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Wireless Networks Thread, Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :( in Technical; Hi all Still having this ongoing problem which is that when a teacher uses a laptop, they wont get the ...
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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Hi all

    Still having this ongoing problem which is that when a teacher uses a laptop, they wont get the desktop appear i.e. they log on while not on the network [i.e. at home] and it all goes through until you get to where the background appears, and then instead of the desktop & taskbar appearing, nothing happens.

    I cant figure out how to prevent it, as, in this case, the two people in question had a freshly setup laptop each yesterday, and had no problems working on and offline yesterday after school. But apparently when they tried logging on in the evening at home, they just got this "sticky" background and nothing else.

    Anyone any ideas?

    Staff users dont have a [roaming] profile assigned to them, and for staff laptops, i make sure that any redirection of folder is now set to local profile [obviously].

    Any help would be really handy about now as theres so much to do *sighs*

    Cheers
    Nath.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    This is a guess and one you will already have thought of (feel free to shoot me ... water pistol only mind! ) but it still sounds like a redirected folder or some other server/network based resource such is at work..

    Perhaps check the policy results for one of the laptops when online and see if that provides any clues.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Tarquel, have you tried setting a seperate hardware profile ? Have one for networked use and one for non networked use [ home use ] Obviously disableing the wireless and any on-board NIC for the non networked use.....

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Quote Originally Posted by mattx
    Tarquel, have you tried setting a seperate hardware profile ? Have one for networked use and one for non networked use [ home use ] Obviously disableing the wireless and any on-board NIC for the non networked use.....
    Can think of an obvious problem there.. a lot of the staff laptops I deal with are needed to work with a home based net connection.

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgentl

    We have lots of teachers who take their laptops home for home use.

    They login as the local administrator or we set them up a local profile on the machine. The desktop and everything are probably controlled by group policy and scripts so when the teachers are at home this may be why they cannot do anthing? You probably have been through this but just though id add some more things to try.

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Are you saying that within school they logged on with their laptop unplugged from the network and it worked fine yet when they tried it at home it didn't work?

    Sounds strange unless they still had a working wireless connection in school?

    My users log on in exactly the same way at school as they do at home with offline files on their h: drive and don't have this problem.

    Do you redirect the desktop/start menu in school?

    If so where is it looking when they log on offline?

    I redirect staffs desktops to a folder called desktop within their my documents so that they can create their own shortcuts etc...

    Ben

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    also one thing i might be shooting in the dark here but you need to insure that folder folder options is set to enable if you have got my docs and desktop redirecteed as i know for a fact that on some pcs i found this to be off (on if always on network but no good if roaming) And this gives the same issue as if you were not redirecting them. (shoot me please I know silly answer) Just i had this issue when i first started.

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    a lot of the staff laptops I deal with are needed to work with a home based net connection.
    True, but I [ personally ] would not be happy allowing a teacher going backwards and forwards with a laptop using their own net connection. Even with all security measures in place. But thats just me.....

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    This is a guess and one you will already have thought of (feel free to shoot me ... water pistol only mind! ) but it still sounds like a redirected folder or some other server/network based resource such is at work..
    Gun on standby

    But why would it work fine for most of the rest of the staff on their laptops, and then randomly happen to people though?

    There is AFAIK no activity at all i.e. no HDD access happening [obvious no lan activity with the cable not being plugged in hehe] but the machine hasnt locked up or anything as u can happily press Ctrl-Alt-Del and you'll get the familiar options - change password / log off / etc etc.

    Logging off [as i recall] works fine. The status messages appear and the machine logs off.

    No doubt if i tried a different staff user on the laptops, it would be fine.

    Are you saying that within school they logged on with their laptop unplugged from the network and it worked fine yet when they tried it at home it didn't work?
    In this case, but im sure its not the real reason for it i.e. one of the people in question is highly unlikely to have any router at home [dont think they have a computer at home - much less the internet lol] so i cant see them do anything different to them having the laptop being unplugged here at the school.

    Sounds strange unless they still had a working wireless connection in school?
    No wifi networks [that are useable / connectable by the staff] are in the school.

    My users log on in exactly the same way at school as they do at home with offline files on their h: drive and don't have this problem.

    Do you redirect the desktop/start menu in school?

    If so where is it looking when they log on offline?
    I'm the same... they just log into the domain as they would normally.

    I have the policies set so that if a member of staff logs onto a laptop, they will use the local profile that is created during logon i.e. C:\Documents and settings\joebloggs\ and everything that was previously redirected is directed to this profile i.e. My Docs, Desktop, Application Data, and the Start Menu.

    I also have in the policy that when the user logs on, if it exists, the system will copy a all users Start Menu to the laptop i.e. so that they have access to their local programs when they are offline - it has worked well so far.

    My Docs on the laptop is completely seperate to their "H" [home] drive when they work on the laptop, as i didnt have much luck with syncronising and when you have users that have a sheer amount of data on their Home drives, its easy to see why [I know it would be differential after a while but still] plus that someone lost a Powerpoint presentation when I tried syncronising things, so for the time being, I thought it best i didnt.

    Hope that isnt as clear as mud

    The urgency of this thing is that staff have got to do reports [using a special e-reg program] by a dead line [this friday], and they all want to be lazy and do it at home on their laptops.

    So I'm rushing around trying to get all sorts done along with setting up a new switch [in another thread ] while fixing a bug with the e-reg system while creating a new build of XP for systems with MS drives in them while reseting passwords while...

    you get the idea

    Thanks so far.... all and more is welcome

    Nath.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    A slight update...

    Seems that its happening to more than i thought.

    I've come up with a very crude workaround, but how to fix it is sort of beyond me at the moment.

    Basically, if the user logs on while the network is connected then it goes through fine. If the user doesnt, it just sticks with no activity, and unlike what I thought [and maybe we didnt wait long enough] but pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del does nothing.

    So basically the key is to keep the machine going as u can disconnect the LAN cable and it will happily carry on working, restoring network drives and the like when you reconnect. Everything seems to be working fine as far as the programs go too.

    With the new builds of the laptops, if you close the lid, it goes on standby and asks for user/pass to unlock it when opening lid. so thats fine [so long as the batt doesnt die. On the other confgiured builds, it just stays on, so in either case, for the few that have bothered to come to me to liase with me, Ive suggested that they stay logged on, then disconnect everything and get home asap to plug in the power again

    They live a max of 30-45 mins away so should be a prob - especially as the machines are centrino's and the ones that sleep should stay active longer anyhow.

    If any of this seems really familiar, we'd love to know what you did exactly to get it to work.

    It did work, so mayb a hotfix has killed what was a nice working system yet again?

    Cheers
    Nath.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    *pings bullets off harmlessly a'la wonder woman which raises eyebrows but hey*

    Actually reading your description of the problem in the last post Nathan, I've realised that I have a similar problem with a network and a workstation machine of my own.

    Whenever the network server is down and I power up the workstation it'll get to the same point as original described and sit there doing nothing. It's something I'd put down to having a roaming profile but I would have thought my workstation should have been able to continue on with a temporary one...

    Oh and worth noting that this is when I work with a local machine account and not a domain one.

    I'll let you know if I suss it out as it may have repercussions for this thread.

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    alonebfg's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    it seem to me like the profile is not being downloaded to the pc which is where login data is stored. Just a quick question you dont have delpof or other software running at logoff deleting profiles on the machine. As a test do me a favor get a roming profile to log on then log off. Then you log on as admin and have a look in doc and settings and see if profile is there if it is open it up and see what folders are there. I have a suspition that profiles are getting deleted at logoff.

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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Just out of interest, have you tried the hardware profiles advice Tarquel ?
    I had a similar problem with our laptops and this solved the problem - user can logon with a LOCAL account with the laptop off the network and use a domain account with the laptop on the network.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Whenever the network server is down and I power up the workstation it'll get to the same point as original described and sit there doing nothing. It's something I'd put down to having a roaming profile but I would have thought my workstation should have been able to continue on with a temporary one...
    Its unlikely you can log on without a domain present with a roaming profile - expecially if you have profiles being deleted after use etc. the roaming one is only cached on the computer temporary usually so its not enough for it to be able to log on.

    Obviously, on a laptop where they are storing all their work, you cant clear profiles on logoff

    @alonebfg - this is a laptop, so the profile used is one that is created when they first log on [initally, by logging on to the domain on the laptop] and then thereafter, the profile is there on the laptop [not a roaming one, but one freshly created on the laptop], so its very odd.

    @mattx: sorry man. havent had chance to try that yet but in both cases - whether connected to the LAN at school or not connected/at home - they log on to the domain, not the local computer accounts. Its always worked before so there shouldnt be any need to now.

    Plus, being that i have under 3 weeks before I leave this place, i dont have the time to completely change how the staff use the laptops. So far, it has always worked up to now. Something must have changed somewhere, but there must be a way around it.

    How does everyone else tackle laptops in the schools?

    Nath.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers using laptops "offline" - advise needed urgently :(

    Oh great....

    now for some weird reason, people can't access their local My Documents anymore.

    Just gives them a restricted access message.

    How on earth can that have happened?

    Its like this system does what it wants sometimes

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Of couse, this is only happening on laptops AFAIK

    Someone want to kill me now?

    Nath.

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