We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Computer for Hotel lobby

CanOfWorms asked
I need to recommend a computer to be used by the public in a hotel lobby environment. I cant be cleaning this computer of junk software and malware every week. I need some recommendations. I have seen some use Thin Clients that run a light version of Windows 7 - they seem able to use most web content and are Read only so rebooting them rids any malicious and junk software that has been installed. Is that my best bet?

Another option I have thought about is a drive imaging application that could easily be re imaged by the staff.

My worry in using the Thin client is some web content will not work and we cant have that.

Thanks for your ideas!
Watch Question

Distinguished Expert 2018
Use kiosk mode together with applocker. No chance for viruses.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831409.aspx is about applocker.

Alternatively, if you don't have win8 enterprise, take win8 pro's software restriction policies: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh994606.aspx

And: bitlock the device. An unencrypted device is nothing but a weak target for anyone with a little know how.
IT Services Analyst
What you want to do is use Group Policy Editor to turn that into a "kiosk" type PC by limiting what users can do on it. That's the best way to help lock it down. This will help get you started - http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2012/08/03/building-public-kiosk-stations-with-windows-7-and-windows8-itpro.aspx
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

There are many products available you can use - google "KIOSK Software" and you'll get a lot of hits.  First result for me was http://www.sitekiosk.com/SiteKiosk/Default.aspx

In addition, for XP there used to be a product called SteadyState - but that was discontinued... here's a TechNet blog that discusses using boot from VHD and differencing disks to have essentially the same functionality.  http://blogs.technet.com/b/panosm/archive/2011/07/07/windows-7-steadystate-solution-simplified.aspx

You could also use commercial products that do likewise, one such example is DeepFreeze.

And of course, you could lock down a system using group policy.  I manage a library where we have locked down systems in a particular OU so that nothing but web browsing and office can be done with those machines.


These are perfect suggestions. I will combine them!