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Comparing CD-based images and RIPrep images

The image created via RIS server configuration contains the base operating system files, which are used to install the Windows 2000 Professional operating system. While the installation process can be customized to a greater or less extent using answer files, you cannot easily make fine-tuned customizations to the user environment using answer files.
On the other hand, the RIPrep image can be highly customized to your specific requirements, and the customization process is easy. This is because you don't have to fiddle around with enigmatic command line arguments in a text-based answer file to make your customizations. Rather, the changes you make in a RIPrep image are done within the familiar GUI interface. After you make your changes in the operating system, you create an image of the Windows 2000 Professional system you have configured.
If you have only simple configuration changes you want to provide for end-users, the RIS server default image is faster and more efficient. However, if you are interested in fine-tuning the user environment and don't want the hassle of configuring, testing and troubleshooting text-based answer files, go with the RIPrep version.

CD-based image versus RIPrep image The following table compares a CD-based image to an RIPrep image.
CD-based image RIPrep image
A default image is created automatically when the RIS server is configured. You must create the image by using the Remote Installation Preparation wizard.
The image can contain only the operating system. Applications can be deployed separately by using Group Policy. The image can contain the operating system and applications.
The image is based on the default settings of the operating system. An answer file is required to customize the image. The image is based on a preconfigured source computer. Making additional changes requires you to deploy the image to a client computer, configure the client computer, and then recreate the image.
It performs a full over-the-network setup by copying all of the files in the image to a temporary folder on the local hard disk before running the Setup program. It copies only the necessary files and registry keys to the client computer, making it the fastest way to deploy an operating system and applications.
You can deploy it to any computer with a supported hardware abstraction layer (HAL). You can deploy it to any computer with the same HAL as the source computer.