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Network and Classroom Management Thread, RM CC3, how does anything work?! in Technical; Hello, I've been given a school to do tech support at which has an RM CC3 network installed. I don't ...
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    RM CC3, how does anything work?!

    Hello,

    I've been given a school to do tech support at which has an RM CC3 network installed. I don't know anything about this system and frankly I hate it. Having said this, I need to work with it, and I would really appreciate help from those who know on a couple of issues that I need to address immediately. Unfortunately the school have completely ended their subscription with RM so I can't even call their tech support. These are (some) of my current issues:

    1. What's the deal with log ins? Can you log in with a local account or is it domain accounts only? Also, if a user takes a school RM'ified laptop home to work, will that user be able to log in when it's not on the physical network? Looks to me at present that the user cannot log in to the laptop unless they are actually connected to the network.

    2. How does anything get installed properly? I know that you can assign or allocate "packages" to computer objects from RM Management Console, but this doesn't seem to do, anything. For instance, a class needs ActivInspire, if I go to their computers object and check the packages tab, it shows as already assigned. If I re-assign it, it says it's doing it, but nothing turns up on that class pc. Also, if I just want to install a program manually on a couple of pc's, how is this done? I've logged in as admin, installed programs, put the shortcut icon in all users desktop, when the user logs in, nothing, the program is installed but can't be used!

    3. This relates to question 2. Where do the users get their profile folders such as desktops and start menus from? I've placed things in their local profile desktop folder, and also in their profile which is on the server, and the bloody thing still doesn't show up when they log on! Where can I drop a file/icon etc so it will show up on their desktop?!

    4. I need to be able to check what drive mappings a user is getting as the user is missing some drives. I open RM Management Console, go to users, find the container they are in and right click on their name and then properties, nothing happens, if I double click their name, nothing happens, if I highlight their name and click the properties button on the toolbar, nothing happens. I'm 80% sure that this used to work but now does not, has anyone seen this before? If I click on a computer object's properties, it opens straight away. Is this a bug/problem?

    Woould appreciate some help, thanks.

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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    I used to run an RM CC3 Network so I'll have a go for you:

    1. If you're using RMs Syncronise tool then yes they can, the laptop caches the login and the "My Documents" I think the laptop has to be imaged as a laptop and in the right folder in the RM MMC.

    2. The RM App Agent installs software on PC Boot, sometimes you need to go to the machine and run "updaterm" which forces the PC to connect to the server and check for avalible software to install. For the installing of local software, you'll need to add a shortcut to the shortcut bank in the Management Console, and allocate the shortcut to the relevent pc.

    3. This one I don't know! But I do know that Start Menu are controlled through the Management Console and RM does some Voodoo to get the allocated shortcuts out to machines.

    4. Sounds like a bug. Could you restart iis on the Server? That might kick it into gear.

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    clareq's Avatar
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    Drive mapping is done on the Computer, not the user. However, being unable to open the user properties is still a problem!
    Local login isn't allowed, but if a user is set as privileged on a computer their profile is cached, so they can log onto the machine off the domain.
    Look in the RMDelivery share to find the startmenu - there is an ini file there with all the program sets - increment the number next to the program set you have added the shortcut to in order to deliver it to the workstations.

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    OK that's understandable. CC3 is a bit different to plain vanilla XP. It is in fact rather good once you get used to it, although it's getting a bit old now.

    1. There are no local accounts and even the local administrator account is disabled. The standard RM login screen doesn't allow you to login locally anyway. The behaviour off-line is determined by the "Type of Workstation" option against the computer account in the management console. If this is set to Personal or Shared Laptop, it will allow you to login using cached credentials (that is, you have to have logged into the domain at least once)

    2. Yes, you have to allocate packages as yuo have done, but you also have to allocate icons to the start menu. This depends on how you've created your packages. If you done it the 'RM way', then in your package folder you will have a Shortcuts folder containing the icons that are available for that program. For example:

    Package Name
    Shortcuts
    Package Name
    Shortcut1.lnk
    Shortcut2.lnk
    etc...

    If you have got your packages set up like this, you can go into Resources | Program Sets in the management console. The program sets are simply the folders on the start menu. Opening one of these up will allow you to choose your package in the left-hand side of the screen and it will then show you the shortcuts that are associated with that package. You then simply select the shortcuts you want to display in that folder.

    If you haven't got your package set up like that, you can make any shortcut available by copying it into \\your-server-name\rmdelivery\Group Resources\Shortcut Bank. These can then be selected by choosing Source: Shortcut bank in the Program Sets properties screen in the management console.

    Manual installation of programs is no problem - just login as an admin, do your install and then copy the shortcut into the shortcut bank folder as described above. Then go into the management console, open program sets, open the program set you want the icon in, choose source: Shortcut Bank and then you should see the shortcut you need.

    Copying icons onto the All Users desktop won't work.... RM have changed the location of this to c:\documents and settings\all users\shared desktop. Don't know if icons on there will show up for all users though... never tried it. Far better to deliver the icons to the start menu using one of the methods described above.

    3. Start Menu gets delivered on login from \\your-server-name\rmdelivery\Group Resources\Programs. The RM Desktop Agent is the process I think that does this. It will only display shortcuts that resolve (ie only programs installed on that computer)

    The user profiles are stored in \\your-server-name\rmusers$\[UserFolder]\Profiles. They are standard windows roaming profiles. Standard student users won't be able to see anything you copy onto their desktop as they don't have access to the desktop. Advanced users or Advanced Staff Users should be able to (check the User "Type of User" option again the user object in the management console)

    Would STRONGLY recommend against storing stuff on the desktops for Advanced Users - you may well suffer from profile bloat that will cause problems with slow login times.

    4. Drive mappings are set against the computer object in the management console, not against the user object. You can find the drive mappings listed there. Keep in mind that some drives are hidden for Standard users - for example P:, Q:, L: etc.

    Not sure why you aren't able to display the user properties though. Try running the rm management console directly on the server, rather than on a workstation, or try it on a different machine. Never had that problem before. Perhaps try restarting the world wide web publishing services on your server.

    Finally, see if the school have got a copy of the CC3 administrator's guide. That will tell you most things you need to know.

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    Boredguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    1. What's the deal with log ins? Can you log in with a local account or is it domain accounts only? Also, if a user takes a school RM'ified laptop home to work, will that user be able to log in when it's not on the physical network? Looks to me at present that the user cannot log in to the laptop unless they are actually connected to the network.
    If the laptop has been set to personal via the RMMC, then the logon details will be cached for use away from the network
    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    2. How does anything get installed properly? I know that you can assign or allocate "packages" to computer objects from RM Management Console, but this doesn't seem to do, anything. For instance, a class needs ActivInspire, if I go to their computers object and check the packages tab, it shows as already assigned. If I re-assign it, it says it's doing it, but nothing turns up on that class pc. Also, if I just want to install a program manually on a couple of pc's, how is this done? I've logged in as admin, installed programs, put the shortcut icon in all users desktop, when the user logs in, nothing, the program is installed but can't be used!
    Well the RMMC assigns the packages (ie updates the ini files and AD) and then the station uses the RM AppAgent to pick up the changes at startup.
    Sometimes the AppAgent package can get stuck, so if your stations are not detecting the packages, reinstall this componant (can be found in the Q:\tools folder) Sometimes you also need to reinstall the AutoExNT package which is what kicks AppAgent off at startup as well

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    3. This relates to question 2. Where do the users get their profile folders such as desktops and start menus from? I've placed things in their local profile desktop folder, and also in their profile which is on the server, and the bloody thing still doesn't show up when they log on! Where can I drop a file/icon etc so it will show up on their desktop?!
    Desktop icons are disabled by GPO apart from My Computer and RM Explorer. You can go playing around in the RM Usertype GPO's to alter this if you really want to.
    The profiles are stored in their own share on the server... it's easy to see.
    Start menus are generated at logon based on group membership and if you look in the RMMC under Resources -> Program Sets, you will see the same structure as the startmenu, and you can assign groups & new icons via that.

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    4. I need to be able to check what drive mappings a user is getting as the user is missing some drives. I open RM Management Console, go to users, find the container they are in and right click on their name and then properties, nothing happens, if I double click their name, nothing happens, if I highlight their name and click the properties button on the toolbar, nothing happens. I'm 80% sure that this used to work but now does not, has anyone seen this before? If I click on a computer object's properties, it opens straight away. Is this a bug/problem?
    Drives are mapped for computers and not users, so in the RMMC, make sure your workstations have the drive mappings assigned.
    In the Usertypes (which you can find in the RMMC under Configuration Settings) you can define what drives are hidden or not mapped for that user group.

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    woould appreciate some help, thanks.
    Hope that helps a little

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    It's well worth noting that anything user related is safe to carry out in AD as you would on a vanilla network, including password resets, security group changes etc, just quota stuff will be specific to the management console.

    You can tell if a package has gone to a station or not by checking the stations "ini" file : D:\RMNetwork\RMManage\Packages\PackageControl\ - so if the machine is PC1 open PC1.ini. In there is a list of software - applications at the top, tools (i.e. RM stuff and windows updates) at the bottom. If it has "INSTALLED" next to it, it's working. INSTALL_FAILED is obvious. You can try and reinstall a particular machine by editing the INSTALLED or whatever bit to INSTALL_PENDING. Restart or use "installrm" logged on as systemadmin on the station and job's a goodun.

    Also worth noting - use ADMINISTRATOR logon ONLY for server and Systemadmin login for stations.
    CC3 is *very* intuitive despite it's age and I managed to pick it up from scratch in 2 months. If their support has ended though, it's certainly going to be time to ask them how they are moving forward - with no support from RM that also means no updates - thats no windows updates (do NOT use auto updating), no security updates, nada. Are they going to renew a contract? Are they going vanilla, etc? Is that something you will be helping with and can advise on? I'd say that needs to be your first line of questioning to the school involved because otherwise you could be running a particularly unsecure network putting the school's data at risk.

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    Thanks for all your good advice! Haven't logged in for a while since site troubles. Looks like there's a lot here for me to get through, I'll let you know how it goes.

    The thing I'm mostly worried about now is that the user properties won't open. I've restarted both IIS and World Wide Web Publishing services and restarted the server, it hasn't helped that problem. I also noticed that new users I've created in the past couple of weeks couldn't log in, windows profile could not be found error, logging on with temporary profile, but then it wouldn just go straight back to the log in screen. Users I created before this work fine. Since I can't get into the user accounts I tried to reset the profile for the users that couldn't log in, I got an error, something like "Couldn not delete files in <user profile path on server>". I then did a health check on the users that couldn't log in, and fix errors automatically (I left the reset permissions unchecked), after doing the users still could not log in but it would now let me reset the profile. After resetting the profile the users can finally log in, so that's good at least.

    Synaesthesia, yes I realise that this is a major issue for the school, not having support and updates from RM. I have told the powers that be months ago that decisions would have to be made regarding this, pretty sure nothing has been decided yet, I'll remind them. Personally I can't see myself getting as comfortable on cc as I am with a vanilla network so I think I'll be recommending that.

    I'm going to go through the 4 things that I mentioned above with all your advice from this thread and hopefully learn a lot. I may well be back with 4 more questions though.
    Last edited by LazyD; 16th November 2011 at 06:59 PM.

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    apur32's Avatar
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    Hi LazyD,

    I am new to RM CC3 and exactly in the same situation as you were few months ago. I am having problem just like your question no 2

    2. How does anything get installed properly? I know that you can assign or allocate "packages" to computer objects from RM Management Console, but this doesn't seem to do, anything. For instance, a class needs ActivInspire, if I go to their computers object and check the packages tab, it shows as already assigned. If I re-assign it, it says it's doing it, but nothing turns up on that class pc. Also, if I just want to install a program manually on a couple of pc's, how is this done? I've logged in as admin, installed programs, put the shortcut icon in all users desktop, when the user logs in, nothing, the program is installed but can't be used!


    just wanted to know if you are able to install the software locally and it is usable for all users.

    I installed a software locally as admin and can use it but student and staff can not even see the software on the pc??
    Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love to go vanilla .......... Hate RM CC3............

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    clareq's Avatar
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    If restricted users can't see a shortcut, and you've distributed it via a program set, then there is a permissions problem preventing it from running. You can create a dummy package then use ACL Detective to create a writeaccess.ini file for that program.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Sounds like you haven't allocated the shortcuts to a program set. Follow PeterH's number 2. If you have done that check the groups allowed to see the prgram set you have put the shortcuts in.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Without sounding too condescending it sounds as if there's a fair bit of training needed; it's a horrible thing to suggest to someone using an already very outdated product but it's still workable and of course you have to use it until a replacement is in place. Grab a half day course from RM or something, or maybe see if you can find a local school with a tech that knows it well already, ply them with a few beers and see if you can get half a day to sit down and go over the basics. Naturally everyone here will be able to help out with odds and sods but there's nothing quite like getting your mitts on it and having a play.

    It's not ideal, it's not up to date but frankly it's better than writing something off as rubbish just because you don't know how to use it. In many, many cases it's far easier to use and when you find something out there's nearly always a "Oh, it's that simple!".

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    apur32, as TechMonkey said, I would refer to PeterH's answer for question 2.

    I actually found a brilliant solution to all 4 of my original questions. I installed Server 2008 R2, created new images and re-imaged all the boxes.

    Vanilla tastes good.

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    LazyD,

    Love to do the same here.... But it needs a lot of work. Its over 600 machines and about 100 laptops. No information about the RM CC3 system at all.
    I will do the same soon
    ( VMWare ) + SAN... Server 2008 R2 + System Centre Configuration Manager + TMG 2010
    Thank you

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    apur32's Avatar
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    just to go to CC4 from CC3 cost more than 20K. What is in CC3 or CC4 that you can not do without it?? Its a management system sitting on the top of Active Directory. In fact the management system make everything so simple & automated that you depend on it and do not know how is it working on AD, which in my opinion is not very good. You wont find RM everywhere but windows servers almost everywhere.

    Please see the last answer from LazyD.... This is what I want to do!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyD View Post
    apur32, as TechMonkey said, I would refer to PeterH's answer for question 2.

    I actually found a brilliant solution to all 4 of my original questions. I installed Server 2008 R2, created new images and re-imaged all the boxes.

    Vanilla tastes good.
    Is the correct answer, its not the fact its old its the fact its crap. Keep it as simple as possible, bespoke software requires support from the bespoke company = cost

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