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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Start menu redirection in Technical; How do people do this? Currently I have one start menu for students and one for staff, which are redirected ...
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    Andi's Avatar
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    Start menu redirection

    How do people do this?

    Currently I have one start menu for students and one for staff, which are redirected via GPO, but I'm concerned with just how much network traffic this is causing with everyone requesting this data several times a minute over the whole network. I frequently check that no executable etc have been put in there and only lnk files so that the file size is as small as possible but I'm still concerned, especially for our wireless clients.

    Another concern that I do want to find a way around is the fact that a lot of the links on the start menu will be broken if the station doesn't have the software assigned to it.

    Any pointers or tips?

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    We must have approx 70 shourtcuts in our redirected start menu and it's 70kb in total, i really don't think this is something that you will need to worry about. We store ours in netlogon so it is pulled from the DC that logged the user on distributing load accross DC's. As for the broken links if the application isn't installed then you will get a blank icon there really isn't allot you can do about that, we just break our menu down into sub folders for different subjects and have common links in the root this stops too many blank icons from showing.

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    Andi's Avatar
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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Yes, this is exactly what we do, aside from ours being stored on a standard share. I didn't think the size/network traffic would be an issue, but I just thought I'd ask.

    I'm sure there's a way to sort out the empty links though.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Instead of just linking to the program in the menu shortcut, we link to a script. The script does various things (checks the software is installed on this machine, logs opening and closing of program, checks license count, mounts an ISO image if needed) but it has the "correct" icon loaded from c:\icons. At machine startup that folder is refreshed from a central icon store (basically use an icon extract program to extract the icon from all your main apps) This means that the icons always look "right" and you get a nice message saying "Sorry; program not installed" rather than a windows "can't find program" error.

    The script we use is at http://techinfo.cnwl.ac.uk/Windows%2...%20program.htm

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    We've just changed how start menus work here. Previously we just had one big start menu on the network as you have. Now what happens instead is the local computers 'All Users' Startmenu is merged with a cut down network startmenu. There's a couple of gotchas with this approach though. You have to tidy up the 'All users' start menu on the machines (I suggest a reimage) and sometimes software doesn't bother to create startmenu items in 'All users'. So you have to manually fix it.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Does 2003's Access enumeration work with this well?
    Would be sexy if it did

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Indeed it does.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Doesnt xp just drag down the start menu the first time and then look in its cache for the rest of the session?

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    I don't know how RM CC3 does it exactly, but shortcuts for applications that don't exist on the machine get the "hidden" attribute applied to them so they are not visible in the Start Menu.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky
    Doesnt xp just drag down the start menu the first time and then look in its cache for the rest of the session?
    Only for the portion of the start menu items that exist on the machines hard drive. eg, anything in the users local profile or all users. If the start menu items reside on the server they are subject to ABE (assuming it's enabled and installed) just like any other file or folder. You can verify this by mucking with the permissions of the start menu items on the server and observing the results on the client.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    The start menu just seems to appear alot quicker after the first time.

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    That looks great srochford.

    We redirect start menus per room using th nasty loopback method, but i'd like to change to scripting start menu according to the machine name. Anyone have examples of that?

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    Something like this should work:

    Idea is that you work out the current OU for the user's machine (I'm assuming that machines are grouped in OUs according to classroom - if not, why not :-))

    You then have a folder for each OU that you want to have different programs on a server share. Under that is what you need copying to the start menu. eg if you have a room called "abc123" then you'll have a folder called "abc123\programs\programs for room abc123" and then the start menu will have a section called "programs for room abc123"


    Code:
    set oShell=createobject("wscript.shell")
    set ofso=creatobject("scripting.filesystemobject")
    Set oADSysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")
    sSiteName=oADSysInfo.SiteName
    sComputerDN=oADSysInfo.computername
    iComma1=instr(sComputerDN,",")
    if iComma1<>0 then iComma2=instr(iComma1+1,sComputerDN,",")
    if iComma1<>0 and iComma2<>0 then
      sOU=mid(sComputerDN,iComma1+4,iComma2-iComma1-4)
    end if
    
    if sOU<>"" then
      oFSO.copyfolder "\\server\share\" & sOU,oShell.specialfolders("startmenu"),true
    end if
    If you don't group computers in OUs according to room but you name them (eg) room1_001, room2_001 etc then you could just replace:

    Code:
    Set oADSysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")
    sSiteName=oADSysInfo.SiteName
    sComputerDN=oADSysInfo.computername
    iComma1=instr(sComputerDN,",")
    if iComma1<>0 then iComma2=instr(iComma1+1,sComputerDN,",")
    if iComma1<>0 and iComma2<>0 then
      sOU=mid(sComputerDN,iComma1+4,iComma2-iComma1-4)
    end if
    with

    Code:
    set oNetwork=createobject("wscript.network")
    scomputer=onetwork.computername
    sOU=left(sComputername,4)
    (assuming that the first 4 letters of the computer name is the room name). This is harder work because you have to be absolutely rigid in your computer naming (and it falls over for us because we have random room names - including 2 which are labelled "WFG33" just to confuse the students :-))

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    We have both our machines in OUs according to room AND name all the PCs by the room name (IT1-xx, Eng4-xx etc.. :P)

    we also already have the folders set up on a share named with same rom names, so those bits are already done.

    I wish I had the 1st clue how that worked - but I'll try to have a play Monday

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    Re: Start menu redirection

    We use Ranger to redirect our start menu's however were are getting a problem where the start menu/button freezes. This happened on our old NT4 domain (now 2003) both running Ranger.

    We've googled a lot and tried several different solutions but none have worked. When I log in I get the local start menu and this problem does not exist.

    PS. Sorry to high jack this thread, but a teacher was asking about this today and this thread reminded me of this!

    Robert

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