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Educational Software Thread, Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze in Technical; I am just about to buy it used the 60 day demo and it looked fantastic. It freezes the machine, ...
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    Disease's Avatar
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    Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    I am just about to buy it used the 60 day demo and it looked fantastic.

    It freezes the machine, so if anything goes wrong with the configuration of it for example, a virus rips through the systems, you just restart the machine and it back to normal.

    On the test machine I deleted the registry and most of the system 32 folder, rebooted the machine and it was fine and everything was back in its place.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    Dont microsoft have a shared computer toolkit that does this for free? i seem to recall some discussions on this forum about it (i dont have time to search now, im up at 5am to get ready to jump on a train to london for some web training and im way behind on packing lol)

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    was a bit too expensive for us. did some training and those pc's had it - was good for that environment - coz you could let students mess with the machines - but not what you'd want to ever do with school kids! :P

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    The MS Shared Computer Toolkit does contain such an app - I've used a previous version on some XPe thin clients I had and it worked well (although updates get wiped at reboot which is a pain in the ass).

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    so you couldn'r recapture the image easily then Ric??

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    it saved the state somehow - never bothered to look into it cos they were just used as thin clients. I imagine that the newer version takes this into account or has exception policies and the like.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    The MS SKT uses a partition to store the information as I reacall, we installed and tested it a while ago. We do use Deep Freeze for all our library computers though.

    There were some other product I looked at recently too but haven't had the chance to install and test yet, there was 'Restor' and an enterprise product created by the same company, but the name escapes me, I will have a look at work tomorrow and post it.

    Rob.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    I am going to order 300 licenses tomorrow, the cost is around £3,800. You can keep specific areas thawed while the rest of the files are frozen to allow for updates and such.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    Quote Originally Posted by Disease
    I am going to order 300 licenses tomorrow, the cost is around £3,800. You can keep specific areas thawed while the rest of the files are frozen to allow for updates and such.
    I've thought about these sorts of things in the past, but since going all XP, reimaging is such an occasional activity (apart from new image rollouts) that it became a non issue. I would suggest that you spend a little more time messing with it. See if you can get additional (wanted) applications installed, maybe an XP service pack (maybe 1 to 2). Also try some windows updates. The ones that need you to unlock each machine indvidually to update are the worst. I once saw someone who had to enter a 32 character key on 5k machines!

    Make sure its easy to turn off and update the image, otherwise it could be more trouble than its worth.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    The enterprise edition allows you to control all network machines in one go.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    I work in a large FE college.

    We have used DeepFreeze on 1000+ machines for 2 years and have
    never looked back. It keeps them 100% stable, and consistent. What else aside from re-imaging and policies can do this? I'd love to know!

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    We used a similar program but ended up getting rid of it because it didn't have features to handle updates as you mentioned DF does. In that situation, you can clear individual PCs of viruses, but they're only getting them because the AV and patches are constantly out of date!

    I imagine you'll have to exclude all of the Office, Windows and antivirus folders for updating to work properly. Possibly other folders for stuff like SIMS which updates (downdates?) regularly.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    MS STC does this, it's free and allows patching and updates to the OS to happen with windows update or WSUS also has a GP setting.

    I would try this before parting with 3.8k

    Geoff

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    I use the Microsoft shared toolkit in a K-5 computer lab with 36 student computers. 850 kids per week use these computers.

    The main feature that is like deepfreeze is called "Disk Protection" . Requires you to setup an extra partition on the drive before using.

    Does allow a time window for MS updates and antivirus updates to occur.
    Worked well for months, then the machines would lock up after updates and lock out user accounts. Reports of that issue started surfacing on the Shared toolkit forum and frustrated forum admins were suggesting to simply turn auto updates off and do them manually if all else fails. Not a very good solution for handling rooms full of machines. I did in fact have to turn auto updates off to return to acceptable functionality. So back to updating one and re-imaging the rest as time permits.

    I found that sysprep completely wrecks a carefully prepared image despite the Toolkit's instructions to sysprep the machines. Checking on the MS toolkit forum led me to believe that either sysprep or the shared toolkit is a broken technology.


    Despite all the pitfalls, security warnings and horror stories about not changing the machine's SIDS, I did forgo that and imaged all 36 machines and used the same sid without a single problem for a year. After that we upgraded to a win2k3 domain. According to a Microsoft TechNet article on NEWSID V4.10, "Duplicate sids aren't an issue in domain based environment...." so I kept the machines as they were and simply joined them to the domain. Still no issues.

    Offers a tool for locking user profiles if you use the computer as a stand-alone machine in a workgroup setting. I use GPO's for this now.


    Offers a user restriction tool that allows you to prevent all sorts of things like internet printing, changing desktop, etc. I use the shared toolkits .adm template file on the domain controller to do this now.


    The propaganda for the toolkit promises reduced IT overhead in the area of 20%. But the learning curve, prep, installation, troubleshooting, forum surfing and frustration of getting it to work well ate up that amount and much, more for the first year.

    As I am now in the third year of using the Shared Toolkit, I would say it is now worth it.

    No matter what happens or could happen to the computers during a class session; moved toolbars, deleted icons, renamed icons, task panes moved, resized, spyware infections, virus infection or whatever, I just mass restart all the computers after each class and they are restored perfectly on reboot.

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    Re: Anyone here use Faronics Deepfreeze

    We've had Deep Freeze Enterprise since we were on Windows 98, got it because of the massive amount of spyware and malicious programs that got installed back then.
    Since moving to XP it's been relegated to a method to LAN boot and mass shutdown machines.

    As a previous poster said, the amount of time that's actually spent Re-Imaging a corrupt PC is now so small Deep Freeze is more of a hindrance.

    I know it's probably because we didnt' have it set up 100% correctly as we had no thaw space, but everytime someone restarted the PC, Sophos would autoupdate again so it was reinstalling multiple times a day.

    Also if you need to make any quick changes that involve an area that's not a thawspace it involves rebooting all the PCs to thaw them, doing your changes and rebooting, checking changes, rebooting again tho freeze them.

    Ok, this may be prevented with a Thawspace, but what's the point in the program if you're having areas Thawed all the time? They're then open to corruption anyway.

    But yeh, if it fits in with how you'll use it, I think you'll find it reliable, easy to use and if I'm correct, in all the time it's been around I don't think it's ever been hacked. I spent a lot of time trawling the internet only to find a lot of people complaining 'I hate this software there's no way to hack it'

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