT resources.

So you may be wondering how RIS works. Well, imagine a computer with no operating system and a lonely network card. Since network cards traditionally get their commands from the operating system, the network card is virtually useless. RIS works by creating a preboot execution environment (PXE). This PXE acts almost like an operating system because it is able to communicate with the network card to give it commands. Once the network card is able to get commands, it can gain basic TCP/IP network connectivity. This network connectivity allows scripts to be run that allow the client to install the operating system.

A client computer is able to use Remote Installation Services as long as they have a functioning computer with a network connection and a network adapter supported by RIS. In order for the OS installation to occur without a CD, it is required that client computers use PXE so that a reboot command can be sent to the remote computer via the network card. If a client PC doesn't have the PXE boot ROM for diskless startup, it is possible to have the client use a 3.5-inch boot disk to insert and install their own operating system.

When you install RIS to your computer, additional services such as: Boot Information Negotiation Layer (BINL), Single Instance Storage Groveler (SIS), and Trivial FTP Daemon (TFTPD) automatically get added to the server as well. All of these services are related to RIS in some way and help RIS do its job. Click on the links to find out more about what each one does.

If you are a home PC user then you will probably never need to install this service. You need to install this service on a server if you are a system administator that wishes to give client computers the ability to install operating systems and applications remotely. If you are a system administrator with RIS installed and you turn this service off, then all clients requesting RIS installations will not get a reply and the installations will fail.

Service Name BINLSVC
Display Name Remote Installation Services
Executable File Name tcpsvcs.exe
Dependencies Server
Reciprocal Dependencies None
Default Startup Type Automatic
Recommended Startup Type This service is not available by default. It is necessary to install it through Add/Remove Programs.

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