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Features wishlist RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi to everyone,

     

    here is my wishlist for the next version of SteadyState. Everyone feel free to add your wishes as well:

     

    1. Central management console with GUI

    --> Not everyone is experienced in creating or customizing VB-Scripts that work with WMI

    --> Configuring WDP Status of several PCs from one PC (i.e. computer room at school with one teacher PC and several student PCs)

     

    2. Save changes at next restart

    --> At the moment you need 2 restarts to commit changes and turn back to "remove changes". The reminder workaround is not a good solution because you have to do it at each PC (management console obsolete)

     

    3. Time for scheduled updates not only at full hours but at any time (i.e. 13:45). Also a good option would be that SteadyState searches and installs updates when the user shuts the computer down (Like "Install updates and shut down" as known from Microsoft Update).

    Friday, September 21, 2007 9:20 AM

All replies

  •  

    1. I would like to have a feature along the lines of  "Remove all changes  on startup except for " the my docs folder for example and limit this choie to one folder.

     

    Although in our student lab environment we have a file server with space for students to save work they, they don't always get there for various reasons and emergency saves to the my docs fodler as a last resort are necessary in case for some unknown reason they cannot access the file server.

     

    It is always accessible and to date has never been a problem touchwood, but nothing in computing is 100% with children let alone adults, something can always happen (i.e suddenly no access to file server for whatever reason) which is not alway predictable, henc the last resort need for access to save work somewhere local.

     

    It would be good to allow keeping changes to a single common folder path and no where else. Currently the keep all changes or retain none is an "all or nothing" scenario and a bit limiting.

     

    2. The ability to update profles without reporting a whole new fresh profle from scratch, should the original prfile you set up need to change youhave to start from square one again. Below are the probs I had with this.

     

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2134696&SiteID=69

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:41 AM
  • Hi,

     

    1. problem: what about changing the "My Docs"-Folder to a separate local partition? SteadyState only secures C:\ so you can use a second partition for saving data in case the server is not reachable.

     

    2. I don't really understand the problem (perhaps because we don't use locked profiles). We use standard default user profiles for every user. To change this profile you simply have to logon as standard user, make your changes and then copy the standard user profile into the "Default User"-folder. Alternatively you could use server-based profiles but that's much work to do so I don't suggest it. :-)

     

    Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:27 PM
  • Hi,

     

    First issue: FFM_Admin is right. You can redirect “My Documents” folder to another place such as the file server. If these computers are in a domain, you can configure this from the server side. Otherwise, you can manually change the location with the steps below:

     

    a. Click Start, right click “My Documents” and choose Properties.

    b. Under Target tab, click Move, select another partition or network place and click OK.

     

    Second issue: Based on the feedback of our product team, this design will not be changed. However, if there is already a user account with the same user name, a cancel overwrite option will be added to the new version of SteadyState.

     

     

    By the way, FFM_Admin, all your feature requests had been sent to our product team. Here are some feedback:

     

    1. Related scripts will be developed in the new version.

    2: Our product team is still considering whether adding this feature to the new version. You can refer to the workarounds in the following thread currently:

     

    WDP like DiskProtect.wsf from MSCT 1.1

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2104416&SiteID=69

     

    3: This request was postponed as the current design matches the Automatic Updates feature in Control Panel.

     

     

    To avoid confusion and make the forum readable, I still recommend submitting new post for new issues. With clear title, others can find their interest easily. Thank you for your understanding.

     

    Regards,

    Monday, September 24, 2007 9:46 AM
  • Thanks FFM_Admin for those ideas.

     

    I will have to look into the seprate partition, if I can't re create the same look and feel as when saving to my docs on C:\ then it may not be worth it as it has to simple for 4 and 5yr old kids and adults and teenagers.

     

    I don't know about the default user folder, I have four different types of users on lab pc's so not sure how this would work but I will look into it, thanks again.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 3:13 PM
  • Hi aredubbya,

     

    there is no change in use of the "My Documents"-Folder. It still looks the same but only points to a different folder on HDD. No one will realize the change you made.

     

    If you use several users on your PCs then you can change the path of The "My Documents" Folder for all users.

    You simply have to change a registry entry unter HKU\.Default. At the moment I don't remember the exact key but you can configure this key like "D:\%USERNAME%" so that each user using the PC gets an own directory on D:\.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 3:42 PM
  • Hi Shawn,

     

    what do you mean by

     

     Shawn Shao - MSFT wrote:

     

    To avoid confusion and make the forum readable, I still recommend submitting new post for new issues. With clear title, others can find their interest easily. Thank you for your understanding.

     

    Regards,

     

    ?

     

    By the way I'm very glad to hear that the "wishlist" is already "known" along the developer team! :-) I'm looking forward to see the efforts of the software; in my opinion, this is one of the best tools Microsoft developed in the last time (besides some scripting tools like PowerShell).

     

    Is there any deadline or something like that for the new version or is there any prospect when the new version is going to be released?

     

    2. Please, please, please add it. I just had the problem today in a computer room that I had to make a small change and this required two restarts for every PC.

    Monday, September 24, 2007 3:50 PM
  • Hi FFM_Admin,

     

    Thank you for your compliment on this product. I will forward you feedback to our developer team. As I know, the release calendar hasn’t been fixed now. If there is any update on these issues, I will post the information in the forum.

     

    By the way, if various questions/requests are included in one post, other customers may be confused by them. It also will be difficult for visitors to focus on one issue before fixing it. If related questions/requests can be easily identified from the thread titles, more users can find them easily and some experienced users will also share their solutions or suggestions with us. By breaking down issues separately we will be able to address them appropriately and in a timely manner. Therefore, we recommend submitting new post for new issue. If anything is unclear, feel free to let me know.

     

    Regards,

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 5:35 AM
  • Hi Shawn,

     

    I just recognized another feature that would be very helpful: a password-secured GUI. You know, students like to try out the system, change everything they can a.s.o. Our fear is that they find out how to configure WDP and shut it down. Normally, nothing should happen (because of the need of administrator rights).

    It would make us feel more comfortable, if this feature was introduced into the new version of SteadyState. I think other users working at school with SteadyState share our experiences and fears.

     

    One word to the "time plan" of the update process: in schools we have the problem that it is not suggestive to interrupt lessons by starting the update process in the meantime. I give you a short overview about our lesson times:

    1. hour 8:00 - 8:45

    2. hour 8:45 - 9:30

    BREAK  9:30 - 9:45

    3. hour 9:45 - 10:30

    4. hour 10:30 - 11:15

    BREAK  11:15 - 11:30

    5. hour 11:30 - 12:15

    6. hour 12:15 - 13:00

    BREAK  13:00 - 13:30

     

    You see, except 13:00 there is no chance to execute an update session. Besides, many tests are written in the 5th and 6th hour; if the update is executed at 13:00 the students lose 5-10 minutes because they have to save their data and close everything before the update process starts. It would already be helpful if the update process could be delayed about 10 minutes.

     

    Regards,

     

    FFM_Admin

    Friday, September 28, 2007 8:10 AM
  • I will forward your password-secured GUI idea to our product team. As to the update plan, you may configure the update time to 14:00 or later. You can also configure the schedule update to every weekend. At the same time, I will continue monitoring the feedback from our product team.

     

    Regards,

    Monday, October 1, 2007 6:18 AM

  • Hello!

    1. One problem that I came with the previous edition (MS Shared Computer Toolkit") is that any time I decided to do the "Windows Update operation", at next restart the only one that could login was the administrator. Because I intend to maintain 16 PCs on a library pclab, which are turned down during the night, I do not wish everytime to logon as administrator on all the machines, but let the users login without any admin's interference! Concluding, what I would like from a newer version is to give the user the ability to login after a critical update has occured, and not allowing only the account which installed the program (the admin) to login (Imagine there are over 200 PCs to do the previous procedure!!!!!).

    2. Another issue is the problem with the antivirus software that is allowed for auto-update. More specifically, in our library we use "Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition , v. 8.00.9374". After trying to adjust the settings for the script file in order to run for my AV program, following the known adjustments (xml file, vbs file), I ended up to a failure. So, I ask you to provide a GUI that will accept the procedure of auto-update for a variety of programs. Besides, the specific AV software has an auto update agent of its own.

    I admit that I have never used Steady State - only MS Shared Computer Toolkit, so I apologise if my notices are out of place. If not, I would be very happy to see those "corrections" become true!

    Thank you in advance!

    --------------------------
    Computer Engineer,
    Patras, Greece
    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 11:51 AM
  • OK, i was too lazy to add the afternoon hours... :-) There are another 2-4 hours of lessons after the lunch break. So 14:00 would be again during a lesson.

    The "weekend idea"... you cannot keep all the PCs running the whole weekend (high energy costs)! Besides, the literal advantage of SteadyState is the antivirus update during the weekdays, what means every day. Microsofts' Patchday takes place only once a month so the update process is not necessary only for MS updates.

     

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 6:30 PM
  • Hi Thaanaasis,

     

    Please understand that this forum mainly focus on SteadyState related issues. The previous versions are not supported. If you need any assistance on Shared Computer Toolkit, I suggest that you post to the Shared Computer Toolkit public newsgroup:

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/list/en-us/default.aspx?dg=microsoft.public.windows.sharedaccess

     

    The reason why we recommend posting appropriately is that you will get the most qualified pool of respondents, and other customers who read the newsgroups regularly can either share their knowledge or learn from your interaction with us.  Thank you for your understanding.

     

    In addition, SteadyState is more powerful than the previous versions. You may consider updating SCT to SteadyState.

     

    Best Regards,

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 2:21 AM
  •  FFM_Admin wrote:

    OK, i was too lazy to add the afternoon hours... :-) There are another 2-4 hours of lessons after the lunch break. So 14:00 would be again during a lesson.

    The "weekend idea"... you cannot keep all the PCs running the whole weekend (high energy costs)! Besides, the literal advantage of SteadyState is the antivirus update during the weekdays, what means every day. Microsofts' Patchday takes place only once a month so the update process is not necessary only for MS updates.

     

     

    How about updating when all the classes are finished? If you still considering how to shut down the computers after update, we can create a Schedule Task to shut down the computer. This method also works if you choose updating weekly.

     

    1. Create a text file, input the following command and save it as shutdown.bat.

     

    C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe –s –f –t 0

     

    2. Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools ->Scheduled Tasks.

    3. Double click Add Scheduled Task and click Next.

    4. Click Browse locate the .bat file.

    5. Configure scheduled time. [About 30 minutes delay of the Schedule Update time]

    6. Input your administrator password and click Next.

    7. Click Finish.

     

    For more information about Schedule Task, please refer:

     

    How To Schedule Tasks in Windows XP

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308569

     

    How To Troubleshoot Scheduled Tasks in Windows XP

    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=308558

     

    Regards,

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 2:40 AM

  • Hello!

    I have "three wishes":

    1. Force user to use specific (custom) desktop/wallpaper
    2. Force user to use specific (custom) screensaver after custom time interval
    3. Allow user to choose only specific tray icons to be shown in the notification area in the tray bar next to clock (the spark for this option is the fact that users SHOULD safely remove their removable USB devices)


    Thanks a lot in advance !!
    Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:34 AM
  • Hi Thaanaasis,

     

    1. Force user to use specific (custom) desktop/wallpaper

    ---------------------

    It’s no problem when using BMP files. You can refer to the following posts:

     

    Wallpaper issues

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1861999&SiteID=69

     

    Background pic for the kids won't stay

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1889114&SiteID=69

     

     

    2. Force user to use specific (custom) screensaver after custom time interval

    ---------------------

    Please check if you are referring to the following issue:

     

    Custom screen saver not saving

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1912596&SiteID=69

     

    Note: This issue has been reported to our product team for further consideration

     

     

    3. Allow user to choose only specific tray icons to be shown in the notification area in the tray bar next to clock (the spark for this option is the fact that users SHOULD safely remove their removable USB devices)

    ---------------------

    The 'Hide Notification Area' will be back in the new version. You can refer to the following thread for more information about this feature.

     

    'Hide Notification Area' feature not in SteadyState

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1825750&SiteID=69

    FYI, you can also remove USB devices without Notification Area: Create a new shortcut with the target as "%SystemRoot%\System32\RUNDLL32.EXE shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll" Name the icon something like "Safely Unplug USB Devices" and place it on the desktop. Double click it will safely remove the USB device.

     

    If you have further concerns, I recommend creating a new thread to avoid confusion. Other customers can also share some suggestions or workaround.

     

    Best Regards,

    Friday, October 12, 2007 8:37 AM
  • I have a couple features I would like to see added. Big Smile

     

    1. A console to control settings of individual computers in a domain combined with wake on lan features to start/shutdown systems in bulk.

     

    2. The option to not reboot the PC immediately when the reminder prompt appears upon Administrator logout.  One of the elementary's we support has classroom computers that the student's use for educational software. We have a generic account setup for students to use for logging into the computers. In order to reduce complications for teachers of the lower grades we prefer to use save the last logon name as the student account. Previously using DeepFreeze we would set the computer to freeze and then log out administrator. Then login as student and reboot the pc.

     

     

     

     

    When it comes to users saving documents we use a number of approaches. We had been running Deep Freeze for a couple years and found some idiosyncracies with a "freezing" type program. The thing that really caught our attention with the Shared Computer Toolkit was that the documentation gave a lot of forewarning about these problems and how to bypass them. Things that Faronics sort of let you find out the hardway. Visiting 100+ machines because their computer account password was reset and then wiped on a reboot cost us 3 people and several hours to fix. Now I havn't reviewed the Steady State documentation with the same depth so I'm not sure if it has the same type of forewarnings. If it does the Notes have some extremely valuable information when it comes to maintaining steady state.

     

    Anyways I digress Big Smile We create a second partition on the computer's hard drive and label it T:. For all systems this is where we have the event logs written too. This can also double as a document storage area in case of network/server connectivity issues. We use group policy to redirect the users My Documents folder to their Home directory generally on a server. For certain elementary level mobile labs documents are saved to T: and T: is shared for the teacher to be able to access and print documents for students. Using sysprep and a GhostCast server really simplifies this kind of setup

    Friday, October 12, 2007 5:03 PM
  • Hi Shawn,

     

    that is a good idea (i should have come to this point on myself... ;-). Thanks a lot!

     


    Regards,

     

    FFM_Admin

     

     

    PS: @thaanaasis: the solutions given by Shawn should already solve the problem. I just wanted to add an idea; maybe it is interesting for you.

    Why not use BGInfo? You can add a short command to the logon.bat like "bginfo <bgi file> /timer:0 /nolicprompt" so that BGInfo changes the wallpaper everytime a user logs on to the system so you do not have to care about this issue anymore. Furthermore, if you like to change the wallpaper you simply have to change the bgi file than can be saved on any computer (i.e. \\domaincontroller\netlogon) (you can use any wallpaper you like independable from the ending (*.bmp; *.jpg,...)

     

    Saturday, October 13, 2007 10:40 AM
  • Hi James,

     

    1. A console to control settings of individual computers in a domain combined with wake on lan features to start/shutdown systems in bulk.

    --------------------------------

    The following tool may be very helpful to shutdown the system remotely.

     

    PsExec v1.84 & Usage

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/psexec.mspx

     

     

    2. The option to not reboot the PC immediately when the reminder prompt appears upon Administrator logout. 

    --------------------------------

    I am not clear what problem was encountered. However, you can select the first option to continue logging out (or other actions), or the last option to cancle the current action. You can also disable this warning by selecting “Don not warn the administrator about losing changes before log off, restart, or shut down”option. The countdown time can also be customize as you wish. You can refer to the thread below:

     

    Disk Protection - Option to Save next restart

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2013809&SiteID=69

     

    If you have further questions, I recommend creating a new thread to avoid confusion.

     

    Best Regards,

    Monday, October 15, 2007 8:11 AM
  • 1. A console to control settings of individual computers in a domain combined with wake on lan features to start/shutdown systems in bulk.

    --------------------------------

    The following tool may be very helpful to shutdown the system remotely.

     

    PsExec v1.84 & Usage

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/psexec.mspx

     

     

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you. I'll try that as soon as I can. Big Smile

     

     

     

    2. The option to not reboot the PC immediately when the reminder prompt appears upon Administrator logout. 

    --------------------------------

    I am not clear what problem was encountered. However, you can select the first option to continue logging out (or other actions), or the last option to cancle the current action. You can also disable this warning by selecting “Don not warn the administrator about losing changes before log off, restart, or shut down”option. The countdown time can also be customize as you wish. You can refer to the thread below:

     

    Disk Protection - Option to Save next restart

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2013809&SiteID=69

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Sorry I wasn't a little more clear.  I would like to see an option that would allow me to log off as administrator. Then login as a user. Then shut down the PC so that computer is frozen with the User as the last logged in person. With any of the current options the administrator must be the last person logged into the computer.

     

    We have a shared user account for this with no password. This allows students in 3rd grade and below to sit at the computer and just hit enter to login.

    Monday, October 15, 2007 2:18 PM
  • Based on my experience, you can choose one of the following suggestions to fix the second issue:

     

    Suggestion 1: Configure the shared user log on automatically

    -------------------

    1. Click "Start", click "Run", type in "control userpasswords2" and press Enter.

    2. Clear the "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer" check box. Click "Apply".

    3. Enter the user name (shared user) and password you wish to automatically log on with, and then click "OK".

     

    Note: You can hold on Shift key when the Welcome screen appears. Auto logon will be interrupted. After that, we can log on with an administrator account to make changes. 

     

     

    Suggestion 2: Do not display user names in the Log On to Windows dialog box

    --------------------

    This is a restriction under “Set Computer Restrictions” of SteadyState. You can also configure this from Group Policy or Registry Editor:

     

    “Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Interactive logon: Do not display last user name”

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DontDisplayLastUserName]

     

    Note: If you have Windows Disk Protection (WDP) enabled, please change it to “Retain all changes permanently” to save changes.

     

    Regards,

     

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:22 AM

  • Hello to everyone!

    In our library's PCLAB we decided to create two equal partitions, each of about 20 GB for every PC. One is 'C:/', the System Partition, which is hidden and unaccessible to the user and the other 'D:/', in which the user can save / create / edit files of their own.

    On our experiments on the test platform, while the user was LOCKED and disk protection was ON, only the system directory ' C:/' was protected, leaving partition 'D:/' exposed, after either LOGOFFs or RESTARTs. Although it is a "temporary" partition, I wonder if there is a way to choose which partitions besides 'C:/' -that is the System Directory- can be "hosted" under Windows Disk Protection.

    The Library's service for the PCLAB takes place once in a week.
    We have created a scheduled task of shutting down the PCs every night.
    So, we are looking for a way of basic administering on patition 'D:/', meaning that we will not allow any content to be hosted in this partition more than a restart in time. It is a way to avoid filling this "temporary" partition/folder with content which may be far beyond than educational, or even more provide privacy.  [The non-privacy of a single day is preferred than the non-privacy of a week!]

    Thank you in advance!

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:32 AM
  • Please create a new thread to avoid possible confusion.

     

    Base on the design of SteadyState, it will not monitor other partitions. You can create another schedule task to delete all the contents under drive D every day.

     

    Regards,

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:11 AM
  •  FFM_Admin wrote:

    2. Save changes at next restart

    --> At the moment you need 2 restarts to commit changes and turn back to "remove changes". The reminder workaround is not a good solution because you have to do it at each PC (management console obsolete)

     

    Hi,

     

    You can do this with just one restart.  If WDP is set to "remove all changes at restart", and you're logged on as an administrator, then when you log off/restart/shutdown you'll see a prompt that allows you to commit the current changes and automatically go back to "remove all changes at restart" afterward. 

     

    -Rob

    Sunday, November 11, 2007 6:02 AM
  • I would like something like the features in Faronics Deep Freeze, ie the ability to make it so any changes made by users will be removed after logout.
    Monday, November 26, 2007 9:41 PM
  • Hi Paradox460,

     

    How about the Lock Profile feature of SteadyState?  You can select the “Lock profile to prevent the user from making permanently changes” to test this feature.

     

    Regards,

     

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 5:20 AM
  • Doh, didnt see that.

    Thanks.
    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:25 AM
  • it would be great to have more built in scripts for anti-virus and anti spyware applications

    - AVG Free
    - AVG Anti-Spyware
    - Spybot
    - Ad-Aware
    - etc.

    Thanks
    Sunday, December 2, 2007 1:35 AM
  • Hi James,

     

    Thank you for your suggestions! Please also understand that some security program may not support this kind of scripts. In that case, you may need to consult the manufacturers to obtain some possible workaround. Thank you for your understanding.

     

    Regards,

    Monday, December 3, 2007 11:56 AM
  •  

    I'm using SteadyState in a public kiosk and would like to see a feature where it can be automatically rebooted at a predefined time daily.  That way any changes that a public user makes will be deleted on a daily basis.

    Monday, December 3, 2007 9:47 PM
  • The following thread may be helpful to you:

     

    Reset my System every Day at 00:00

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsToolsandUtilities/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1932258&SiteID=69

     

    Best Regards,
    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 11:42 AM