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Multiple students logging on to XP and 2k boxes

Good Afternoon,

I work for a local school district and we are implementing a policy next year that all students will have their own usernames and passwords on our 2k3 domain.  Our concern is if a student logs in to an XP or 2k computer (which has multiple-users), the applications we use (VNC, Office, etc.) will need to be reconfigured.  We'd prefer not to allow the students access to do this.  Also, if a student account is logged in and the computer does not have a local account, does it treat it as a Restricted User?

Can anyone recommend anything that will assist in this venture?
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digitalsatori
Asked:
digitalsatori
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3 Solutions
 
DVation191Commented:
digitalsatori,
A product like Deep Freeze could be ideal in a situation like this...
http://www.faronics.com/html/deepfreeze.asp
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luv2smileCommented:
By default domain users are added to the restricted users local group on the pc so they are treated as restricted users.
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digitalsatoriAuthor Commented:
DVation191,

Do you know of any way to do this without the use of an outside software package?  I've been looking through Roaming Profiles, but I am unsure if this is what I am looking for.  Basically, I want an exact replica of the desktop for every student user that logs in... much like how Windows 98 doesn't have multiple users, and no matter who logged in, all applications were set up and ready for use..  Is there some way to disable Windows XP from using local users and only use the domain user accounts when student log in?

luv2smile,

Thank you for that.  That is comforting to know that I will not have to worry about creating user accounts for each and every 2000+ student accounts that we are going to be setting up.  =)

Thanks,
 digitalsatori
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XixxyCommented:
You don't want to use roaming profiles if you don't need to do so in my opinion.  Basically, use Windows 2003 Active Directory. Join all the workstations to the domain.  If a user has a domain account then they are able to log in to any workstation as a domain user. To get Office deployed, use the Microsoft Office Resource Kit and read the section on the custom installation wizard.  There are two methods of deploying Office, either will work for your purposes.  You'll be creating a custom transform for Office (a .MST file).  Use Group Policy to deploy office to make life easy on yourself.  You can go the other route and manually deploy the setup.exe if you don't have high speed connectivity between the file server and the workstation.  Read the resource guide either way for best practice.

To get all the desktops to look the same, create a single desktop image for each type of computer (if you moderately standardized) then sysprep the machines and deploy with an imaging software such as ghost.  99% of the desktop settings can then be set using Group Policy and ADM files from Microsoft.

there are easier ways to do all this but none cheaper than what MS gives you out of the box.  

Xixxy
 
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digitalsatoriAuthor Commented:
Xixxy,

Thank you for your response.  Using the Deployment for Office would help with that particular software package, however we do have other installations in which we run in to the same problem.

Basically, what I want is for XP to act more like a 98 machine.  In Windows 98, no matter who logged in the same settings were static for each user.  Outlook pointed to a specific account, My Documents pointed to one specific place.  If an application was installed and set up (Office, for example), it was available for any user that logged in without having to redo a "setup" or "configuration".  That's how I would like our computers to run when we go with giving students accounts on our domain.

Thanks,
digitalsatori
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XixxyCommented:
You could make a default profile on the machine configured with all of the settings you wish and then follow these instructions from Microsoft.

How to create a custom default user profile
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=319974

Then every user will get the custom default profile.  You can do it this way, but when you get to a large scale deployment, it gets tricky to manage.

A roaming profile isn't going to give you identical profiles on each computer unless you lock down the profiles with group policies or templates.  Another trick i remeber from my days working with students is to make all the user accounts members of the guest group.  that way the profiles reset to the default after the user logs off.

Good luck!

Xixxy
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DVation191Commented:
Using the instructions here....
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;168475
you could create a single profile, customized to your liking. the first time a domain account logs onto a machine, it will pull its default settings from the server specified in the above link.

in this scenario, you only have one profile you need to manage and everybody, no matter how many users, all get the same profile.
the problem arises when somebody messes up their profile. you'll need to delete the profile from the local machine and have them log back in so it gets recreated from the default profile stored on the netlogon share (see above link)
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