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Is it possible to boot a new laptop to RDP only? So: make a thin client of a laptop or PC...

Posted on 2011-10-27
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Hi All,

I have 2 brand new laptops with Windows 7 Home Premium. I don't want users to have any local laptop access, so RDP only. Is it possible to make a PC or laptop to act like a thin client, perhaps with some special OS or whatever...?
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Question by:Agrippa
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by:Hellmark
ID: 37041434
It is possible to do that. What I'd suggest, is that it may be easiest to install a linux distro designed for your needs (a quick google search should get several results like thinstation or pctsc).

You can also try using something like AnywhereTS for the existing installs of Windows, but may be a bit trickier.
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by:Brian B
ID: 37041452
If you want to replace the OS, there are several linux based thin client OS out there. Or depending on your OS licensing, you may even be able to use MS Windows Thin Client.

The alternative is to put remote desktop in the startup group and use the windows policy editor to lock everything else down.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37041461
make sure the machine autologons
by using "control userpasswords2"

change HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell= explorer.exe
to %windir%\system32\mstsc.exe

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by:Agrippa
ID: 37041522
What I actually wanted to do is remove all unnecessary software (Office / Adobe / Etc.) and lock down Windows with gpedit.msc (local group policy). What I did not know is that Windows Home Premium does not supper local GPO. Perhaps you know another lockdown or tweak util?
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by:Brian B
ID: 37041566
If you are comfortable with editing the registry, there is a template that lists all the registry key equivalents of policy editor here:
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/unravel-tweaks-hacks-buried-inside-windows-7-group-policy-editor
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saraf1000 earned 2000 total points
ID: 37042529
I would use thinstation. Just plug a usb pendrive loaded with thinstation.. You may plug it inside the cabinet for no user access. Also can disable the hard drive from bios or remove.

http://thinstation.sourceforge.net/download.htmlhttp://thinstation.sourceforge.net/download.html

Saraf
 
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by:Hellmark
ID: 37042590
Being that they're laptops, not really feasible to "plug inside the cabinet", but can easily install thinstation on to your hard drive, even without removing Windows.
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by:Brian B
ID: 37057133
Sorry I missed one of your goals there, rather than remove the "unneccesary software", its probably easier to reinstall windows from the source media that (hopefully) came with the system. That will ensure everything is clean. If you don't need anything else except remote desktop, just set up the windows update, set the shell command as mentioned above and lock the system down with whatever registry changes you feel are neccessary.
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by:saraf1000
ID: 37060218
I would have used thinstation - simple and works - meant for the purpose you defined.

Saraf
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by:Brian B
ID: 37063011
If you aren't bound to the windows platform, Saraf1000's suggestion of thinstation is good as well, however keep in mind if they pull the USB key, they'll boot normally on to the laptop. What they do to the laptop won't affect their ability to work, but just keep it in mind.

Really your best choice would have been to purchase thin client hardware (these are available in laptop form if you wish). However if you are stuck with windows laptops, the last two suggestions are probably the best ones.
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