+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 41
Hardware Thread, Advice Needed: Students trashing machines in Technical; We have a large PC network of around 500 PCs, and currently have around 200 Dell Optiplex 745's, 200 Dell ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sauf London
    Posts
    42
    Thank Post
    24
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Advice Needed: Students trashing machines

    We have a large PC network of around 500 PCs, and currently have around 200 Dell Optiplex 745's, 200 Dell 755, and 100 Viglen machines (all on a 3 year lease on rotation hence three different models).

    We had a spate of PCs being trashed by Students as they tripped the dual voltage PSU on the 745's, breaking around a dozen or so before we went round to all the 745's with a plastic laser cut covering to protect them.

    Now the [insert your chosen expletive here] have been popping the blanking plate under the CD drawer (which they have also broken probably 30 to 40 of in the last two years) and stealing the RAM, in some cases grabbing all 4 sticks.

    Anyone else had this problem, and what did you do to resolve it? It seems that the lessons run by teachers that dont 'own' the room are to blame, and tbh, I think we are looking at buying a flopy or card reader to fill the slot simply to stop them geting the RAM, which is now at around 50 sticks lost.

  2. #2
    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ruskington
    Posts
    1,158
    Thank Post
    78
    Thanked 253 Times in 227 Posts
    Rep Power
    77
    How about super glue the blanking plate in place - the tech dept should have some suitable adhesive in stock i would think - quick nip round at the end of a day and bobs your mothers brother.

  3. Thanks to jamesreedersmith from:

    TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  4. #3

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sauf London
    Posts
    42
    Thank Post
    24
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    We thought about that, but the fact that they are pushing in the ones already there means its another deterant rather than a fix. Plus, there are so many of these blanking plates already missing and we have already put a request into Dell for new ones which they cannot supply.

    Thankyou for the reply though.

  5. #4
    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ruskington
    Posts
    1,158
    Thank Post
    78
    Thanked 253 Times in 227 Posts
    Rep Power
    77
    Can you look at the logs for the last person who logged on and then bill their parents accordingly for all replacement parts needed - that will soon stop them.

  6. #5

    Edu-IT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,140
    Thank Post
    403
    Thanked 622 Times in 568 Posts
    Rep Power
    181
    Supervision and severe consequences. It is theft, so perhaps the threat of police involvement?

  7. 2 Thanks to Edu-IT:

    AngryTechnician (11th November 2009), TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  8. #6
    Galway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,342
    Thank Post
    9
    Thanked 305 Times in 214 Posts
    Rep Power
    100
    Locked when not in use suites ?

    Staff training ?

    Id say its a teaching and learning issue ... The only technical issue here is who pays for the repairs.

    Take the ICT suites out of action for a few days to let you glue gun the blanking plates.
    Id get all of SMT to observe the problem, put forward your recommendations and let them decide on how to get staff to monitor classrooms correctly.

  9. Thanks to Galway from:

    TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  10. #7
    Griffo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wrexham
    Posts
    124
    Thank Post
    26
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Rep Power
    14
    I have had some floppy blanking plates go missing, but as ours are mostly fujitsu machines there is then a metal blanking plate behind this, and then nothing behind that. You could perhaps try something similar to jamesreedersmith's idea? It may be possible to get a bit of plastic from your DT dept and then glue this to the metal chassis of the machine behind the front cover, you may need epoxy resin rather than super glue for this. Im not familiar with the construction of those Dells but it may be an idea untill you can get some blanking plates to be glued back to the front.

  11. Thanks to Griffo from:

    TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  12. #8

    DaveP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Can't talk now: The mother-ship is calling!
    Posts
    8,900
    Thank Post
    351
    Thanked 1,291 Times in 882 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    1129
    To the original poster: I feel your pain and you are not alone. We saw a lot of this and to a certian extent still do [One room wrecked three times in less than a week less than a week ago! ]

  13. Thanks to DaveP from:

    TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  14. #9


    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,769
    Thank Post
    323
    Thanked 259 Times in 212 Posts
    Rep Power
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Galway View Post
    Locked when not in use suites ?
    Id say its a teaching and learning issue ... The only technical issue here is who pays for the repairs.
    Exactly my thoughts...

    If people are not taking ownership of the room and this is the consequence then it is a SMT issue not technical. If your SMT are happy that your budget is being eaten up by unneccessary repairs then there is not a lot you can do about it. As others have suggested, you could check the logs for the last person and bill them, but they could just as easily tell you everything was fine when they used the machine last.

    Me personally, I would fix things initially, but if it continued to be broken on purpose then it would go lower down on the priority list. Had a similar problem a few years back where problems were never reported due to no single teacher taking ownership of a room. As a result I would find the CD trays jammed with pencils etc or broken parts which looked like they had been like that for some time. This only changed when it became a single teachers room who would monitor the classroom properly and all rooms are now locked outside normal hours unless there is a teacher in there. Thing with anything like this is you need to stop it early and I dont see just replacing broken parts is the answer. Monitoring the use of equipment is important and disciplining anyone who misuses it.

  15. Thanks to penfold from:

    TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  16. #10
    BatchFile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    948
    Thank Post
    544
    Thanked 128 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    60
    Webcam (suitably situated), old computer and a little program called Dorgem that turns your webcam into a security camera (records still images every second and discards any that are the same as the previous one). There's your evidence, then bill them. Or disconnect the earth cable from the pc's.

  17. 2 Thanks to BatchFile:

    farmerste (12th November 2009), TheydonBois (11th November 2009)

  18. #11

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sauf London
    Posts
    42
    Thank Post
    24
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    Just fired this email off to all the relant 'owner' teachers of the room, head teacher of ICT, my boss ( currently off sick) and the Burser:

    Just to say that a IT request from xxxxxxx in RoomX has revealed that another 5 machines in his room are down due to RAM being taken from the machines, including ones that I recently replaced two weeks or so ago.

    xxxxxx also has 1 machine down with the same problem.

    A solution to this needs to be urgently looked at - myself and xxxxx have already exhausted the 24 sticks of RAM we had from PCs that had been decommissioned due to a blown PSU's, and now I need in the region of 15 or more sticks to repair the six machines in RoomX and RoomY.

    One thought was too glue the blanking plates down, but this would be a little more than an extra speed bump in their time and seeing as how they apparently have enough time to be able to stick their hand inside a unit and dexterously remove RAM with the tips of their fingers. The gluing method is also hampered by the fact that lots of blanking plates have already been removed prior to this particular method of vandalism became apparent and also that Dell cannot supply us new ones to replace the ones missing.

    A free solution could be to ensure that cover staff that use the room are vigilant enough to stop this from happening in the first place, or simply ensure that a class is not dismissed if a computer is not working at the end of a lesson when it clearly was at the start of it. There are no guarantees however that this would not happen and we would still be required to keep a stock or RAM for when they go missing again.

    Another solution is to visit the machines in the larger rooms and fit a floppy disk drive into the slot, even if it's not connected, simply to stop them from gaining access. Floppy drives are becoming increasing rare these days and so have increased in price from costing less than 5 to being 15 upwards, so perhaps a card reader such as the following:

    Akasa 3.5 Internal Multi Memory Card Reader - Misco.co.uk

    We are talking about some 200 units though - and a cost of 1400 (which I am sure xxxxxxx could whittle down a notch) - compared to the 40 sticks of RAM (24 used and 15 to be fitted) that currently have a value approaching 800, which is only fixing machines already broken, and not resolving the issue.

    Regards,

  19. #12

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sauf London
    Posts
    42
    Thank Post
    24
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesreedersmith View Post
    Can you look at the logs for the last person who logged on and then bill their parents accordingly for all replacement parts needed - that will soon stop them.
    Sadly, not proof. They dont need to log on to steal the ram, despite the fact that it is more than likely that they are taking the ram at the end of the lesson after they used it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Supervision and severe consequences. It is theft, so perhaps the threat of police involvement?
    Lets just say we have had incidents before that should have been resolved this way, and didnt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galway View Post
    Locked when not in use suites ?

    Staff training ?

    Id say its a teaching and learning issue ... The only technical issue here is who pays for the repairs.

    Take the ICT suites out of action for a few days to let you glue gun the blanking plates.
    Id get all of SMT to observe the problem, put forward your recommendations and let them decide on how to get staff to monitor classrooms correctly.
    /agree

    I would love to be able to stop the rooms from being used to 'teach a lesson' but we cant, and the Head is unlikely to hold up 6 rooms lessons for even 1 day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffo View Post
    I have had some floppy blanking plates go missing, but as ours are mostly fujitsu machines there is then a metal blanking plate behind this, and then nothing behind that. You could perhaps try something similar to jamesreedersmith's idea? It may be possible to get a bit of plastic from your DT dept and then glue this to the metal chassis of the machine behind the front cover, you may need epoxy resin rather than super glue for this. Im not familiar with the construction of those Dells but it may be an idea untill you can get some blanking plates to be glued back to the front.
    The Dell have a plastic front plate designed to pop out easily, with no metal plate behind that. Ah, the good old days when you ripped your hands to shreds on a razor sharp edge of a case....

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    To the original poster: I feel your pain and you are not alone. We saw a lot of this and to a certian extent still do [One room wrecked three times in less than a week less than a week ago! ]
    I am very very annoyed, especailly as the original room that has 5 down had 4 down during the half term just gone and I fixed all of those only to have the same room targetted again.

    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    Exactly my thoughts...

    If people are not taking ownership of the room and this is the consequence then it is a SMT issue not technical. If your SMT are happy that your budget is being eaten up by unneccessary repairs then there is not a lot you can do about it. As others have suggested, you could check the logs for the last person and bill them, but they could just as easily tell you everything was fine when they used the machine last.

    Me personally, I would fix things initially, but if it continued to be broken on purpose then it would go lower down on the priority list. Had a similar problem a few years back where problems were never reported due to no single teacher taking ownership of a room. As a result I would find the CD trays jammed with pencils etc or broken parts which looked like they had been like that for some time. This only changed when it became a single teachers room who would monitor the classroom properly and all rooms are now locked outside normal hours unless there is a teacher in there. Thing with anything like this is you need to stop it early and I dont see just replacing broken parts is the answer. Monitoring the use of equipment is important and disciplining anyone who misuses it.
    We suspect that the owners of the room are not to blame and its when the room is loaned to other teachers who are obviously not double checking things at the end of a lesson. See my email below - I hope to push things a little to get it looked at, but I suspect it will be ignored, they will buy the card readers and write off what has happened as an excercise.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRidal View Post
    Webcam (suitably situated), old computer and a little program called Dorgem that turns your webcam into a security camera (records still images every second and discards any that are the same as the previous one). There's your evidence, then bill them. Or disconnect the earth cable from the pc's.
    Now I am known for my 'cunning plans' regarding the things that I would like to do to Students who have damaged 'my' equipment, but I suspect that would be a step too far. Sadly.

  20. #13

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11,067
    Thank Post
    1,792
    Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,618 Posts
    Rep Power
    773
    Quote Originally Posted by TheydonBois View Post
    Now I am known for my 'cunning plans' regarding the things that I would like to do to Students who have damaged 'my' equipment, but I suspect that would be a step too far. Sadly.
    I don't think security cameras are a step too far. They are in place in the ICT Suites of both schools attended by my teenagers.

  21. #14

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sauf London
    Posts
    42
    Thank Post
    24
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    I meant removing the earth.....

  22. #15

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11,067
    Thank Post
    1,792
    Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,618 Posts
    Rep Power
    773
    Quote Originally Posted by TheydonBois View Post
    I meant removing the earth.....
    You mean you haven't done it already? I though it was mandatory in secondary schools

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Advice needed please
    By Raja in forum Windows
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15th October 2007, 12:15 PM
  2. Group Policy guidelines needed for students in years 3 - 6
    By richard in forum Wireless Networks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 8th March 2007, 01:36 PM
  3. I Would Like To Start Useing Virtual Machines, Advice Wanted
    By tickmike in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 24th February 2007, 02:38 PM
  4. Advice needed
    By richard in forum General Chat
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 31st May 2006, 05:10 PM
  5. advice needed on weather a new server is needed
    By projector1 in forum Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24th February 2006, 09:20 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •