Installing from the network

You can also install servers from network sharepoints, which are called distribution drives or servers. Network installs should obviously be limited to local area network installation because anything less than the standard 100-Mbit/sec network speed makes installation an excruciatingly slow experience.

If you have not created a distribution share, simply copy the I386, I486, or ia64 (for Itanium-based systems) folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD to a drive and share it. Apply the necessary access control to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the distribution files. The process, after you have a distribution point in place, is as follows:

1. Create a FAT partition on the target machine. This partition should be within the earlier recommended parameters. You can use the old faithful DOS FDISK command to create the partition, but if you are using a very large disk (more than 2GB), only Windows 98's FDISK for FAT32 enables you to configure all the space as one huge drive.

2. Boot to a network client. You can use Windows 95/98 boot disks, but a simple DOS may be all that you need. Your DOS client contains the following software:

• TCP/IP protocol files

• DOS operating system files for minimum machine life

• Network interface card drivers (another reason to use good cards that require no configuration)

3. You also need to create configuration files that log the target machine onto the network and enable it to use the source distribution sharepoint.

After you have connected to the network sharepoint, you start the installation by executing winnt.exe from the distribution server. The following now takes place:

1. Winnt.exe creates the four Windows Server 2003 Setup boot disks using your local A drive as the target. Have four formatted disks available.

2. Winnt.exe creates the $Win_nt$ temporary folder on your target machine.

3. Winnt.exe copies certain installation files to the temporary folder on the target server.

The process that now takes place is identical to installing from the boot disks, as described in the section "Initial Setup: Using the Boot Disks," earlier in this chapter.

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