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Windows 7: How can I lock down my computer?


17 Mar 2011   #1

seven
 
 
How can I lock down my computer?

In schools they often lock down their computers so that it boots the same image every time, and none of the changes from the users are stored when they shut down the computer. I'm looking to do this for my HTPC aswell. I want to set it up to boot the same image for my C-partition every time,

I'm storing all the my databases with mediainfo and watched tags on a separate partition so that info should still be saved after a shutdown.

Is this possible? And if it is, what tools do I need to do it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2011   #2

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zicoz View Post
In schools they often lock down their computers so that it boots the same image every time, and none of the changes from the users are stored when they shut down the computer. I'm looking to do this for my HTPC aswell. I want to set it up to boot the same image for my C-partition every time,

I'm storing all the my databases with mediainfo and watched tags on a separate partition so that info should still be saved after a shutdown.

Is this possible? And if it is, what tools do I need to do it?
Someone here may have an outright answer, but I've always been one to ask questions.

Firstly, are you the sole user for this machine, or do you have a lot of users that all use your HTPC? If the former, I would say just don't make any changes to your HTPC, and it'll run fine, no need for tweaking. If the latter, we can work to do some tricks to limit what users can make changes to (simpler than what your proposing with your above question as far as setup and useability).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Faronics makes a program called "Deep Freeze" the high school that I attended used it so that anything you did to the computer was undone at reboot, because it booted to a clean system image every time. Don't think it is a free program, and there are programs that will nullify it. The 'work-around' program was called "unthaw" when I was a student.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2011   #4

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Devux View Post
Faronics makes a program called "Deep Freeze" the high school that I attended used it so that anything you did to the computer was undone at reboot, because it booted to a clean system image every time. Don't think it is a free program, and there are programs that will nullify it. The 'work-around' program was called "unthaw" when I was a student.
I'd forgotten about Deep Freeze. It will do precisely what you want, but it costs $45, and I think that with a little more info from OP, we can generate a different solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2011   #5

seven
 
 

Well there are many users, but I'm the only one who makes changes to them. But the thing about HTPCs is that they seem to degrade over time no matter what one does.

An other thing is that I'm currently building and selling computers to friends and family and to some local companies, and I'm thinking of expanding into HTPCs aswell. And I have to lock down those computers as much as possible. I'm even considdering replacing the Windows shell with the HTPC software.

Deep Freeze looks to be what I need, thanks for the tip, will give it a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2011   #6

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zicoz View Post
Well there are many users, but I'm the only one who makes changes to them. But the thing about HTPCs is that they seem to degrade over time no matter what one does.

An other thing is that I'm currently building and selling computers to friends and family and to some local companies, and I'm thinking of expanding into HTPCs aswell. And I have to lock down those computers as much as possible. I'm even considdering replacing the Windows shell with the HTPC software.

Deep Freeze looks to be what I need, thanks for the tip, will give it a try.
Let us know how it works out for you. It's always good to hear follow up.

Also, are you working for a business, or doing this as a hobby/on-the-side kind of deal?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2011   #7

seven
 
 

Well, it's jo my main job. My father runs a business that specialises in automatisation for factories, be builds and programs the controll systems for their machines, most of these factories don't have more then 3-4 persons working in the offices so they don't have the need or means to hire a big IT company, instead they just lets my father know there is a problem and he again contacts me.

And then there is the usual "friends and family" kind of deals.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2011   #8

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS
 
 

Microsoft used to provide a means of doing this for XP and Vista, called "Steady State" - it was due to be included in Windows 7 as a "Guest Mode" - but was axed. The Steady State download was shut down last December.

In view of the protests, Microsoft provided a manual work-around using group policy settings, outlined here:

Download details: Group Policy Settings for Creating a Steady State
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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