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How do you do....it? Thread, Laptops, wireless and GPOs in Technical; Over the past few years I've had issues with students logging onto wireless computers. Around 98% of the time everything ...
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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    Laptops, wireless and GPOs

    Over the past few years I've had issues with students logging onto wireless computers. Around 98% of the time everything is fine, but that 2% still means a fair few issues to deal with over a week/month/term/year! The primary issue is a failure for their My Documents to map, and to give the students an error message stating that their My Documents area (\\server\2008\username\) is unavailable, requiring them to reboot the laptop and login again, which doesn't always work. Strangely, their 'Homework drive' a mapped drive that runs from a script, has a near 100% record of working every time, as does the map to the shared network area.

    Other issues include computer based GPOs not applying, so trying to install programs via GPO has become near impossible, I'm assuming this is because the wireless connection doesn't kick in until the login screen is reached as user based GPOs work fine.

    The main DC is Server 2008, with the rest a mixture of 2008R2 and 2012, My Documents are redirected along with favourites and Desktop (which is redirected into a folder in their My Documents). Students have a mandatory profile (created using the microsoft approved method), and all laptops are Windows 7. We have a managed Aerohive wireless system across the school which laptops authenticate with through a Radius server.

    I suppose what I'm after is,

    1, How do you redirect your My Documents?
    2, What type of profile do you use?
    3, What GPOs do you apply to laptops to ensure they connect properly?
    4, Anything obvious I'm missing?

    Thanks!

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    We redirect our My Documents to %HOMESHARE%%HOMEPATH% which is essentially \\SERVER\Student$\YearGroup\User. All the rest, Music, Pictures, Videos etc.. are set to follow My Documents. For our desktop and start menu we redirect them to a local drive on the machine. We run a start up script that uses robocopy to mirror a network share of folder redirection shortcuts.

    Have you got the GPO setting "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" enabled? This will wait for the network card to be full initialised before any user can logon. It certainly helped us when we had such problems with folder redirection not applying correctly.

    Our students don't use any form of profile, I really don't see the benefit in them having one.

    The only additional settings we have for wireless GPOs are the actual wireless config settings and a few settings for lid actions and what to do when the battery reaches a certain level.

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    simpsonj (29th November 2013)

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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    Sounds similar to my setup.

    We have that GPO enabled, it could be that I just need to strip back all the GPOs and profiles and start again from fresh.

    Will definitely look at removing profiles from students, should speed up login times as well. The only issue I can think of are programs that rely on settings that are held in the profile (Reason 4 being a prime example). Interesting idea with Robocopy as well, could well give that a test.

    Thanks for the ideas!

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Check offline files are disabled on the laptop - even if you have GPOS set to do this physically logon to the laptop as an admin and ensure its off, this can cause this behavior.

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    simpsonj (29th November 2013)

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    Yes, I've noticed Offline Files can be a pain, maybe students are accidentally turning it on... Worth a look thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpsonj View Post
    Sounds similar to my setup.

    We have that GPO enabled, it could be that I just need to strip back all the GPOs and profiles and start again from fresh.

    Will definitely look at removing profiles from students, should speed up login times as well. The only issue I can think of are programs that rely on settings that are held in the profile (Reason 4 being a prime example). Interesting idea with Robocopy as well, could well give that a test.

    Thanks for the ideas!
    We had that problem with the desktops. What I ended up doing was capturing the preferences for Reason, Sibelius and Cubase; storing them on the C:\ drive, then creating a GPO for that OU and running it in Loopback mode - Merge. Then on the user settings running a login script that copies these preferences to the users app data. That way it only applies in those rooms.

    If you want any info on the robocopy, drop me a line.

  9. Thanks to Liam86 from:

    simpsonj (29th November 2013)

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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    Just to finish this thread, I looked into removing the 'Work Offline' button that students could see when they accessed their My Documents and found this guide:

    http://thepracticalsysadmin.com/disa...-in-windows-7/

    I already had the initial GPO settings in place (though not applied to all computers, which I've now rectified), and if you disable the Offline Files service, that nicely removed the Work Offline button too, so that's another potential suspect removed.

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