Questions

How do I make a computer revert back to the original settings?

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How do I make a computer revert back to the original settings?

Wayne G.
I want to donate some computers to a school. The computers will be used by many students with varying levels of skill. I want to have the ability to reboot the computers, have them discard all changes and revert back to the way they were setup.
Thanks for your input and help.
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.Martin.

how old are the computers?
what brands are they?
are they desktops or laptops?

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Wayne G.

The units are desktops and vary in age and brands. However, they all are running Windows XP and have at least 500mb of memory. (Some of them have more memory and are capable of running Win7)

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Wayne G.

I went to the DeepFreeze site as you suggested. That may do what I want; except... the license has to be renewed each year. At that time, I may not be available to renew and I hate to put the expense on the students or the teacher. Sure looks like it would do the job though. Thanks for your help and interest. I appreciate everyone's response.

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JRez

Personally I would do a clean build on one machine and then take an image with Shadow Protect IT Edition, then image the other computers using the shadow protects HIR feature (Hardware Independent Recovery).

Otherwise clean builds on all, if you get a few OS installs running at the same time it should be quicker, depends on how many machines you have to do and how many of them are different hardware?

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ARandomPenguin

or them have a system restore point? if so then thats the way to go but if that isnt the case new builds are always cleaner and you dont need to do then whole re-licencing every year.

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oldbaritone

Your best bet for consistency is to start from a fresh installation. Either install a ghost image, or use the original factory CDs and reinstall to new-out-of-the-box condition.

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bobedcar

if its been many years of use you can get Wipedisk software which will clean several drives to total emptiness then go on ebay or amazon and purchase the restore disks for the model numbers of the computers. this will put the computers to right out of the box condition.

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dean.h

should work with XP and Vista, but not on 7.
http://windows-steadystate.en.softonic.com/

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willcomp

Microsoft released shared computer tools and XP Steady State to do what you want and they are free. However, it appears the software is no longer available directly from MS. I did find Steady State available here: http://windows-steadystate.en.softonic.com/

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jeff.gibbs.mcp

You could try the free Microsoft tool Steady State is fairly easy to use. You will likely need something else for machines running newer Operating Systems though.

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databaseben

My suggestion is to ensure the hard drive is wiped. Then re-install the operating system from disk or factory restore. Then ensure all the updates have been downloaded and installed. Afterwards, copy the registry hive to a safe place on the disk on onto cd as well..

Next create a batch file or power shell file that will re-instate the un-adultered registry hive that can be executed after each student session or at the end of the school semester.

Regardless of what settings have been altered by the student or what programs were subsequently installed on the system, re-instating the registry hive will void out any changes made by the student.

As a precaution, disk images should also be made before releasing the final setup to the students. Having disk images of the system will help restore it without all the hassles of doing installations from scratch.