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How do you do....it? Thread, "Games" Management? in Technical; Hi folks, This forum technically seems to be about offering solutions, but as everyone else is asking questions (and this ...
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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question "Games" Management?

    Hi folks,

    This forum technically seems to be about offering solutions, but as everyone else is asking questions (and this is general)...

    Inevitably we get the students putting lots of games in their home folders. We have a server with several million files on, so trying to keep a lid on it is near impossible (filenames... filetypes... etc.).

    Has anyone found a good approach of any kind to stopping this? That is, preventing them from being copied in the first place, or finding them easily and removing them.

    TIA

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    british_government's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Hopefully you are server 2008 or greater for file server, if so you can setup a file screen based on extensions. We block .exe .jar .swf .nds .rom .bat etc. and it makes it impossible to save those file types to the folder you specify (assuming pupils home path!)

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    Gongalong (13th September 2012)

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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. Yes, we're 2008, and use file screens. But we can't block SWF and EXE because they're used in web design and programming (annoyingly!). Similarly with MP3s and video files, which are also used in ICT and other subjects.

    At the moment I'm limited to stumbling across a game, searching for the filename across all home folders (which Server 2008 is slow at, so I often use UltraSearch), and then deleting.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    A few ways you can deal with this ... and some involve tech, some involve classroom management, some involve discipline policies ... YMMV about what you can do.

    1 - Classroom management tools (ABTutor, Impero, NetSupport, etc) can be used to monitor what the the users are doing and to help deal with problematic users. This has to be well supported by classroom staff, senior management and parents. It ties in your discipline policy and is dealt with as time wasting.
    2 - Allowing only specified software to run. There are a number of posts around this and some of the classroom management tools can help with this as well.
    3 - Quotas. Whilst it will not deal with it on a small scale, when users are copying massive amounts of files (videos, games, music) then quotas or space monitoring tools can be very beneficial. Dealing with the follow on from this is tied in with your discipline policy.
    4 - FUD. As terrible as it sounds ... with the agreement of your SLT ... mock up a disaster scenario of your network being taken down by a virus-ridden game. Bring in police (or at least your PCSO) to bring on the idea of the CMA and how heavily this could affect things, as well as breaches to the school rules. Even if you just target the persistent trouble-makers you could make it more specific ... and even turn it into a game to get them on your side.
    5 - Baseball bats ... only joking!

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    When I was network admin, here's what I did. Firstly instigate disk quota on a per user basis. When a user runs out of space, and they have to come and see you to fix it, you can see what files they've downloaded. Secondly run an overnight cron job to check all user accounts over a certain size or even better, those that have increased by a huge percentage overnight. Again a tell tale sign. Thirdly, which won't apply to you, look for .exe in their accounts and just delete them. We could do the third point because we ran Linux systems and .exe are pointless.

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    british_government's Avatar
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    Only our sixth formers need .exe for programming so file screens blocking .exe apply to all other year groups.

    On the subject of file searching, I couldn't recomend treesize enough, the professional version will scan an entire network drive and you can even filter by extensions and see folder sizes, filter to .exe and then see folders that contain them, irregularities show up quickly as vb files for courses will all be less than 100k
    Disk Space Manager software at its best: TreeSize Professional

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    When I worked in a college, we had a student only domain.

    This made it simple to track what was happening, and very easy to stay ahead of the games. It meant that once a week I'd scan the server for music, games and video and just delete anything I found. After a couple of months of this, they soon learnt!

    The number of times I found "Age of Empires II" in folders..... LOL!

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    Thanks all for the replies.
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    1 - Classroom management tools (ABTutor, Impero, NetSupport, etc) can be used to monitor what the the users are doing and to help deal with problematic users. This has to be well supported by classroom staff, senior management and parents. It ties in your discipline policy and is dealt with as time wasting.
    2 - Allowing only specified software to run. There are a number of posts around this and some of the classroom management tools can help with this as well.
    3 - Quotas. Whilst it will not deal with it on a small scale, when users are copying massive amounts of files (videos, games, music) then quotas or space monitoring tools can be very beneficial. Dealing with the follow on from this is tied in with your discipline policy.
    4 - FUD. As terrible as it sounds ... with the agreement of your SLT ... mock up a disaster scenario of your network being taken down by a virus-ridden game. Bring in police (or at least your PCSO) to bring on the idea of the CMA and how heavily this could affect things, as well as breaches to the school rules. Even if you just target the persistent trouble-makers you could make it more specific ... and even turn it into a game to get them on your side.
    5 - Baseball bats ... only joking!
    1 & 2. We have Ranger, and can monitor for and block specific EXEs (if added), but it doesn't seem to help with files.
    3. We have these implemented with Ranger. They are fairly large for Year 10 and 11 though, and I discovered when checking through current Year 11s and previous years that some even had a film in their directory!
    4. Good idea. I'll try and press that home if I get pushed back on enforcing any policies. Ultimately teaching need comes first though - you know how it is. This is why EXEs and SWFs are unblocked, along with most AV formats.
    5. One of the technicians here often suggests this :-D
    Quote Originally Posted by unixman_again View Post
    When I was network admin, here's what I did. Firstly instigate disk quota on a per user basis. When a user runs out of space, and they have to come and see you to fix it, you can see what files they've downloaded. Secondly run an overnight cron job to check all user accounts over a certain size or even better, those that have increased by a huge percentage overnight. Again a tell tale sign. Thirdly, which won't apply to you, look for .exe in their accounts and just delete them. We could do the third point because we ran Linux systems and .exe are pointless.
    1. we have via Ranger. 2. I'm not sure how to do, but sounds Linux-y. 3. We're stuck with unfortunately.
    Quote Originally Posted by british_government View Post
    On the subject of file searching, I couldn't recomend treesize enough, the professional version will scan an entire network drive and you can even filter by extensions and see folder sizes, filter to .exe and then see folders that contain them, irregularities show up quickly as vb files for courses will all be less than 100k
    Disk Space Manager software at its best: TreeSize Professional
    Ah yes we use the free version, and also their other free tool UltraSearch. The latter is infinitely better for searching, even on a supposedly indexed file server.
    Quote Originally Posted by aerospacemango View Post
    This made it simple to track what was happening, and very easy to stay ahead of the games. It meant that once a week I'd scan the server for music, games and video and just delete anything I found. After a couple of months of this, they soon learnt!

    The number of times I found "Age of Empires II" in folders..... LOL!
    The problem is there are so many files (a) it's actually quite tricky to discern what's genuine and not and (b) it takes so long, I just don't have the time, even when things slow down.

    We've had a spate of Minecraft, which has been resolved via Ranger. I do feel sorry for them. Well, a bit :-D

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with If you have illegal games in your user area you loose the ability to run and save executable files? Then get them to write out the AUP in full before they have access back.

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    Just have different areas for those specific restricted filetypes then enforce the file screens on the main areas. That at least reduces the scope of what needs checking and coupled with harsher policies may help to stem the tide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    Whats wrong with If you have illegal games in your user area you loose the ability to run and save executable files? Then get them to write out the AUP in full before they have access back.
    We can't enforce punishment, and the students need the filetypes available to do coursework. Frustrating, but that's what we're told.
    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Just have different areas for those specific restricted filetypes then enforce the file screens on the main areas. That at least reduces the scope of what needs checking and coupled with harsher policies may help to stem the tide.
    The problem is they are working on these files within their own home folders, and the file screen is individually folder specific. Even then they find workarounds e.g. we've locked EXE's down to a specific filename prefix, so they've just renamed the games with the prefix.

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    i have created a batchfile that has a list of the game names which runs every friday night and removes the games from the network, we currently have a large number of game names on it. alternativly create a hash rule? i will upload the batchfile later

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    Gongalong (18th September 2012)

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    british_government's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwestlake View Post
    i have created a batchfile that has a list of the game names which runs every friday night and removes the games from the network, we currently have a large number of game names on it. alternativly create a hash rule? i will upload the batchfile later
    List of those names would be very helpful, its a very good idea.

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    just pm me and i will send you the batchfile.

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