Deep Freeze vs Clean Slate vs Smart Shield

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by yeahyeahnah, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. yeahyeahnah

    yeahyeahnah Registered Member

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    Hi,

    We are currently evaluating a number of products for use on a large number of Windows XP machines. The purpose of installing the product is twofold:

    1. The machines are regularly closed via a “hard reset” (i.e. Power down). It is understood that this is not the preferred method of shutting down the machine, however the environment in which they are used means that this can’t be controlled and a hard power down is common. Disk errors are being seen with machines due to this method of shutdown which often results in the machine needing to be re-imaged. This is the primary issue that needs solving.

    2. Provide a constant environment for all users. There will be a constant stream of different users of each machine, so the machine is to be reset back to a known state between each login.

    We are running a suite of evaluation tests, but I am also interested in experiences from people who have already been using any of these products – particularly Smart Shield and Clean Slate (as there is quite a bit of feedback re Deep Freeze available on the web already). Any pros / cons / “gotchyas” would be greatly appreciated!!

    I appreciate there are quite a number of other products out there that offer similar functionality to the listed 3 products, however these products have already been shortlisted for evaluation and we are limited to three.

    Also, I appreciate this is primarily a security forum, but from searching past threads this seems one of the most likely places to find someone who has used (hopefully recent) versions of these products.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    I have no experience of Smart Shield, but I have used Deep Freeze and Clean Slate. Deep Freeze did exactly what it was supposed to do but was limited in features in comparison with Clean Slate.

    Clean Slate I found to be very rich in terms of its feature set, which seemed more geared towards the enterprise user than the home user; but when I tried it, it was somewhat unstable on my XP system. That was quite a while ago though so it may have improved, or maybe it just didn't work well on my particular system.

    There was a discussion a while back comparing Clean Slate and Returnil in the following thread: -

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=266269

    Although you are not considering Returnil, the technical issues raised in relation to Clean Slate, may be of interest. If the Returnil moderator, Coldmoon, is right about Clean Slate tracking changes to the file system rather than changes to the disk, it might not work well with machines that are closed by powering down.
     
  3. yeahyeahnah

    yeahyeahnah Registered Member

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    Thanks for your response - the referenced thread was very useful!
     
  4. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    You're welcome.
     
  5. huisinro

    huisinro Registered Member

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    You may want to check out our vboot, it does much more. It can easily roll back and save a few states. You boot an os from a single file, then take snapshots. Currently, there are schools and internet cares using vboot. To deploy tne os, you simple copy the file to the hard disk.
     
  6. yeahyeahnah

    yeahyeahnah Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I thought you might be interested to see the responses from tech support:

    CleanSlate

    Clean Slate works at the file system level and doesn't allow the original files and/or Registry keys to be modified in the first place. Therefore, if a user powers off the computer by pulling the plug or there is a power outage and a process or service is in the middle of writing out a file, any disk errors that might occur happen to a copy of the file that will be discarded anyway. If the system runs a chkdsk when it is powered on and fixes any disk errors that may have happened it is only fixing files that will be deleted from the Clean Slate cache.

    Smart Shield

    Our protection is deeply integrated within the Windows kernel. The protection is either on or off with a very minor exception. The exception is the Directory Exclusion functionality. This allows single directories to be excluded from protection. While this is a great way to allow files to stick when a computer is protected, there are times when it won’t help. If a program needs to update the registry (and many do when they update), then our Directory Exclusion isn’t flexible enough to update when protected. Directory Exclusion is designed this way to provide maximum protection to your computer with some added flexibility.

    Thanks to all for their posts / help.
     
  7. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    Thanks for posting that - that's interesting to know.

    I might take another look at Clean Slate myself at some point. I notice on the Fortres Grand website that there's no mention of 64 bit compatibility under system requirements for Clean Slate, so that's something I would want to check out first as I'm planning to upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit in the near future.
     
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