Installing Win95 and other products from a Samba server

Charlie Brady cbrady at
Mon Aug 10 07:46:35 GMT 1998

> This setup will involve Win95 SR2 or SR2.5 or whatever, NetScape, Eudora
> lite, and some other products.
> We are going to run it from Samba, not Win NT.
> Does anyone know of anyone who has experience doing this, or automating
> installation of Win 95 and other products?

I have dabbled with same. I wouldn't say that I have perfected the art,

The two things that I have done are to:

- Run the MS Client from a boot floppy. There's an old post from me on
  how to do that (however, the old list archives don't seem to be
on-line anymore).
  Let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy of the instructions.

- Run the same MS Client, but in a RAM disk downloaded from the server.
This is
  quicker, and configuration management is easier. You need a boot ROM
  using etherboot ( or the same code
run from

Both of these techniques let you run Win95 setup.exe from the samba
You can use a .INF file with setup.exe to bypass lots of the GUI stuff
during setup.

I don't know how you go about automating and customising the setup of
Eudora and

If your clients are similar enough, and the desired configuration
uniform enough,
you could do the job quicker by booting a small Linux distribution from
the server,
and using that to "clone" a previously set up and copied to the server
file set. Where you strike trouble is that there seem to be no Unix
tools for
reading and writing registry files, so it is difficult to customise the
of machines you set up this way. The best you can do is setup a .reg
file and
arrange for it to be run at startup.

I've got a bundle of bookmarks about this stuff somewhere. Louis
Mandelstam has done some interesting work on this stuff, and there have
been some papers given at various conferences around Australia.

Charlie Brady - Telstra  |internet: cbrady at
Network Products         |Snail    : Locked Bag 6581, GPO Sydney 2001
Platform Technologies    |Physical : Lvl 2, 175 Liverpool St, Sydney
 IN-Sub Unit - Sydney    | Phone: +61 2 9206 3470 Fax: +61 2 9281 1301

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