Restriction software for windows vista

Posted on 2009-04-24
Last Modified: 2013-11-25
Hi All,

I'm looking for something similar to "XP Protector", but for Windows Vista. XP Protector allows for the easy lockdown of items on the PC for a certain user. It's basically an easy interface to manage local polices to prevent users from doing certain things with some extra features.

I would normally use policies - but this is for a stand alone machine and may not always be managed by myself.

I need to be able to lock things down on a per user basis; some examples of this things would be:

Remove Control Panel, Run & search from the start menu
Disable Display Options
Disable Context Menu
Disable Network Options

Those are a few of the options i want to use.

If you could put me in the right direction for some free software I would be greatful.

Many Thanks
Question by:billy_howard
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    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply. But this does not do physical restrictions?

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    Expert Comment

    Sorry, I don't understand. What do you mean with 'physical restrictions'?
    Or what does SteadyState not do what you want?
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    Author Comment


    Does steadystate actually restrict items on the startmenu etc? so (for example) "run" or "control panel" is disabled?

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    Expert Comment


    I'm unsure about disabling the context menu (what's the reason for that?), but the rest is possible as far as I know. Simply try it.
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    Expert Comment

    by:Gregg DesElms

    SteadyState is a utility that makes it so that no matter what the person does to the machine, it will revert back to a particular state which you define.  It's great in public places so the people can use the machine however they want, but no matter what bad thing or virus or whatever is installed onto it, or no matter what they accidentally delete or uninstall or disable or screw-up... the machine reverts back to wherever the person who installed SteadyState onto the computer chose.

    That isn't really what you're asking for though... though, that said, if you ponder SteadyState for a while, you might find that it's a different approach which will, by hook or by crook give you, in the end, what you want.  For that reason, it wasn't a bad suggestion.  It's not, however, exactly what you mentioned.

    A homeless shelter once asked me to research this.  At their day center (where there are showers, and laundry, and the homeless can make phone calls, and get their mail... AND USE COMPUTERS... they wanted to restrict things so that, for example, no one could view porn -- particularly, in the case of the convicted pedophiles, child porn -- or view certain other kinds of web sites; and so they couldn't get into the bowels of the machine and screw things up; and so they couldn't (un)install software... all that kinda' stuff.  So I was on a hunt for exactly what you're looking for... but then they ran out of money to do anything and some middle-management idiot decided that it would just be easier to remove the computers... over my objections, and even offers to do it all for free and to maybe even talk the software vendors into donating their stuff.  It remains that way today.

    So, therefore, I never really got too deep into my search.  Plus, that was before Vista, so whatever I did find worked on XP for sure... but I haven't even checked on any of them to see if they're Vista compatible.  SteadyState was one of the things I considered.  If you think about it, you could create a public machine with disabled stuff; and no matter what they did, it would revert back.  At the time, my logic was maybe find the kind of tool you're looking for, and ALSO use SteadyState.  But, again, that was all the further I had gotten, really, before it all became moot.

    Still, here's some of the stuff in my notes (however dated it may be):

        One or more of these might do it:

        GemiScorp SafeLogon

        SpyTech Sentry PC

        SpyTech Network Enforcer

        RESTrick Control Panel

        WinLock Professional

        Advanced Parental Control

    The free "WinBubbles" product    also has an area where you can disable certain things... but it's probably not enough.  Still, where I was when I stopped searching was thinking about using SteadyState; and then using something like WinBubbles (or maybe that plus something like TweakVI Ultimate ), plus various manual registry tweaks, to create a "state" that had all the kinds restrictions you're looking for; and then, because that was the state to which the machine would always revert, no matter what (because of SteadyState), it wouldn't matter too much if someone got onto the machine who kinda' knew what they were doing and tried -- and even maybe succeeded -- in undoing some of the restrictions.  In the end, SteadyState would ensure that it always returned to where I wanted it...

    ...or so was my thinking at the time.  But, again, I aborted my search, so never even experimented with anything.

    Hope that helps.
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