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Windows 8 reinstall

Posted on 2014-03-15
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Last Modified: 2014-06-26
Hello,
     Is there a way in Windows 8 to prevent a user from simply re-installing the Operating System if they have the media??
Thanks,
Mags
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Question by:Mags
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by:
Kimputer earned 800 total points
ID: 39931995
First make sure a user is a user and doesn't have any admin rights anywhere.
Next make sure your BIOS is password protected, and starting only from HDD and not CD / DVD / USB. This should pretty much prevent a user from messing up your system.
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39932021
Hi Kimputer.
#1 was done...how do you password protect the BIOS?
Thanks a million!!
Mags
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by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39932078
There should be an option within the BIOS menu to password protect it (assuming your specific BIOS supports it).
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39932092
I am working with a client whose child is over writing parental controls.  He is getting professional help with his gaming habit.  We had everything set up and password protected (except the bios) when he simply re-installed the OS.

Geek Squad said something could be done through the Windows Live log on????  Never heard of that before.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39932094
You can try turning on Family Safety as long as the child logs on using a Microsoft Acct and there are no local accts. I'm not sure if the Family Safety setting syncs with the cloud and would carry over through an OS reinstall though.
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39932098
We've already tried all of that...simple re-install of the OS wiped it all out.  Attempting to find a way so he can not simply re-install the OS.
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Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39932102
The only way I know is to password protect the BIOS.
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Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 800 total points
ID: 39932242
There is a way to handle the gaming habit: install Linux on the computer. Chances are, his game will not work on Linux, but he'll still be able to use the computer for school work.

Here's a quick article on how to set a BIOS password: http://www.wikihow.com/Set-a-BIOS-Password-on-Your-Laptop

HTH,
Dan
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Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 800 total points
ID: 39932264
Technical problems aside, I've seen this problem in several homes (with kids hooked on games/porn) and the ones that successfully resolved the situation had one thing in common: direct parental supervision.
1. Move the computer in the living room, where everyone can see the screen at anytime.
2. Don't allow the computer to be on when none of the parents are at home.
3. That's it.

Sure, this does cut into the parent's TV time, but you'll be amazed with how much information you'll get about your children when you spend time with them :)

HTH,
Dan
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39932539
About BIOS protection: can be circumvented easily on desktops, harder on notebooks.
Normally you would stop users by social measures.
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 39932608
BIOS protection is not that easy to circumvent, if you also lock the side panel of your computer. Most computer cases have a special "eye", where if you lock it with a padlock, the sidepanel won't move because the lock is in the way.
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39933030
Thank you for all your suggestions and ideas.  I learned a ton!!  I will reply soon after my client contacts me.  I will be interested to see if the solution the Geek Squad came up with worked (it was so noisy when my client called I'm not really sure what they were suggesting or doing other than it had something to do with his Window Live password" or if I can "hack" into it and bypass the setup!!
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Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39938437
Any luck?
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39938557
Yes...just got back from password protecting the BIOS.  It looks like on his Acer VA70 you can hit Alt & F10 and get into "Resetting Your PC".  There is no "system" partition but could a DVD or USB system disc work at that point??

Any way to get into a 1 time boot change?  I couldn't find a F key command to do so.

They are very aware of "Parent Involvement" but they both work.  I don't think it is my place to go further than the recommendation already made.

Thanks for all the input!
Mags
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39980357
Anyone have an answer to my above questions?

Yes...just got back from password protecting the BIOS.  It looks like on his Acer VA70 you can hit Alt & F10 and get into "Resetting Your PC".  There is no "system" partition but could a DVD or USB system disc work at that point??

Any way to get into a 1 time boot change?  I couldn't find a F key command to do so.
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Assisted Solution

by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 800 total points
ID: 39980494
Without the original system partition, Alt & F10 will fail (you can try yourself, if the system where to work, you can still cancel it inside the program, but then it means the original Acer partitions are still working and need to be removed!)

To further crank down the BIOS protection, look for (if any, I'm not sure if this particular BIOS supports it)

Antivirus/MBR protection (enable it). If a boot device was to be used, at the end of the installation it will need to rewrite the MBR, but will fail because it's protected.
Boot from other devices (disable, only let the HDD be the boot device, the hot key for one time boot change, if there was any, shouldn't work anymore)
Disable USB ports (if not too inconvenient!)

And this is a physical move, not a BIOS setting:
Remove cable to DVD, lock the case as I told you before (if not too inconvenient!)
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39980583
Thank you for the response Kimputer...I appreciate your answers.

I may not have mentioned it but it is a laptop...I guess the CD/DVD bay could be removed (or disabled??) and the USBs password protected or disabled.  Am I on the right track?  Programs or registry modifications you like to use?

Thanks a million!!
Mags
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Assisted Solution

by:Schuyler Dorsey
Schuyler Dorsey earned 400 total points
ID: 39980627
The cd drive can usually be disabled via BIOS or Windows local security policy settings.

For the Windows security policy settings, it is under the removable media container.
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 39980681
Thanks Schuyler Dorsey I will be in touch...dealing with major health issues with my Mom.
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Author Comment

by:Mags
ID: 40054742
I will be back after this next week...thanks for you information and patience.  My Mom is doing better!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mags
ID: 40158393
Closing questions...My Mom just past away.  Many good suggestions.  Thanks for your help.
Mags
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40159136
Deepest sympathy,  peace be with you.
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