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How can I reduce the XP Pro login times of 30 wireless clients. Can I set a mandatory profile to be located on the local HDD? I have a suite of 30 new XP Pro SP3 PCs all connecting through a ruckus

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
How can I reduce the XP Pro login times of 30 wireless clients.

Currently I have set up and distributed an image to 30 identical PCs all running XP Pro using the standart XP wireless connection manager. When I try to log on using a students login it takes for ever to pull down the personal preferences and so on.
This is I'm sure down to the poor network bandwidth. I was told that using a mandatory profile which is pulled not from the domain server but from the local HDD itself.

I was recommended to use a Ruckus wireless AP as I had visited a bigger School where they had previously had major issues in regards to multuple domain network logins (30-60+ clients at anyone time. which were housed in a Victorian school will huge wall thicknesses). The way they got round this was to use multiple Ruckus APs and use locally stored mandatory profiles on their wireless client PCs.

I was assured that the Ruckus wireless AP could manage 40 clients easily and also has a client bonding system that was very effective. I have excellent signal strength within the suite and have no issues in regards to connecting to the internet whilst logged in locally at the PCs

The problem is the time it takes to talk to the DM server and pull down the appropriate profile files. This is made worse by the fact that these will normally be logged on together at the beggining of a lesson.

Can I set a mandatory profile to be located on the local HDD for a domain login?

Can I still pull off the required network shares and printers?

Am I going down the right path or barking up the wrong tree?
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Question by:edgeit
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Expert Comment

by:Plantwiz
ID: 33717995
User profile:
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netos/article.php/625291/Establishing-Roaming-and-Mandatory-Profiles.htm
http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-1031655.html

As far as your AP issues, Have you conducted a site survey?  Regardless if you are using Ruckus or any other brand, you will want to ensure you are using the grade of equipment for the environement you are in as well as have the proper coverage.

Which AP are you using from Ruckus?  And is this a mixed equipment environement? Or are all your 802.11x components Ruckus?



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Author Comment

by:edgeit
ID: 33720269
Thanks for the article I will check it out this evening.

The School I work at has built a new IT Suite 14M long x 8M wide. There is a Coms room next to it which houses a MIS admin server, Data cab with a new series Cisco 10/100 managed switch with a gig port used to connect to a media convertor to a 4 core 50M fibre 1GB backbone to the old data cabinet where the DC Server is located. This is where we get our dedicated 10MB Internet connection and where our cisco 3550 series router and other cisco switches are located. In the new coms room I have a POE injector allowing a single cat5e cable connection to a Ruckus 7363 indoor access point which I site surveyed using a couple of free tools off the net (netStumbler etc). I fixed the AP 3M up by the ceiling and checked the manufacturers guidelines of distance and coverage. I was getting useable internet connection rates as far as 50-60M away through walls, classrooms and beyond.

The new IT suite PCs all all-in-one units that have a built in 54G wireless adapters installed that we wanted to utillise these for network access. We decided to visit another School that uses the Ruckus Wireless APs and monitors, using multiple laptop trolleys(30x netbooks) in a old very thick walled Victorian building will no problems what so ever. Their technician said that the system needed little or no setup (10-15mins) he used local mandatory profiles stored locally on the netbooks which helped login times.

I had 30x PCs running as stand alones XP Pro's all connected to the wireless network with decent internet speeds so I connected them to the domain and after reboot I tried logging in as the administrator of the domain and then soon realised that the logins were taking ages to get through the personal preferences, outlook express etc.. before the desktop/explorer.exe had loaded. This happened on the first 15 of them bar a couple which seemed to do it in an acceptable time-frame.

The only interesting thought at the moment is to not include a profile location in the user properties in ADirectory and have the speedy PCs create local accounts with G Policy restricting access to create changes to the profile data stored locally. I just need to make sure all logins are correct and look the same, no-matter which user logs in, or to which PC they choose.

Any Ideas???
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Author Comment

by:edgeit
ID: 33720297
Just to let you know, I installed the wireless AP high in the new IT suite nearest the internal wall as to allow for extra coverage within School and reducing the amount of leakage outside of the school property. This is due to one side of the IT suite being an exterior wall. The new coms room is next door to the new IT suite which is 60M from the old coms room.

Regards


James
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johnb6767 earned 425 total points
ID: 33720384
I wont comment on the AP's themselves, as I have never used those. Assuming you are using Roaming Profiles, so what directories are excluded? This can be set by policy....

Also, might wanna consider simply redirecting along with Roaming, if they must be roamers.....

"create local accounts with G Policy restricting access to create changes to the profile data stored locally"

By default even a limited user can modify a profile, so youre only bet to do that is either a really fine tuned GPO, or like you said, Mandatory profiles.....

Also, have you looked in your Advanced Networking settings as well, to make sure that the WIFI is the first adapter in the list, and to also check that the bindings are in the right order?

Control Panel>Network Connections>Advanced>Advanced Settings

Windows Network should be at the top..... And Disable your Webclient Service if it isnt being used.....


Also...

"bar a couple which seemed to do it in an acceptable time-frame"

Define 'acceptable' please.......
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Expert Comment

by:Plantwiz
ID: 33721720
Ruckus makes a pretty decent product.  I've used them for a while now.

I think your on the correct path.  I am curious, how' fast' are you hoping to make this?  With any network, there will be some delay as credentials are sent and authorization is returned.  I can see 5 minutes being unaccepatable, but on a wireless netork (depending on the traffic) 15-60 seconds isn't bad (IMO), so what are your users hoping to achieve?  My tolerance level is a little bit more forgiving for wireless vs. wired on login.
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Expert Comment

by:pmerjo
ID: 33724083
are the DNS servers assigned by dhcp to the wireless clients the same as the wired clients?
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Author Comment

by:edgeit
ID: 33724571
Hi all, thanks for the help

RE: I connected them to the domain and after reboot I tried logging in as the administrator of the domain and then soon realised that the logins were taking ages to get through the personal preferences, outlook express etc.. before the desktop/explorer.exe had loaded. This happened on the first 15 of them bar a couple which seemed to do it in an acceptable time-frame.

The two which logged in quickly were in about 10secs. The others were hanging on the profile setup of the domain adminstrators account. I physically un-plugged the PC and rebooted and when I log in this time it takes hardley anytime at all (10-15 secs). Weird

RE: I am curious, how' fast' are you hoping to make this?

I just need them to login within a minute, >30 secs would be fine. Obviously this will depend on how many clients are logging on together and how much other bandwidth is being used throughout the building.

RE: Are the DNS servers assigned by dhcp to the wireless clients the same as the wired clients?

Yep, exactly the same. I am considering setting a manual IP address for each client PC. Will this make much of a difference.

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Assisted Solution

by:Plantwiz
Plantwiz earned 75 total points
ID: 33724866
I believe there is benefit on a static IP.

You can also then 'limit' the IPs that are authorized to log in which will/may help prevent unauthroized devices from connecting.

There are other advantages over dynamic IPs but in your situation, I'd simply say "yes" I'd consider it.
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