How do I install NT over the network?

A. If you do not currently have any operating system installed on your machine, then you need to create a bootable floppy disk that contains a driver for your network card and network protocol. A tool is provided called "Network Client Administrator" which automatically creates a bootable disk used to install Windows95 or Network Client. It is possible to use this tool to also create a disk that can be used to install NT with a bit of tweaking :-)

  1. Format a system floppy drive using DOS
    format a: /s
  2. Create a share on the NT box containing the entire i386 structure from the NT installation CD ROM and give the share everyone Read access.
  3. Log on as the Administrator (or a member of the Administrators group)
  4. Start the "Network Client Administrator" (Start - Programs - Administrative Tools - Network Client Administrators)
  5. Click the "Make Network Installation Startup Disk" option and click continue
  6. Select "Share files" and accept the default of <CD ROM>\clients
  7. Click the OK button, and program will perform some background actions
  8. Next select the floppy drive, and click "Network Client V3.0" as the client and choose your network card from the drop down list. Click OK
  9. Enter the name of the computer it will be known as. The username and domain will automatically be completed using the current user
  10. You need to choose the protocol. In this example choose TCP/IP and uncheck "DHCP". Enter an IP address, subnet mask and gateway.
  11. Insert the disk created in step 1 and click OK
  12. Files will be copied to the floppy disk. Once completed exit Network Client Administrator
  13. The disk needs to be edited to stop the automatic installation of the "Network Client". Start explorer and open the A: drive. Right click on autoexec.bat and select edit.
  14. Remove the last 2 lines of the file (echo running setup and the setup)
  15. You can also change the net use command to point to the correct share where the NT installation files are located
  16. Click Save from the File menu and close Notepad
  17. Insert the disk into the machine where you want to install NT and power on
  18. Once the startup has completed change directory to Z: (or whatever your net use pointed to)
  19. Start a floppyless install
    winnt /b

If you plan to produce a large number of install disks you can configure the Network Client Administrator to also create Workstation and Server network installation disks. To do this you need to have the client directory on a hard disk and create 2 subdirectories under it (\\server\client).

  • winnt\netsetup (hierarchy of \i386 from NT Workstation CD-ROM)
  • winnt.srv\netsetup (hierarchy of \i386 from NT Server CD-ROM)

When creating the network disk you will now also have options for "Windows NT Workstation" and "Windows NT Server".

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