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Author Topic: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.  (Read 2513 times)

Eóin

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Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« on: June 08, 2006, 07:28:43 AM »
I've gotten myself a small contract maintaining a local schools computer network, its nothing too serious, whenever a computer goes down its usually just formatted and setup fresh on the network.

The thing is I know there are better ways of doing this. I'm going to list a couple of techniques which I can think of and would very much appreciate if anyone who has experience could point me to the right software. The ideas I have would be;

  • Starting with a fresh machine all setup perfectly and then making a copy of that setup which could be used to restore a downed PC without tediously reinstalling all its software.
  • Taking the above a step further and have have the PCs automatically restore from a clean image on every log-on or reboot.
  • Well actually I haven't thought of a third idea yet but if anyone can suggest one I'm all ears :) .

P.S. I not being cheap but I don't think I need the bigger solutions with all the bells and whistles, a simple affordable solution would be ideal. And much more palatable when/if I suggest it to the school management.

I'm eager to hear your ideas, kind regards, Eoin.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 07:38:44 AM »
Why not use Faronics DeepFreeze ? (see http://www.faronics..../html/deepfreeze.asp)

To reset a computer back to the 'fresh install' state all you have to do is reboot the system.

Only problem is you have done yourself out of a job ;)

m_s

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Re: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 07:46:55 AM »
If the machines are running WinXP, you might consider using Microsoft's Shared Computer Toolkit (http://www.microsoft...daccess/default.mspx), which is designed for the kind of environment you describe.  This doesn't answer your question exactly, but it might provide a way of not needing to reinstall so often.

Eóin

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Re: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 07:51:27 AM »
Thanks for the link, that looks like what I'd be looking for, they are a bit expensive when though taking into account the school would need about 50 licenses.

I'd be interested to hear about similar products, after all its the school that will be making the decision when it comes to the price at the end of the day, and it'll be good to offer them some alternatives to choose form.

Only problem is you have done yourself out of a job ;)

I realize that but its a local school, my dad teaches there and they've always been good to me so at the end of the day I'd like to do whats right for them, not myself.

m_s, just seeing your post now, I'll look into it too, thanks.

Josh

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Re: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 08:09:34 AM »
Why not just trueimage the disk (or ghost, whichever floats your boat) and use that to restore the pcs upon crashing? No, its not automatic, but it does work. Or, if you have the money, consider a vmware solution with their persistent disk which restores the system to its pre-configured state every time you start the vm
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 08:12:12 AM by Josh »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Looking for advice maintaining a small computer network.
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 08:10:51 AM »
I suppose a lot of schools would consider $750 a lot of money - but if they pay you on a per visit basis that would be recouped very quickly.

It also has the advantage that teachers know that every computer will be in a known and predictable state at the start of every lesson!! As an ex-teacher I can't tell you what I would have paid personally for that !!!!!