Newbie to steady state Advice please, classroom, training environment. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello world,

    I am employed at a mutlifaceted medium / small sized business.
    The area I am concerned with in this post relates to our training wing. 
    There are five classrooms totaling aproximately 75 p.c's.  the spec's of these units are as follows. 
    XP Pro SP3
    P4 / C4 ~ 2.8GHZ
    HDD 80GB ~ two partititons
    Ram 512MB ~ 1GB

    We had the units pretty much stitched up from alterations made by the new trainee's, or some of the more dubious trainee's.  Apart from the unbeliveably hard to turn off - altering the desktop wallpaper.  I simply cannot fathom, why one has to go to 70 different locations (o.k...o.k its not that many...) to turn off changing the desktop wallpaper and in the end a user can then download something like living waterfalls, or any other installer for wallpaper, and thus circumvent all the hard work.  In this past year we have updated all of our training P.C's to windows XP Pro with SP3 and everything is fine. apart from the wallpaper issue. 

    We had used system internals quite a handy app, to keep the wallpaper as you can select this in the system internals setup.  But some how, and without the permissions to do so, the user account (training) would manage to save the wallpaper using the sysinternals wallpapers file name, like a sort of save as, so the default wallpaper loaded by system internals now was the same file name it was setup with but different content... good grief... and despite the training account not having the correct user rights to alter this content... gosh even.

    I posted to a member whom contributes to Tech Republic online magazine, whom agreed, it was too hard to lock down the wallpaper and forwarded my request for assistance to another windows specialist whom in turn reccommended Steady State, this is how I come to be here today. 

    Now that I have read a little about what steady state can do, it maybe the ideal candidate for our training wing, we train in the Microsoft Office suite.   Thus training users tend to corrupt things left right and center... normal.dot being a favourite... and are "click happy" when it comes to allowing things which maybe blocked or just in general an I.T nuisance, or create issues when trying to circumvent our firewall or blocked websites list. 

    So I ask for advice, for my learned peer's, as to the best way to setup an existing machine using steady state.

    Currently our units fr training have three accounts.
    Administrator/ admin rights, Tutor / config like XP SP2 Power user rights, and Training / standard user rights.

    Currently the training files are set to save on the E:\ (the second) partition\ as the initial intent was to just to use a clean image of this partition E:\ and partition over the training / user partition thus rebuilding the unit like new and keeping all the updates etc safe on C:\.  However I.T didnt account for some students keeping several gigs of data on the shared documents folder which is of course by default C:\.  The C:\ drive was initially quite small intended only for prog files and updates approx 10GB, got full over several months and your disk is running low on space popups were sstarting to occur.

    However now I am working on a new master image to use as the default setup.
    I have re-imaged and split the HDD 50 / 50 for the install C:\ and the student file E:\ 
    The same user accounts mentioned above still apply.
    The same software will still be used barring any last minute alterations.

    What I would like is advice on using steady state with the current existing profiles, saving the user data to the E:\ secondary non windows partition (so I have read) so data for the student can be retained for the 16 to 24 weeks each student spends with us.  At the end of that time i would like to be able to "reset" the Steady State so all the users alterations are cleared, and of course locking down of the wallpaper - this is paramount - that it would not be option that the users be allowed to change, as this has to show company logo and tutor contact details.

    I really would appreciate any direction, in aiding this Steady State green-horn, with the configuration to lock these units down effectively, also to restore the students partition after they leave to as before they used it state... So the next user can sit down the next day without I.T having to worry about imaging or other activities over the network etc..and using up network bandwidth. 

    Thanks in advance for any assistance with this one :)
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 3:40 AM