Please forgive me for being stupid, but I'm relatively new to automated Wndows

I've been playing with a variety of tools/techniques for deploying Windows systems
and their application in a controlled and low-effort manner. Possibly because I'm new
to this, I havent managed to arrive at a very satisfactory solution yet. I've read the
Windows Xp Deployment eBook, and that hasn't revealed a significant deal more than
I'd already figured.

The scenario:

Deploy Windows Xp together with applications, to a variety of PC's (desktop & notebooks).
Some of the PC's and notebooks come pre-installed wiht specific applications (eg, IBM T42
notebooks with their Access IBM software etc), and so simple disk imaging really isn't
suitable as this software would be lost.

Techniques I've tried (with their shortcomings)

1) Sysprep & imaging tool: clobbers pre-installed software.

2) Manual install from CD - no answer file. Very labour intensive and
prone to error resulting in inconsistency of PC configuration,

3) Manual install from CD - with answer file: Very labour intensive to
install applications, still error prone.

4) RIS for OS installation. Multiple issues:
a) cannot install all desired components from RIS. Eg, RIP
listener, Simple TCP/IP services,....
b) Still a pain to install applications, although I've managed to automate
most of them thanks to posts in the KB.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong ?

Also, some questions specific to RIS:

c) Which answer file should be modified for an RIS installation to change
installation settings - unless I make changes to i386\templates\ristndrd.sif,
my changes don't take effect. Reading the documentation, I believe I should
only have to modify i386\ristndrd.sif. Is this incorrect ?

d) Under what circumstances do I use the following:

Thanks for your attention. I apologise once again if these questions are too
simple, but I find the twisty maze of procedures all slightly different given in
dofferent resources VERY hard to follow form start to end.

Phil W
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Let me take a shot at some of these questions.

Not sure I will get them in the right order so I will just number them to follow my thoughts

1) Most Windows components can be installed and uninstalled using a little know program called sysocmgr.exe. This program is a part of the windows operating system. You can find good amounts of information about this program and the sysoc.inf file that goes with it by searching microsofts site - I know - doesn't sound like microsoft.

2) Automated Software Installation. Whenever possible, use the MSI, MST technology. Microsoft, I know not them again, has actually done a good job with this technology and it is amazing what you can do if you have the right program for creating and editing the MSI and MST files. Appdeploy has great information on most of the software available to utilize MSI, MST technology.

3)RIS. I don't know much about RIS, but I do know that Bob Kelly has produce a great video on RIS you might want to take a look at that.

4) Lastly, when dealing with IBM/Lenovo hardware, all of the TVT's (ThinkVantage Technologies) that are preinstalled on there PC's are readily available via a download from there site. Also if your enviroment is mostly IBM/Lenovo equipment you might want to look into the ImageUltra Builder program for doing you bare metal provisioning.

Hope this helps
Answered 10/26/2005 by: jasondell
Senior Yellow Belt

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Thanks for the response - the sysocmgr looks like it may be the best option
for the remaining components. Also, the lead on the IBM stuff is very useful.

Where would I find the Bob Kelly video - sorry if I'm ignorant, is it on this site ?


Phil W
Answered 10/27/2005 by: aigplw
Yellow Belt

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Bob Kelly is the owner of this site. The RIS video might be available to members only, but membership is cheap and Bob offers so good perks for the cost. Have a great day
Answered 10/30/2005 by: jasondell
Senior Yellow Belt

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