Windows Thin PC
by, 6th July 2011 at 10:52 AM (41033 Views)
So... Windows Thin PC (Windows Embedded Standard 7 - for its full name really) is now out, whats the story?
Its the replacement for Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCS... ie its a cut down version of the current Windows OS, designed for older PCs to make them last a bit longer. You can use it to make a "Think Thin Client"... ie Autologon, start an RDP session and thats it.
And thats exactly what Ive done with it.
So, hows it all set up, and what do I think of it? Well - it installs in the same way the full Windows 7 OS does. For us here, that means SCCM. Created a capture image from the original media in the same way you do for the full OS (see earlier blog posts for guidance)... created a task sequence to deploy it - it is exactly the same as my main Windows 7 one - minus the core software. Why you might say? Remember, this machine is going to be a dumb terminal.
Then, Ive ammended some of the scripts used for deploying my Laptops with Bitlocker. What does that have to do with WTPC? I needed the machine to be configured to autologon for a start! We dont want people having to logon twice! So, all the machines are set to autologon with a restricted network account (in our case called RDPService) - and then the shell has been changed from explorer.exe to mstsc.exe. This makes it run in kiosk mode effectively, there is no taskbar, desktop or anything that can be fiddled with!
Just to make doubly sure, Ive used an app called Shelly to launch mstsc as an unkillable process. If it closes, it is just respawned.
This system is going to be used in Admin, General purpose ICT rooms (ie those without high GFX needs)... even tho the Remote FX available by using this with RDS in Server 2008 R2 make it pretty good! Prodesktop even works well as does CS5.
Ive uploaded the script here, which you need to add as a package in SCCM (or to an accessible folder eg NETLOGON) and then point to it as a Run Command Line in the Task Sequence. Put a reboot after it, and the machine with then autologin and do all the rest of the jazz. Shelly and your RDP file must be in a folder called RDP at the root of C:\. This can be achieved by GPO Preferences under File.
Any queries... fire off a comment below...
Updates to this original post... we now use Shelly (as described here http://www.insidetheregistry.com/con...articleid=1722) to handle the RDP shell replacement.
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