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Configuring Network Settings with a SYSPREP Image

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Microsoft provides an excellent tool, NETSET.EXE, with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. Windows 2000 deployment expert Jeffrey Ferris shows you how any network options that you can configure through an answer file can be configured using NETSET.
Microsoft provides an excellent tool, NETSET.EXE, with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. Windows 2000 deployment expert Jeffrey Ferris shows you how any network options that you can configure through an answer file can be configured using NETSET.

With Remote Installation Services (RIS) or scripted unattended installs from either a CD or a network share point, the network configuration and domain membership of the Windows 2000 Professional client can be configured via the unattended installation script. With a SYSPREP-based install, however, target machines will not automatically join the same domain as the original systems. Network settings, such as custom network connection names, static IP addresses, and DHCP Class ID settings, will not be carried over with SYSPREP installs.

To get past this limitation, Microsoft provides an excellent tool, NETSET.EXE, with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. A detailed list of tools included with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/library/resources/reskit/rktour/server/S_tools.asp.

The previous article in this series briefly discussed using NETSET.EXE to change the computer name, but this tool can do much more. Any network options that you can configure through an answer file can be configured using NETSET.

For example, the following sample code is from the JOINDOM.INF file. This file configures the following:

  • Join the domain MYDOMAIN.

  • Create a computer account in the domain using the username Install with a password of Cre8Account. This account must have the capability to create computer accounts in the domain; it does not need any other rights or permissions.

  • Configure the first NIC to use the DHCP ClassID of Win2K.

  • Install the TCP/IP, PPTP, and L2TP network protocols.

  • Install the Client for Microsoft Networks.

  • Install the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks service.

The network adapter will use DHCP to set TCP/IP configuration options.

Listing of JOINDOM.INF

;JOINDOM.INF: Sample Answer File for use with NETSET.EXE
[Networking]
InstallDefaultComponents = Yes

[Identification]
JoinDomain=MYDOMAIN
DomainAdmin=Install
DomainAdminPassword=Cre8Account

[NetAdapters]
Adapter1 = params.Adapter1

[params.Adapter1]
INFID = *

[NetProtocols]
MS_TCPIP = params.MSTCPIP
MS_PPTP = params.MSPPTP
MS_L2TP = params.MSL2TP

[params.MSTCPIP]
AdapterSections = params.MSTCPIP.Adapter1

[params.MSTCPIP.Adapter1]
SpecificTo = Adapter1
DHCPClassId = Win2K

[params.MSPPTP]

[params.MSL2TP]

[NetClients]
MS_MSClient = params.MS_Client

[params.MS_CLIENT]

[NetServices]
MS_Server = params.MSFP

[params.MSFP]

To apply the previous configuration, use this command from the directory containing both NETSET.EXE and the JOINDOM.INF configuration file:

NETSET JOINDOM.INF

The next article in this series shows you how to combine a computer-naming script with NETSET.EXE and this network configuration script to completely deploy a Windows 2000 Professional workstation using a disk-imaging utility and SYSPREP.

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