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Can I effectively disable a computer based on date/time?

Posted on 2014-02-07
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Last Modified: 2014-02-10
In our company, the IT team manages a pool of "loaner" laptops.  People tend to hang onto these computers forever once they've got their hands on them.  These are domain computers.  What are some options for rendering a computer unusable or "mostly useless" on a certain date, or after a specified time period (14 days or whatever)?  I'm looking for a solution using Windows, but would be happy to hear of applications that do something like this.
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Question by:StrataDecisionIT
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5 Comments
 
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39843013
You can run query against inactive computers to find them and disable them

dsquery computer -inactive 4 -limit 0 > C:\inactiveComps.txt

Then check the list of computers from output and if ok then run below command to disable them as well
dsquery computer -inactive 4 -limit 0 | dsmod computer -disabled yes

4 represents four weeks of inactivity

http://www.servercare.nl/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=77

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:StrataDecisionIT
ID: 39843043
Thanks, Mahesh, but you've missed my objective.  Allow me to restate it in the form of a scenario:

1. A user borrows a laptop computer from us on 1 March.  He is supposed to return the computer to us on 15 March.

2. The user may or may not use the computer to connect to the domain via VPN.

3. On 16 March, the user still has the laptop at his home.  

I would like for him to be unable to log into the computer at this point.  Or, maybe he logs in and sees a message that all network connections have been disabled.  In any case, something happens to render the computer essentially useless.

Thanks,
Shawn
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39843114
Ok
Technically you cannot control this type of restriction through computer accounts

U could do that by putting restrictions on user account as this is the only way I can see.
Because Computer account in AD never ever get idea that the physical laptop associated with that account gone to home along with user and it need to be disabled \ restricted after 15 days

For Ex:
User borrow laptop today.
You need to set user account properties in AD so that it will be expired after 15 days from the date of issuance of laptop
if user try to access \ logon with his account on 16th day, he can't
In that case he must come to office with laptop and submit the same and you could make his account non expiring

OR

Simplest way to do this, on 16th day you could disable his user account

Mahesh
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39843384
This all depends on the level of access rights you grant the user.  If the user is made an admin on the local machine, then they can uninstall any software and/or create additional user accounts to bypass whatever restrictions you put in place.

If you only grant users Power User rights or less, then you can create a scheduled task that disables networking on a certain date.  or disable cached credentials and give them a local account... then you can set the account to expire with a scheduled task (disable).

You could also install remove control software and when the machine goes online, remote in and disable.

You can easily get creative and do a variety of things that render the laptop essentially useless.  Especially if you reset a standard image on it before loaning it out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:StrataDecisionIT
ID: 39847571
YES, that's what I was looking for--the scheduled task to disable the network interfaces.  Great idea!
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