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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

By tk421 ·
I am the sole administrator of about 20 computers, some are old but most are new. They are all running Win 2000 Pro. The server is 2000 server. I am very interested in making all the computers look and feel exactly the same, and eliminating the needfor doing detailed configuration on each machine. In particular, I want to:
Make all Start Menus look the same
Make drive mapping the same (with exception of the user's personal folder)
Make Network Places look the same
Make power management settings the same
Move the Documents and Settings folder (or as much as possible) to the server.

I don't even mind micromanaging the computers that much, but I'd really like to be able to do it via the server. (I just hate kicking people off their computer in the middle of their work.) I'd really appreciate tips and hints from other Admins who strive for efficiency.

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by Steven A In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

I too am the sole admin of about 30 computers. I use admin installs for all software whenever possible, which leads to uniformity in start menu, etc. For drive mappings I use scripts (net use command) so all workstations are (or at least each workgroup) identical. For network places to be the same, they would need to be in the same Domain or workgroup. Most programs, like MSOffice, allow you to move the documents folder wherever you want and specify its location under options.

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by tk421 In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by Lee V. In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

Sounds like you may want to implement "manditory" policies, and maybe some login scripts. Using the Policy Editor you can do much of what you mentioned, assuming the Policy Editor hasn't been eliminated in Win2K. General login scripts can also allow you to map network drives including the User's personal folder, if those reside in a consistent place on the network. Or you can set up the user's home directory in the Win2K equivalent of User Manager for Domains. As a little side topic, just don't be too stringent on what you make a manditory setting. While you must make your job as do-able as possible, try not to take away all of the freedoms a user has on the PC, such as their own personal wallpaper, etc. You want to keep the machines as consistent and reliable as possible, without killing the morale of the people using them.

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by tk421 In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by dale In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

Sounds like what you need is a little configuration management. Though you have some new computers and some old, you will probably find that you only have three or four different combinations of hardware that must be supported. The thing to do is get a machine that represents each class of hardware you have on the floor, i.e. one from each CPU type, and do what you would consider to be the perfect install on each one. Configure desktop the way you like it and install the applications where you would like them to live. Copy each of these machines to its own image file with software like Ghost or Drive Image. Then download this image to each of the other machines in production. Use profiles and or scripts to manage drive mappings with consistency. This can be a pain to perform on machines you've already deployed but once the process is complete managing existing machines and deploying new ones becomes extremely easy. So does trouble shooting - the computer doesn't work, reimage it. The biggest problem will

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by tk421 In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by dale In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

Damn this 1000 character limit! Anyway, the biggest problem will be managing the different NIC and video drivers. The fewer of these variables you have, the better. Standardize the NIC's and video cards in your workstations if you can... Once you doyou will get the the point where you have a few images that cover all the computers in your network. User's personal data should be stored on the server and backed up regularly. If they ever have major trouble with the machine, simply re-image it and your back in business in 30 minutes or less. You need to get some more PC's up - no problem. Purchase the same hardware config that you have in house, and you can image and deploy the PC's in minutes.

The main thing is that you have to develop standards. Standard NIC, standard video card, standard location for user data and application files, etc. Once you have developed the standards, and acquired a few tools for deploying them, configuration management makes you work SO easy...

I hope this helps!

Dale H

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by tk421 In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by jesselou In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

since you are the sole administrator you can implement the remote installation service feature of the win2000 server as you would like to uniformly configure in each of your workstation i think this is the best feature you can use.try to read more about it that will address your plannings.

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Uniformity on Multiple Workstations

by tk421 In reply to Uniformity on Multiple Wo ...

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