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Locking access possible?

by Ferrante101 / September 29, 2004 11:48 PM PDT

I live in a complex that has a computer room. Unfortunately, one or two people will delete icons so others (older people) won't be playing on the computers when they want to get on it. Is there a way or are there any programs that will lock access to removing icons or getting inside the computer? I maintain the computers and only want the residents to be able to access programs through the desktop icons or maybe through the Start-Programs mode? I know public libraries computers are like this. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Re: Locking access possible?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2004 12:02 AM PDT

You didn't tell what OS since with each version the fix, workaround or OS feature could differ.

For instance, in Windows 2000 and XP I could use CACLS or XCACLS to set the ownership and permissions of the shortcuts on the Desktop so they can't be deleted. That's pretty specific to 2000/XP (and 2003), but shows that the OS already provided the needed controls.

For the DOS windows, the workarounds are just that. Workarounds. You play games with startup scripts to recreate what you want.

Bob

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Re: Locking access possible?
by Kees Bakker / September 30, 2004 12:07 AM PDT

Ferrante,

Use windows XP. Make a (password protected) user account for each registered user; give them as few capabilities as possible (no install, no config panel). Each will have his/her own desktop, history, favorites and documents.

Have a rule that people trying to sabotage other peoples accounts or introducing viruses and spyware will have their account removed, so can't access the computer anymore. It will be difficult to find who did something unwanted, but you'd better have clear rules than no rules.

And buy a program like Ghost or Driveimage so you can revert to an good working situation if things still happen. It helps if peoples desktop, history etc are on a second partition, so you can restore the 'system partition' c:\ ) without them losing their data.

Hope this helps.


Kees

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Re: Locking access possible?
by Yew / September 30, 2004 12:10 AM PDT

The easiest way to do this, is also the most expensive, and that's to use a Domain server. I'm not entirely sure if Samba can take over this role or not, providing a cheap alternative with an old throw away Linux box.

The other option I can think of, is to set it up so that every time the systems are rebooted, the OS and all apps are reinstalled using some default image. So it doesn't matter how much people screw things up, the fix is as simple as a reboot. Naturally people would need to provide their own method of external storage in such a situation, but you could also maybe have a few "communal" floppies and CD-RWs.

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