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Windows Thread, Cleaning up Win32 network : tips please in Technical; I've got a Win Server 2003 network which has 2 x Win2k3SP2 (no R2) servers and about 40+ WinXP workstations ...
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    Cleaning up Win32 network : tips please

    I've got a Win Server 2003 network which has 2 x Win2k3SP2 (no R2) servers and about 40+ WinXP workstations that I'm in the process of cleaning up and rejigging after years of slow degradation.

    Until now, due to power surges, etc... I've allowed offline files to be used on the home directories but this is getting such that the synch process takes upwards of 5 to 10 minutes on some machines so I want to remove this.

    I figure this is a case of killing off a GPO setting but I thought I'd best ask ahead of time if there are any gotcha's involved...

    My main concern is that this could cause issues if the network drops offline as occasionally happens when kids kick the net socket or we get a surge.

    Thoughts?

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    You can just turn off the GPO to make the home dir available off line. Provided the users synched properly last time they logged off, they won't lost anything but there's no sensible way to check that this has happened.

    Is there any way you can protect network sockets so that they are kick proof? Can you use a UPS to protect the server against surges? (you probably can't protect the workstations)

    If the network connection does drop for less than a minute or so while users are working, most applications will recover - Windows is pretty good at reconnecting shares that it loses touch with.

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    contink (5th March 2009)

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    Your servers should definitely be connected to a UPS and this should prevent any power surges and of course damage to your servers. I can recommend APC UPS's. Something along the lines of a 1000VA or 1500VA should be sufficient.

    You can turn off Offline Files quite easily, but of course make sure your users have synchronised right up to date, otherwise this will cause problems!

    As for kids kicking the network ports - this really is an issue for the Head or Class Teacher to resolve. I presume the school have a behaviour policy? If they don't, then they certainly need to. As for the regular power surges, the school really, seriously need to get someone in to have a look at your electrical infrastructure.

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    contink (5th March 2009)

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    Thanks for the input guys...

    You validated what I was trying to put into words for myself but couldn't quite manage.. I've organised a day of no-computer use so I can spend the first hour just visiting every classroom machine and making sure all synchronising has been completed and then I have the lab to myself.

    The network socket issue is one that is part, poor cable tidying (which is my fault) with network cable dangling from rush replacements, etc.. and then caught by peoples feet, chairs, etc... Otherwise are just down to children swinging their legs and the network socket placement or chair backs/tables and again socket placement. Nothing malicious so it's going to be a case of buying some angled sockets and/or fashioning some buffers around the sockets to protect the most easily abused I suspect.

    As to the power thing... Well the school is less than a mile from a power station with another 2 less than 10 miles away. As a result the power supply is very unfiltered and regularly blows out the transformer in the village. It's not helped by a p*ss poor wiring that was done when the school was built but I already have UPS and power surge protection on all server sockets... Ironically I had to decommission two PC's because of power surge damage today so it's a pain.

    We muddle through though.

    Thanks again...

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