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Windows Thread, Mobile Laptops and locking down in Technical; Maybe a bit of a unique situation to us in Adult Ed but we have batches of laptops (and now ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Mobile Laptops and locking down

    Maybe a bit of a unique situation to us in Adult Ed but we have batches of laptops (and now netbooks) that go out into the community and basically never touch the domain. Previously we had them domained and I guess they must've gone in via cached logons.

    Thinking about it that seems a bit pointless, not sure how many of the GPOs stick but yet I still need to keep them relatively consistent.

    I can lock them down with HDGuard (think Deepfreeze) to keep unwanted fiddling away
    Use a local copy of the network mandatory profile to sort out some settings

    Then just keep them as local logins or use the cached network ones?

    Edit: it's looking like local profile and Start Menu, GPOs set on the machines and sticking but have to find a way around the logon scripts then HDGuard it for good measure!
    Last edited by gshaw; 23rd October 2009 at 03:15 PM.

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    What about MS Steady State?
    We have used that sucessfully on XP/Vista Laptops for a couple of years now in a school library.
    All machines are locked down, everyone uses a generic local autologon users can access/save work to home areas using a webdav/portal system or usb.
    Boot up is near instant and due to the near 100% uptime and availability the girls have stopped vandalising them!

    Unfortunately there is currently no support for Steady State on Win7 but a lot of people use it and there has been a number of requests made to MS to provide it!
    It was in the Beta versions as "Guest Mode" but they dropped it from the RTM version "Shame on you MS".

    Download here

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    HDGuard is basically the same thing with a bit more management, didn't fancy setting up all the local settings manually though hence the GPO side of it... probably end up being a mixture of the two by the looks of it...

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    Depending on how much freedom you want to give the users and how able to follow simple advice they are, you may find SteadyState a bit "quirky". I experimented with it when one of my schools was allowing the kids to take laptops home, but needed them to be able to install printers, home wireless and pretty much anything they wanted. I discovered that if the power to the laptop is cut (I suspect that improper shutdowns would cause the same effect) then SteadyState defaults to "remove all changes on reboot" and "rewinds" the system back to its original setup. Not ideal in those circumstances, but YMMV depending on what you want the end user to be able to do.

    In the case of the school where I tried it, it turned into a huge PITA because the kids would run the machines on battery until the battery gave out which then caused the above-mentioned reversion. Still using the program in some classrooms where there are no networks points, and it's great in that environment.

  5. Thanks to LeMarchand from:

    timzim (26th October 2009)

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