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Windows Thread, Policy Central 5.1 in Technical; Originally Posted by Michael I spoke with David today and I think this is going to be the plan of ...
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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I spoke with David today and I think this is going to be the plan of action

    Running the Policy Central 5 server doesn't mean you need to run the Policy Central 5 client on workstations. It works absolutely fine with Policy Central 4 client. By creating a script and running the unist.exe application, this will clear any existing Policy Central installation. After say 48 hours, you can then re-deploy Policy Central 4 via MSI.

    David I believe intends to no longer deploy the Policy Central 5 client unless a school specifically requests it, or they discover a new problem. Policy Central 4 has been pretty solid for 12 months and as I wrote above, it still works with Policy Central 5 server.
    That is pretty much my plan of action on our local install. I've already gone back to V4 and I'm just waiting for all the clients to report in, mainly laptops which could take a week or more.

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    Any one tried 5.1.4.3 yet ?

    Just deciding whether to roll back to 4.1.0.0 or risk this version

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    @andy_b - Tempting, but no I wouldn't bother. Stick with Policy Central v4.

    I suspect Link2ICT will or 'should' recommend schools what to do bearing in mind they're pushing it out to schools, unless you have your own local setup.

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    Server hosted locally

    I was feeling optimistic and thought perhaps 5.1.4.3 would solve all problems (but not brave/stupid enough to test it myself)

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_b View Post
    Any one tried 5.1.4.3 yet ?

    Just deciding whether to roll back to 4.1.0.0 or risk this version
    ****Windows XP and Office 2003 with all updates installed***

    5.1.3.0 Was fine for us until the Summer batch of updates from MS then computers started freezing / crashing.

    5.1.4.1
    Forensic have confirmed the problem with Publisher 2003 (It crashes when you open it).
    Forensic have confirmed others have reported issues with word 2003 its not just us (its never crashed on us but there is a delay between typing and the text appearing).
    I don't think they have had any problems reported with newer versions of office.

    Link2ict have added temp exclusions for both Word and Publisher 2003 to get around these problems until Forensic fix it - you will need to do the same if you host it yourself!


    5.1.4.3 (No MSI available yet - Forensic said it should be available at the end of the week)
    David said he has only allocated it to a couple of schools in case there were more problems!
    It has fixed the Ending Program issue where you get a message when you log off / shutdown the PC and it sometimes says not responding.
    I'm not sure if anything else has been fixed - could do with a change log from Forensic.
    I only had David update 3 PCs to this version so far because I didn't want to break everything!

    My office manager is not very happy
    She has had a lot of problems with her workstation including CMIS crashing
    5.1.4.1 Caused her problems: Publisher 2003 - crashing, word 2003 - slow, CMIS - crashing
    uninstalled PCE - Everything ok
    5.1.4.3 installed last night - *CMIS crashed again this morning when she was trying to raise orders
    Office Manager on verge of nervous breakdown - uninstalled PCE again - Everything works ok again
    *Im not aware of any one else having problems with CMIS our other users seem ok ATM it just seems to be our Office Manager it doesn't like...

    David is probably running round like a head less chicken just with all the emails I've sent him this week...

    Has anyone tried the old V4xx since the last batch of MS updates? Just because it used to work doesnt mean it still does! The same MS updates that are causing problems with V5.x could also be causing problems with v4.x! So I would be cautious if you plan on trying the old version.

  6. Thanks to ToyHeartsFan from:

    andy_b (11th September 2012)

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    @ToyHeartsFan - You have raised a valid point with regards to Policy Central 4 and the latest round of Microsoft Updates. I have WSUS setup at every site and have no problems running Policy Central 4.1.0.0.

    That's not to say Microsoft Updates on October 2012 Patch Tuesday may or may not break things with Policy Central 4 or indeed Policy Central 5.

    To be perfectly honest though, the amount of disruption it has created is unacceptable. I'm 110% for Child Protection measures, however if teachers cannot use their whiteboards, take the class register or surf the internet for whatever they need - then Policy Central as a product is failing schools. Everyone may as well go home

    It's a ridiculous predicament to be in and schools are not compensated for poor software engineering. You never hear of any other software these days that creates such disruption in such a small space of time.

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    I'm so glad we got rid of this software from our network a few years ago!! Funny enough they told us we were the only customers getting the problem! Although the forums (at the time) didn't suggest that!

    I did think they may have loved things some 3years on, and trialed the software on 1 machine, and guess what... It started locking up and freezing as soon as it was installed! The trail didn't last very long for us!!

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    Yeh I'm getting really peeved off with it now..

    Do WE have to use it? I've got it hosted locally at my primary school and am thinking about removing it from the workstations and testing the violation feature in impero

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    @andy_b - Tempting, but no I wouldn't bother. Stick with Policy Central v4.

    I suspect Link2ICT will or 'should' recommend schools what to do bearing in mind they're pushing it out to schools, unless you have your own local setup.
    Same place that's taken them over six weeks to realise Sophos v10 doesn't like ePortal, and over a week to release "guidance" (aka oops we didn't test all this properly) to schools.

    I've got PCE at one of my schools and it's killing Win 7 x86 machines. Worst part is the bloody uninstaller doesn't work, even disabling it in MSConfig it still comes back. Luckily everyone has admin rights, so they've got a batch file to run to kill the sodding thing

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    Yeh I'm getting really peeved off with it now..

    Do WE have to use it? I've got it hosted locally at my primary school and am thinking about removing it from the workstations and testing the violation feature in impero
    No, as long as you can ensure or attempt to ensure students aren't bypassing your filtering. Luckily as a special, my students have no laptops or tablets to roam with. Always with at least one member of staff. Hence I've binned the bugger

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    [QUOTE=ToyHeartsFan;869314

    Has anyone tried the old V4xx since the last batch of MS updates? Just because it used to work doesnt mean it still does! The same MS updates that are causing problems with V5.x could also be causing problems with v4.x! So I would be cautious if you plan on trying the old version.[/QUOTE]

    This may or may not be related.
    We went back to V4 during the break, everything seemsed to be working but yesterday pceservice.exe took our server CPU to 100% for no apparent reason. Both this service and the SQL have been restarted and even a server reboot but this had no effect.

    To get around it for now we added another CPU which gives us a working server but the pceservice.exe still uses 50% of the CPU resources.

    Clients so far don't seem to be having problems, most are Win 7 and the odd XP. Office 2010 seems to be behaving at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHeartsFan View Post
    Is anyone else having this problem? They have now decided that EES licence might be a good idea after all but want confirmation that if we upgrade office the problem will go away. So it would be great if someone could say yes they have publisher 2003 and its doing the same but they also have a machine with publisher 2007 / 2010 and thats working ok.
    A little late, but I thought I'd post anyway.

    Somewhat randomly, PC 5.1.3.0 crashed Publisher 2007 on startup on every single laptop, yet there have been only an isolated case or two of PC 5.1.4.1 crashing Publisher 2007.

    So yes, Publisher 2007 is affected (at least on XP), but in our case, less so than 5.1.3.0.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
    No, as long as you can ensure or attempt to ensure students aren't bypassing your filtering. Luckily as a special, my students have no laptops or tablets to roam with. Always with at least one member of staff. Hence I've binned the bugger
    I think im going to run with this. Ive removed PCE from our clients by removing the MSI from GP and it seems to have done the job after a few restarts.
    Im going to give impero a bash and see if that does the job as from my very small test machines it seems to work pretty well

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    The filtering isn't the real issue as Link2ICT/BGFL do a good job of this. Policy Central detects inappropriate pupil and adult activities whilst using a computer. This includes bullying, inappropriate language or inappropriate contexts either created by the user (such as in Microsoft Word) or visited by the user, such as a web page.

    To my knowledge, there isn't an iPad or Smart Phone Policy Central app (as yet), but I suspect this will follow soon. The point is, if Policy Central was better engineered (as I mentioned above) no one really would care it's there, as staff can do their jobs and pupils learning continues uninterrupted. It's just becoming more of an issue due to the disruption and downtime it creates.

    I suspect Banks (for monitoring purposes) and other large businesses have similar technologies, but I doubt it's Policy Central. It's probably more of a logging system which will eat up disk space in no time at all.

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    Michael has beaten me to it.

    Policy Central is there for cyber bullying, grooming, to enforce acceptable use policies and hopefully capture things that do get through the filtering system.


    Years ago when I worked in a Secondary I caught a child putting her mobile number in a chat room that had got through the BGFL filtering. She simply didn’t understand the risk. It was completely by chance that I was using a remote monitoring tool and happened to look at her workstation – this is the sort of thing policy central is there to capture.


    When it works it is a great tool but when it goes wrong it does so spectacularly and yes there are times I would like to throw it out the window. Unfortunately I don’t think this will ever change when you think about it Policy central does exactly what malware / viruses do i.e. monitors what users are doing, closes apps etc… so Microsoft security updates are bound to break it now and again. Policy Central was a pain in the rear when link2ict first deployed it but then it settled down. Hopefully Forensic will fix the current round of bugs sooner rather later.


    In Birmingham at least you do not have to use it I think link2ict have a doc on their KB about it. But you do need to be using some sort of E-Safety solution to comply with their guidelines. And ditching it needs to be discussed with the Head / Gov’s because of the child protection implications it’s not something you can do on a whim.

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