Firstly, thanks to everyone on this excellent forum for all their help and advice. I've been on & off for a couple of months now, learning as much as I can.
I'm the only ICT person at a Primary School, and have slowly, painfully, built up the entire ICT and IT capabilities over the last year and a bit.
I inherited a massive clutter of old PCs running Win98, and slowly replaced them with new(ish) PCs as we went along.
When I started, I was handed 20 odd brand new Dell Optiplex PCs and a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server running Win 2003 Server - all in a box, to set up and get going in a week.
It was really hard at times, what with NOBODY understanding anything about IT even remotely. I had no documentation of any sort, nobody knew who to contact at the Local authority, no network information, and so on.
Anyway, we now have about 70 odd PCs spread around (including about 10-12 in Admin).
We've just had a new ICT room built with 30 brand new PCs running Windows XP (included in the 70 mentioned above). Each PC took 3-4 hours installing everything, Updates, etc, etc.
Very basic setup, XP SP2, Office 2003 SP3, all updated, and a simple B/W network printer for everyone to use.
The entire network is a peer-to-peer, where I've had to set up a manual IP address for each PC (and each printer or network device) to get things up and running and get the staff back to normal after the last IT people left the mess, with hardly anything working properly.
I have been fiddling with the server in the last couple of days and managed to set it up as a Domain Controller, as well as DHCP server.
Connected a test laptop to it now, logging in as a User, with limited priviliges, as I've had staff installing random things and causing grief !
Now, what I want to do is create Profiles for everyone, at least the staff, not necessarily for each child (yet !).
I'd like to then install software on the server, and then when users log in, they can run the relevant applications ?
Am I being really daft in wanting that ?
Otherwise I'll be going around installing about 25 different applications on each of the 30 PCs and then some more, as & when new software is bought and is required on the class PCs as well.
Most of my time since I've been here has been taken away trying to get PCs to stay working, fire-fighting silly issues all day long, and it's delayed me so much from doing this whole thing.
Login scripts ? Group policies ?
I'm totally lost for ideas to start - any help or advice is appreciated.
I suggest you speak to your school or LEA about getting some proper training on network servers and setting them up, as to try and explain all the steps involved in getting the sort of system you're after working would take too long to type here, and if you're really new to it all then nothing beats proper structured training.
Once you understand the technologies involved, then you'll be in a better position to set up this sort of system.
I half to agree with maniac get the training you need to get the job done it will make things go a lot easer. Also look into software that will make it easer to set up all the computers. I did a major deployment of computers last year (250) and was fortunate enough to have Norton Ghost to avoid having to install programs on etch computer, there are other programs that do the same thing some better some worse it just depends upon how much money you could spend if any at all.
I also set each student up with a login for active directory for the first time in my district using a CSV import (http://www.computerperformance.co.uk...DE_secrets.htm). Of course this is only a viable option if you have all the relevant information in digital format. If not you will need to put them into active directory by hand.
Also as I have told all of the techs at our schools donâ€™t be afraid to try something. This is the best way to learn technology is to do it. If possible build a sand box (small simulation network to avoid damage to the active network). But always try
Alternatively, if you are a primary school, take a look at Winsuite. It does most of what you want to do, has a great facility for importing users into AD and lets you lock down the clients really tight. I'm still running Win98 on most curriculum computers because at present there really is no reason to update to XP with Winsuite. Eventually, mandatory software will come along that requires XP and then I will be able to get the cash to do a real upgrade rather than doing it piecemeal on a meagre budget. I may have got it wrong but I don't think so.
I am independent/contracted to the school, so no chance of them getting me trained. I'll have to do it myself.
Which is what I did previously - got my Microsoft certification for NT and 98 and XP and paid for it myself.
I'm sure I could grab a decent book and learn, if not, then find a decent course.
Yes, we are a Primary school, and that's why I'm trying to keep it as simple and reliable as possible.
My plan is to have 1 single login (used simultaneously) for each year group for when they are in the ICT room, so they all have their specific desktop icons and applications.
Individual login for each staff member, so they could log on to whichever PC available, as and when needed.
Since they will all log onto the Domain, pretty much everyone will be a member of Domain Users group, hence restricting their ability to install or uninstall applications and create problems.
I've had 2-3 incidents of Spyware recently where some staff members 'think' they know better and have installed things they should not !
And preventing that is a priority I feel.
After that comes the ability to have their own custom desktop/settings when they log onto whichever PC.
Have a folder for each year group, and then one each for staff members, which has their documents, and if possible, their settings, etc. All running off the server, so the actual PC is not really messed around with.
As mentioned, I've created a test account on the domain, logged into it from a test laptop and it works OK. Just a simple setup.
Now, before I start to roll-out that concept across the board, starting with the new ICT room, I want to do my research and your guidance, and take the best possible to getting the PCs logging into the Domain, each getting their IP addresses from the DHCP server, and eventually, creating a decent Windows network, rather than the peer-to-peer setup I've inherited.
OK, if you're going to be trying this yourself, may I suggest setting up a Virtual server and workstation on a spare PC, and messing around with this first. You can afford to make mistakes on the virtual machines, where as if you make the same mistakes on the live server, you could make things worse for yourself.
Once you have a setup that works in the virtual environment, you can then copy all the setup from the virtual server into your production environment.