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FragglePete

Our Windows 7 Journey

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by , 12th February 2010 at 10:43 AM (885 Views)
Some fellow Edugeekers may have notice my presence on the Windows 7 forums recently; we're seriously looking into Win7 for September 2010.

This has been accelerated by issues we've had with the CSE Workspace system during an actual exam. Members of SMT and the ICT Teaching faculty have made noises that it was time to look for an alternative.

We've got Windows 2003 domain, but we introduced a Windows 2008 Domain Controller (on our XenServer) last Summer so with RSAT installed on a Windows 7 machine I've spent a couple of weeks playing with GPOs.

Really impressed with the GPPs (Group Policy Preferences). I've been using GPPs to copy over Start Menu items from a central share depending on where the machine is located in the Active Directory. Getting nice clean Start Menus! Nice!

Printer assignment again with GPPs is brilliant. Does slow the logon times down a bit though but I guess drivers are being installed and stuff. Small issue with printers; some of the older types not really supported on Windows 7 but do seem to manually install ok. Having to use the HP Univeral Print driver also, but got an issue with not printing in colour for some reason?

My Technician here has been playing with deployment and messing about with unattended answer files and so far so good. Just now looking to ensure we get as many drivers installed as part of the base image so we can really aim for; "one image to rule them all" scenerio.

Will now start looking at Application Deployment.

For the time being, I'm going to get five machines in the Staff Work Room installed with Windows 7 and see how the Staff cope. Get their feedback, make changes and then make a decision at Easter on wether or not we go full on Windows 7 around the School then.

Need to full check our software inventory also to ensure the software used works with no issues, but some tested already seems ok.

Quite excited. This is going to be a big jump for the School; like most we haven't touched Vista just been on XP.

Pete
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Comments

  1. ZeroHour's Avatar
    We are half way down the road here with it all. I have mostly been working on the pimp side of things (rotating login background for example) to wow staff lately but we have a handle on all the other bits so far.
  2. FragglePete's Avatar
    Rotating Logon Backgrounds!! ? Cool !!!

    I've already changed it to our own logon background and desktop, but I like that idea.

    Pete
  3. ZeroHour's Avatar
    Yeh they change daily and also working on rotating background without giving users the ability to change backgrounds. By default if you want to use W7 desktop rotation users have to be able to set the background which is a bad idea so I have made a workaround that rotates that background every 30 mins.
  4. binky's Avatar
    Wow! How did you do that? (and also what kind of images do you use?)
  5. ZeroHour's Avatar
    I have been knocking some background up of school images and just random 7 backgrounds which look good.
    I will be posting a guide soon on how to do it all yourselves so watch this space
  6. deano's Avatar
    Hi,

    Are you still using GPP for your start menus?
  7. FragglePete's Avatar
    No. In the end, we stuck with CSE. In the testing phase, building the Start Menus was possible using the CSE System so we use that and it works well.

    We had to look at how much it would could overall to re-license the parts we like with different products, and working with CSE got what we wanted working how we wanted so sticking with that.

    So far so good.

    Pete

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