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Issues with Windows Steady State RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently had to re-install a friend's family computer with Windows XP Home (for the 5th time!!!) because the daughter doesn't know how to keep her fingers out of limewire, kazaa, and questionable websites. Basically it is the same old story of the computer becoming infected with every brand, type, and spieces of virus and malware. So a fresh install is all taht it really needs to remedy the situation. but I don't want to reinstall the system again in 3 months so I decided to give Windows Steady State a shot. After reading a review about it on tomshardware.com or howtogeek.com, I thought I would see if it was any good.

    So I reinstalled xp. devided the single HDD into two partitions: one the main system partition and the second a minor partition for the media files (music, photos, docs, etc). I created three users. The admin (myself), one for the parent, and one for the child. I made all three accounts admin level. I installed all updates for xp. Installed windows security essentials for a basic virus and malware scanner. I installed all their programs, updated everyting. I de-linked their "my documents" from the default location to the new one on the D: (Media drive/partition). I then tested everything to make sure everything worked, which it does. Then through my admin account I changed the parent's and the child's accounts from admin to limited. I restarted the PC. Defragged both drives, and then proceeded to install Windwos Steady State. The installation when well. the issues that I am having are below.

    I proceeded to make some initial changes to see what it would be like and if it would work, which it seemed to be doning. the only changes that I made were when windows ready state would update the os. After I did that, I set the protection for C: drive ON and to lose any changes made to the system partition after every restart. I had to restart the machine. Then I proceeded to make changes such as: hide the admin account (press ctrl+alt+del twice to show these accounts), lock the limited users accounts, specific settings for each limited user such as can not see the d: drive in "my computer", etc. I then went to test them in the limited users accounts that I had just setup. first I logged off of my admin account. the first thing I noticed that shouldn't have happened was that the Welcome screen still showed the admin account. that wasn't supposed to happen. the next thing was that once I logged into one of the limited users accounts, I tried to get access to the control panel. It was simple as pie but shoudn't have been because I had previously set that as a restricted access for this particular account. then I logged out and logged back into my admin account, which was still showing on the welcome screen.

    I started the steady state program again and noticed that NONE of my settings that I had previously set for the limited users had taken, meaning that they weren't saved, not a single one!! With the exception of protecting the c: drive. So I selected the settings that I wanted, closed the program, opened it up again and checked. They were all still selected. I then restarted the computer thinking that perhaps it needed a restart. After the restart I was anxiously waiting to NOT see the admin account show up but it did. So I logged in and checked the settings that I had just previously set, they were gone. Not saved again. I tried several more things and nothing seemed to work. They only thing that seemed to work was the C: drive protection, meaning that nothing would ever get written to the C: drive.

    I decided to turn off teh c: drive protection option and then try setting the level of security for each limited user and see if it worked. Alas I wasn't able to because I had to get back to work.

    So my question is this, why won't the seetings take? Is it really as simple as: set the settings first THEN turn on c: drive protection? That seems just a tad unusual. One would think that the program would allow for the admin to make on the fly changes with OUT having to turn a specific option on/off for the settings/changes to take. I mean, why can windows install the updates without having to turn of the c: drive protection but the system admin can't? That just seems a little strange to me so I think that something else is going on.

    Any ideas?

    My main objective is to make it so that the administrator level account (my account, which is the ONLY admin level account) is not visible on the welcome screen; that the media partition (d: drive) is not visible; that the limited users are locked from making computer changes; that any and all settings that I select in the windows steady state program stay; and that any changes to the system partition from the limited users do not stay.

    Am I doing something wrong during the installation/initial setup? any help and/or guidence would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

    -Andrew
    Monday, December 7, 2009 10:01 PM

Answers

  • Hi Andrew, did you receive the notification after changing settings and restarting the computer/logging off the user? If you log on as administrator and Windows Disk Protection is enabled, it should ask if you want to save the changes. If you do not receive them, those changes will be lost. Therefore, I suggest you either disable Windows Disk Protection or log on as "Administrator", change the setting and save it. Then, let's see if the settings are saved.

    Hope this helps!
    Sean Zhu - MSFT
    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, December 14, 2009 6:07 AM
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:59 AM

All replies

  • Hi Andrew, did you receive the notification after changing settings and restarting the computer/logging off the user? If you log on as administrator and Windows Disk Protection is enabled, it should ask if you want to save the changes. If you do not receive them, those changes will be lost. Therefore, I suggest you either disable Windows Disk Protection or log on as "Administrator", change the setting and save it. Then, let's see if the settings are saved.

    Hope this helps!
    Sean Zhu - MSFT
    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, December 14, 2009 6:07 AM
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:59 AM
  • Just as an aside, if all they want to do is keep their daughter from accessing certain sites, it may be a bit easier to do it through their router. OpenDNS has a few features (all free, you may have to sign up) where you can block certain websites from within their dashboard. I think they can also block certain programs from being installed but you will need to look.
          Also, if its possible to get a copy of XP Professional, install that and make the daughters account a limited account which should prohibit the installation of those p2p programs.

    Hope that helps,

    Philip

    Jealousy is not proof of love, nor proof of emotional immaturity
    Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:49 PM