Microsoft KB Archive/246184

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How to Add Third-Party OEM Network Adapters to RIS Installations

Article ID: 246184

Article Last Modified on 3/1/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

This article was previously published under Q246184


Adding a network adapter that requires an OEM driver to a CD-ROM-based Remote Installation Service (RIS) image involves some of the same steps as adding one to a typical unattended installation. However, because the installation method begins by using Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) and then switches over to Server Message Block (SMB), the network adapter driver and .inf file must be available during Text-mode Setup. If they are not available, you receive the following error message:

The network server does not support booting Windows 2000. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.

When a PXE client connects to a RIS server and is running Client Installation Wizard (CIW), the network adapter is using Universal Network Device Interface to talk to the RIS server. When the installation portion begins, Windows Setup switches to SMB, the network adapter is detected, and the appropriate driver is loaded. Therefore, the driver must be available.

NOTE: This article applies only to CD-based images (those created through the use of Risetup.exe). For additional information on how to add third-party party network adapters to Riprep images, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

254078 How to Add OEM Plug and Play Drivers to Windows Installations


Check with the hardware manufacturer to see if the supplied network adapter driver is digitally signed. (If the drivers from the manufacturer contain a .cat file, it is likely that they have been properly signed.) Drivers signed by Microsoft have been verified and tested to work with Windows. If your driver has not been signed but you still want to use it, make sure to add the following unattended Setup parameter to the .sif file to be used for this image installation:

DriverSigningPolicy = Ignore

NOTE: The default name of the .sif file is RemoteInstall\Setup\Language\Images\Dir_name\I386\Templates\Ristndrd.sif

NOTE: If the OEM driver is an update of an included Windows 2000 driver (for example, has the same name), the file must be signed or Setup uses the included driver instead.

  1. On the RIS server, copy the OEM-supplied .inf and .sys file for the network adapter to the RemoteInstall\Setup\Language\Images\Dir_name\i386 folder. This allows Setup to use the driver during the Text-mode portion of the installation.
  2. At the same level as the I386 folder on the RIS image, create a $oem$ folder with the following structure:


  3. Copy the OEM-supplied driver files to this folder. Note the folder in which the .inf file looks for its drivers. Some manufacturers place the .inf file in a folder and copy the driver files from a subfolder. If this is the case, create the same folder structure below the one you created in this step.

    NOTE: If the RIS image was created with RIPREP, you must perform these steps on both the RIPREP image and the RISETUP image that corresponds to the RIPREP image.
  4. Make the following changes to the .sif file to be used for this image installation:

    OemPreinstall = yes

    OemPnpDriversPath = Drivers\Nic

  5. Stop and restart the BINL service on the RIS server. Type the following lines at the command prompt, pressing ENTER after each command:

    net stop binlsvc
    net start binlsvc

    NOTE: Stopping and restarting the BINL service is necessary because BINL needs to read all the new network interface card-related .inf files and create .pnf files in the image. Because this is a time consuming task, it is only done once, which is when the BINL service starts.

When you use this method, you can install PXE clients with the OEM network adapters using RIS. If you have multiple network adapters that require OEM drivers, use the steps above for each adapter. Note that PXE clients that have included network adapter drivers are unaffected by these changes and can use this image for installation.

Keywords: kbenv kbhowto kbsetup KB246184