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  • General discussion

  • This is a hot issue summary in July.

    Index

    1.       When will the vista version be available?

    2.       Can SteadyState be installed on a Windows 2000 computer?

    3.        Can I use script to enable/disable Windows Disk Protection remotely?

    4.       Are there any APIs or scripts to check Windows Disk Protection status?

    5.       After you Startup and log on to a shared computer may be slow.

    6.       Users accounts are disabled and you cannot logon on a Windows XP computer with SteadyState installed.

    7.       After setting up the computer, I attempted to clone this partition for an image. After running netrestore/winclone over it, I received the error message saying that “VCF Backing store is corrupt!”

    8.       When you log off the shared user profile created in Windows SteadyState and log on to the Admin account then try to access the user profile through Windows SteadyState Admin Console, i get the error message: "The user account can not be edited because the profile is currently in use. Ensure that this user is properly logged off, and try again."

    9.       Custom screen saver is not saved after you configure a user restriction

    10.   How can I enable IE 7.0 tab after activating SteadyState and configuring user restriction?

    11.   After each time the computer is rebooted, a message appears saying office is being installed when you launch an Office application.

    Answers

    When will the vista version be available?

    Many of you have asked whether Windows SteadyState will run on Vista.  The answer is a resounding YES!  Our product team is diligently working to make Windows SteadyState run on Vista. When the Vista version is available, we will announce it in the forum as soon as possible.

    Can SteadyState be installed on a Windows 2000 computer?

    No, SteadyState cannot be installed on a Windows 2000 computer and we do not have any old versions which can be installed on a Windows 2000 computer.

    Can I use script to enable/disable Windows Disk Protection remotely?

     Unfortunately, as enabling/disabling Windows Disk Proection entails kernel driver installation which needs reboot and user input, we have to enable/disable Windows Disk Protection manually.

    Are there any APIs or scripts to check Windows Disk Protection status?

    Windows SteadyState uses a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) data provider, also known as an API. The API lets a member of the Administrators group query whether Windows Disk Protection has been turned on. If Windows Disk Protection is turned on, you can use the API to modify the specific disk protection level for changes that are made to the hard disk.

    The WMI interface for Windows Disk Protection has the following three properties:

    • CurrentStatus 

    CurrentMode 

    PersistDateTime 

     

    For more information, please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    938335              Description of the API for the Windows Disk Protection feature in Windows SteadyState

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;938335

     

    After you Startup and log on to a shared computer may be slow.

     

    SYMPTOMS

    A computer which has SteadyState installed may take longer to boot. If you logon to the system immediately after SteadyState is installed, the logon is slow. The delay caused by this sequence should only occur at the first log on each time the computer is restarted.

    CAUSE

    During startup of the computer and then log on, the following event sequence must occur:

    1. WMI initializes

    2. SCTSvc starts

    3. Log on and display of the desktop completes

    As a result, the computer may seem slow to startup and then immediately log on to display the desktop because each event takes time to process.  

    WORKAROUND

    If you startup the computer and then wait a few minutes to allow time for WMI to initialize and then SCTSvc to start, you will be less likely to experience a delay in logging on to the desktop.

     

    Users accounts are disabled and you cannot logon on a Windows XP computer with SteadyState installed.

     

    SYMPTOMS

    After you enable Windows Disk Protection and reboot the computer,  users cannot logon to the system. You receive the following error message:

    Your account has been disabled. Please see your system administrator.

    CAUSE

    When system detects an error that prevents Windows Disk Protection from operating, all user accounts other than the built-in administrator are disabled by SteadyState to prevent restricted users from accessing disk. 

    RESOLUTION

    To recover from this problem, please boot into Safe Mode, logon as built-in administrator, and then re-enable users disabled. To do so, please perform the following steps:

    1.       Boot the computer into Safe Mode:

    a.        Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. On a computer that is configured for booting to multiple operating systems, you can press the F8 key when you see the Boot Menu.

    b.       When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.

    c.        When the Boot menu appears again, and the words "Safe Mode" appear in blue at the bottom, select the installation that you want to start, and then press ENTER.

    2.       Type in Administrator and password to Logon as built-in Administrator. NOTE:  When you check the Control Panel -> Users Accounts management console at this time, disabled user accounts are not displayed. 

    3.       Re-enable user accounts which are disabled. As the Control Panel -> Users Accounts management console does not display user accounts which are disabled, we can use “Local Users and Groups” snap-in or “net user” command to re-enable accounts.

    If your computer is Windows XP Professional Edition, you can perform the following steps:

    a.        Click Start, then Run, then type in lusrmgr.msc to launch the Local Users and Groups management console.

    b.       Double-click Users.

    c.        Double-click Administrator user account.

    d.       Find the checkbox labeled "Account is disabled" and make sure it's NOT checked.

    e.        Click OK.

    f.         Repeat Step c ~e to re-enable other accounts. 

    g.        Close the Local Users and Groups management console

     

    As Windows XP Home Edition does not have the Local Users and Groups snap-in, you can run the following command to re-enable users:

     

    Net user UserName /active:yes

     

    NOTE: Please replace <UserName> in the above command line by the exact user name. For example, if you have a user named “child” you can run the following command to activate it:

     

    Net user child /active:yes

     

    If the above command completes successfully, you will get the prompt: The command completed successfully.

     

    The user should now be displayed in the Control Panel -> User Accounts management console now.

    4.       Boot the system into normal mode to see whether you can logon properly.

    MORE INFORMATION

    SteadyState disables user accounts in these circumstances:

    1. The system is currently running updates.  Users will be automatically re-enabled after updates are complete.  The system shows a message to indicate that it's currently running updates, so it should be obvious if this is happening.
    2. The system is currently uninstalling Windows Disk Protection.  This operation requires multiple reboots, and users are disabled during the intermediate reboots.  The system automatically reboots after the intermediate tasks are completed, so the system should not be in this mode for any appreciable amount of time.
    3. The system detects an error that prevents Windows Disk Protection from operating.  In this case, the disk will not be protected, so all accounts other than the administrator are disabled in order to prevent restricted users from accessing the disk.

    After setting up the computer, I attempted to clone this partition for an image. After running netrestore/winclone over it, I received the error message saying that “VCF Backing store is corrupt!”

    The VCF backing store file, also called the WDP cache file, is very sensitive to its physical layout on the hard disk.  If the imaging solution you use does not duplicate the exact layout of the clusters used by this file, you'll get the cache file corrupt warning, and WDP will be disabled.

    Please note that Windows Disk Protection should not be enabled on the reference computer when using the System Preparation Tool. Enable it manually on the target machine after replication.

     

    When you log off the shared user profile created in Windows SteadyState and log on to the Admin account then try to access the user profile through Windows SteadyState Admin Console, i get the error message: "The user account can not be edited because the profile is currently in use. Ensure that this user is properly logged off, and try again."

     

    This problem may occur when the user profile is not unloaded properly. Some registry files are still in use by other applications and services. To resolve this issue, use the Microsoft User Profile Hive Cleanup Service (UPHClean). UPHClean monitors the computer while Windows is unloading user profiles and forces resources that are open to close. Therefore, the computer can unload and reconcile user profiles.

    To download and install
    UPHClean, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=1B286E6D-8912-4E18-B570-42470E2F3582

     

    Custom screen saver is not saved after you configure a user restriction

    This is a designed behavior. As SteadyState uses “ForceLogoff” screen saver to implement the “Log off when ___ minutes idle” option, the screen saver setting is reset whenever a user restriction is configured.

     

    Currently, when administrator configures restrictions for a user, the following screen saver related registry values are reset:

     

    HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\ScrnSave.exe               

    HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeout          

    HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaverIsSecure        

    HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveActive              

     

    As a result, custom screen saver configuration is lost.

     

    How can I enable IE 7.0 tab after activating SteadyState and configuring user restriction?

    If the “Prevent access to Windows Explorer features: Folder Options, Customize Toolbar, and the My Documents folder” option is enabled, the IE 7.0 tab feature will be disabled. To enable this feature, you can perform the following steps:

    1.   Log on as the Windows SteadyState administrator.

    2.   Click Start, point to All Programs and then point to Windows SteadyState,

    3.   On the Windows SteadyState main dialog box, under Windows Settings, click the shared administrative user profile you created.

    4.   On the General tab, click the Windows Restrictions tab.

    5.   Ensure the Prevent access to Windows Explorer features: Folder Options, Customize Toolbar, and the My Documents folder option under General Restrictions is cleared.

    6.   Click OK.

    After each time the computer is rebooted, a message appears saying office is being installed when you launch an Office application.

    When you launch Office for the first time Windows Installer is called to install and customize some components for the user. You should logon as users to run and configure Office before turning Windows Disk Protection in Discard mode.

    1.   Log on as the Windows SteadyState administrator.

    2.   Click Start, point to All Programs and then point to Windows SteadyState,

    3.   On the Windows SteadyState main dialog box,

    4.   Click Protect the Hard Disk in the Windows SteadyState main dialog box.

    5.   Select Retain all changes permanently.

    6.   Restart the computer.

    7.   Log on as the Windows SteadyState administrator and open Windows SteadyState console.

    8.   Under User Settings, click the shared administrative user profile you created.

    9.   On the General tab, under General Settings, clear the Lock profile to prevent the user from making permanent changes box, and click OK.

    10.  Logon as the problematic user account to open Office applications to finish the installation.

    11.  Lock the user account if it is needed.

    12.   Re-configure your Windows Disk Protection settings to “Remove all changes at restart” after all the settings have been configured properly.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 11:05 AM