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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Setup from Scratch in Technical; Hi Guys I've just taken over management of a school and have been tasked with setting up the system from ...
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    Question Setup from Scratch

    Hi Guys

    I've just taken over management of a school and have been tasked with setting up the system from scratch which is brilliant for me as I can get it working to everyones liking.

    Its been a while since I've done a fresh setup in a school so wondered what the general consesnsus is on the best way to manage user profiles shared folders etc.

    Im looking at using a combination of Mandatory profiles and redirected folders for both the staff and kids accounts. I want to enable as seamless experience for users when logging onto any machine in the school. I.e. consistent icons on the desktop, same programs on all machines etc.

    In regards to program management, im going to get a list of all of the required applications and make an image that I can deploy using WDS to the machines. I may also look at using steady state.

    What do you guys recommend in regards to shared folders? For example, teachers will want students to be able to save documents to a shared folder which the teacher can then access to mark work. There are obviously security implications to this. We dont want kids to be able to open other kids docs from the shared space and copy work for example.

    In regards to printers, im looking at writing a VBScript that will map all printers, but set the closest printer as the defauly for that session. Ive done this before but it was a bit of a pain so am wondering if there are any tools these days that can make this an easier process?

    Lastly, what is the best way of doing an application launcher these days? RM used to do one that looked a bit crappy but did the job. Wondered if there are any freebies out there?

    Thanks in advance!

    Josh
    Last edited by joshd; 17th October 2010 at 12:13 PM.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Personally i would say mandatory profiles for the students and roaming profiles for staff. For the deployment of Images take a look at fog - as this is also can assign printers and software to the school plus can keep an inventory of your hardware it can be fiddly to setup but is well worth it with all its extra features over wds and the likes. As to the shared folders we have a system whereas the kids just have read access to the student share which is located inside the staff shared area but teaching staff have read only access to users home directories with shortcuts on the teachers desktop for marking work etc. also make sure you setup some kind of helpdesk for properly logging requests and ensure staff are using it.

    But at the end of the day its what works for you and your school plus remember that teachers would love everything the way they want it - which will be totally different to the next teacher.

    also not sure of your location but look at how other schools in the area do it. im sure they would let you go visit.
    Last edited by glennda; 17th October 2010 at 12:26 PM.

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    Thanks for the prompt reply Glennda

    I've used fog before and quite like it so I think I may indeed look at using that, the only issue is that its quite a small schools so i dont have alot of additional hardware to play with server wise (I may consider virtualization on the existing server as it is quite a decent spec).

    In regards to staff i dont want to use roaming profiles exclusivly as its quite and old fashioned way of doing things, the redirected folders way tends to be a lot less network intensive and does away with the slow logon issues that you get when staff end up with gigantic profiles.

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    The mandatory for students and roaming for staff also helps with domain joined laptops and profile cacheing.

    What are you starting off with as a basis for software, you meantioned steadystate which is actually being depreciated by microsoft and only works with XP I think.

    If you are strting fresh I would recommend starting with up to date OSs like Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

    Printers and all sorts of other settings can now be handled by Group Policy Prefferences which are a part of Windows Server 2008 and above.

    With regard to student areas per classes you could set up a folder with only creator/owner rights allocated to files put there by the students, this would allow each student to save work there but only the creator of each bit of work (or the teacher given the right permissions) could alter it.

    For deployment I would look into WDS with MDT which can set up a nice build environment allowing for quick deployment of a single image throughout the school. If you want the extra automation features of running a batch reimage remotely then you could look into SCCM (assuming you have a schools agreement and it covers it) oras has been suggested fog.

    Edit: Roaming profiles are not old fashioned and with propper redirection applied the profiles do stay managable, you can even put size limits in via GPO if this is a big concern. Window 7 is also lighter weight in my experience profile size wise.

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    At the moment they site has a 2003 server and xp clients, the majority of the clients wont manage Windows 7 but Im going to try and push for them to buy 2008, although it will require a ram upgrade on the server.

    Its the usual thing so a small school with a very tight IT budget, so I'm going to have to make do with what I have available.

    So any ideas in regards to program launchers or do you think its easier just to stick app shortcuts on the desktop or something?

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    From memory the last time we discussed simple program launchers was this thread Simple Application launcher (very young kids)?

    Personally I'd probably go for shortcuts though as it gets them used to the UI right away and gets rid of an extra layer of software. I just use a script to create them on the fly depending on the user.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 17th October 2010 at 01:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshd View Post
    At the moment they site has a 2003 server and xp clients, the majority of the clients wont manage Windows 7 but Im going to try and push for them to buy 2008, although it will require a ram upgrade on the server.

    Its the usual thing so a small school with a very tight IT budget, so I'm going to have to make do with what I have available.

    So any ideas in regards to program launchers or do you think its easier just to stick app shortcuts on the desktop or something?
    Probably would be helpful if you could tell us more about the current set up, specifications of servers/computers, licensing (check it's 2003 and not 2008 licenses but running 2003 etc), any infrastructure issues etc?

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    Mandatory for students, roaming for staff with a cache limit of 100mb otherwise they will be spending forever to log in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshd View Post
    Thanks for the prompt reply Glennda

    I've used fog before and quite like it so I think I may indeed look at using that, the only issue is that its quite a small schools so i dont have alot of additional hardware to play with server wise (I may consider virtualization on the existing server as it is quite a decent spec).
    For fog as its not really a mission critcal thing you could just use an old desktop machine - I beleive that all the printers etc is done by the client on the workstation.

    In regards to staff i dont want to use roaming profiles exclusivly as its quite and old fashioned way of doing things, the redirected folders way tends to be a lot less network intensive and does away with the slow logon issues that you get when staff end up with gigantic profiles.
    I personally only use folder redirection for my documents - things like desktop and start menu I wouldn't becuase if for some reason the network connection is lost the desktop tends to hang which is not a good user experience.

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