Looking for a solution for User virtualization.

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Bollo, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    I know, that if you search in google for "user virtualization", the related results are for Vista's user account control..

    Well, that's not my problem or what i'm looking for.

    I've being testing Returnil, ShadowDefender, Sandboxie and many solutions that are quite relationed for what i'm searching.

    My problem began when I was really tired reformatting and reinstalling one, two, three and even six times my PC, because the main problem was that my brothers like to install software, use it once, and hten left it installed in the system, making it slower and slovwer by every program they want to "test".

    So I've decided to use Returnil, so they can install without the problem of uninstalling and leaving garbage in the disk and in the registry, keeping the PC performance up.
    But as always there is no perfect solution...my brother find out the "password issue" of Returnil, and reseted the password.
    With ShadowDefender my problem was about burning CD/DVDs, I can't burn anything with the protection up.
    Sandboxie is more oriented to application isolation, so it only covered just a part of my problems.

    That's why I'm here...looking for recommendations about software that can:
    -First of all, separate each user of my PC with his own enviroment of installations, so my brothers can screw up their user account, but not mine one. That's what i'm calling "user virtualization".
    -Second, that the program begins before the system, like Returnil of ShadowDefender.
    -Third, that the program leave the "base" installation of my windows untouched, and that all the changes or modifications be done to "virtual disks" or whatever it can be called, keeping the performance up and the file structure of the base disk intact.

    So, would anybody can suggest a program that can do that!?
    Thanks in advance.

    David Ulises

    PD. By the way, I was trying Altiris SVS with no luck, now i'm trying to test ThinApp and others. See ya.
     
  2. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Well, there's definitely no way to allow someone to install anything without slowing down Windows. Why on earth are you giving the guy administrator privileges?

    You can install a saner OS, such as Linux, or you can give your brother a restricted user account. Other than that, no point in wasting your time.
     
  3. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Personally i use rollback rx. It can do everything you've requested however its not free. There is a cheaper option from the same people who make rollback rx called drive vaccine which can also do everything you've requested.

    Although i don't see why returnil shouldn't work well for you. I'm curious as to how your brothers find out your returnil password? Maybe you are using a weak password?
     
  4. Einsturzende

    Einsturzende Registered Member

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    I would buy him a separate disk attach it to PC, Install OS and keep my (disk) encrypted...(you can do that with separate partition also)
    EDIT: hmmm... don't know if dual boot will working, never tried above solution
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  5. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Your brother did this to reset your password?:

    If he can do this he should have his own computer to muck with.
    Or
    Are their backdoors or keyloggers from his install frenzy that you missed?

    The latest Returnil personal is Version: 2.0.0.2555. Do you have the Premium?
     
  6. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    For "farmerlee":

    Yes, my brother broke the password using the method that "Searching_ _ _" posted...know I can assure its quite a good way to try to find out the password in memory, even if they are in plain text, like Returnil do.

    For everyone else:

    Yes, my brothers have administrator privileges, but are useless if Returnil are ON and with password...so I didn't eve realize what they used to install, beacuse in the next boot it will be dropped.
    About the keyloggers and others, it was also useless to use this method, because I made the antivirus update and other things just after rebooting, so all installed software,malware or anything else will be erased from the surface of my System partition.

    Ayway, I'm looking at Drive Vaccine by now...I know also about DeepFreeze,ShadowProtect and others...but, if someone else know about another program that can do at least my first requeriment will be great.

    See ya...keep posting, so together can find out a solution for this kind of problems.

    David
     
  7. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    Try Windows SteadyState, a free app from Microsoft. Apart from virtualizaton it also allows you to restrict windows functionality for users.

    If you have a secure admin account and group policy then your brother will be outwitted.
     
  8. SirDrahcir

    SirDrahcir Registered Member

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    You might consider looking at Parallels VM. You can use the same Version with Linux or Windows.

    Do more with your PC!

    • New! Parallels Workstation now installs on new Linux kernel (2.6.23).
    • New! Support up to 5 network adapters in VM simultaneously.
    • New! Parallels Workstation now supports Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora 8 as primary OS and guest OSes.
    • Users upgrading to Windows Vista can run legacy software not fully compatible with the new OS in previous versions of Windows on the same PC.
    • Computer professionals can run multiple applications, optimized for different operating systems, all at the same time and reduce dependency on specific hardware and OS configurations.
    • Software engineers can test and support software, OSes and configurations in different use scenarios and set up a menagerie of testing environments on their preferred platforms.
    • New! MS Windows from 3.1 up to Vista guest OS support
    • New! Ubuntu guest OS support
    • New! Linux guest OS tools: Smooth mouse transition between most popular Linux guest OSes and Windows and Linux primary OSes
    • New! Multiple network adapters support — support up to 5 network adapters in VM simultaneously.
    • Improved! Parallels Workstation 2.2 installation on new Linux kernels (2.6.20, 2.6.22, 2.6.23)
    • Improved! Significantly improved AMD-V support
    • Stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology (VT)
    • Improved overall performance and stability
    • Support for primary OSes running on machines with up to 32 CPUs
    • Shared Folders utility — easily share files and folders between operating systems
    • Improved fullscreen mode that automatically resizes virtual machines to match your screen’s native resolution
    • Support for dynamic primary OS video modes, custom video modes and 32 bpp video modes
    • Full Unicode support lets users name files and directories in any language
    • Support for multi interface USB devices
    • Full support for Windows Mobile 2005 devices
    • The default network adapter automatically bridges to the most readily available network
    • Change network and bridge type on the fly
    • Better sound recording and playback
    • Smoother mouse synchronization for primary Linux OSes
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    • NetBSD and OpenBSD can now be run in a virtual machine as a guest OS
    • A more powerful, easier to use Image Tool
    • Easier installation on Linux primary OSes
    • Better networking — use WiFi connections in Linux primary OSes, and switch bridge connections between a LAN cable and WiFi connection on the fly in any guest OS
    • A redesigned, more user-friendly interface
    Real easy to understand and use also.

    Code:
    http://www.parallels.com/products/workstation/features/
     
  9. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    Windows SteadyState its like a software similar to most Cafe Internet programs... but it doesn't perform the virtualization for every user on the PC.

    About Parallels VM, it's like VMWare Workstation, so it only create virtual machines...I'm seeking for a virtualization in the same PC and its same base OS.

    Thanks for your replies, anyway i'm trying Windows SteadyState to see its features...

    See ya!
    David
     
  10. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Why don't you simply install another Windows instance for him to mess with? All the solutions here sound like scratching behind your right ear with your left leg.
     
  11. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    Well...I'm not saying that what you're suggesting is BS, it's just that the programs that you're proposing doesn't provide a complete solution for my problem...

    Also, I'm just requesting help about this kind of programs...so together we could find a good solution for my problem and maybe for other people that have it, too.

    By the way, installing another instance of Windows, will not resolve my problem in the way i'm proposing to resolve...
    You can say "Do a virtual machine", "Buy another PC", "Install another Windows instance" and others, but that will not guide us to the right solution...

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions...I'm testing almost all the software you're proposing...

    See ya!
    David Ulises
     
  12. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

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    Have a look at Spyberus and Anvir task manager. The two together provide a low level of installation monitoring and roll back.

    Combined with SURUN and a seperate Admin user, you would be able to block the uninstall of Spyberus
     
  13. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Well, that's probably because the way you are proposing doesn't make much sense. You can't really have an admin user and limit him in a reasonable way that won't eat more system resource than you've just spared.

    Give him his own toy to play with, be it another OS instance, a virtual machine or another computer, instead of trying to make an account that's designed to manage every aspect of your OS limited. Plus there's no reason to give him admin privileges in the first place, for starters.

    BTW, the Returnil bug needs to be fixed, it renders the application basically useless. Leaving an unencrypted password at a statically defined memory offset accessible by anyone is just plain wrong. :thumbd:
     
  14. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

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    Nice to see someone mentioning Anvir. It's great software with an infinity of included tools (just there for you to discover and experiment with) that seems to be overlooked here in this board. I think this one really deserve to be called a swiss army knife!
     
  15. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    I'm gonna test SURUN and Anvir Task Manager, an will post my results...

    As "doktornotor" said, it's quite useless an application that has that kind of security bug... :( Now I must have to format and REinstall everything since my brothers filled the system with garbage...anyway, until that I will test all sort of programs until I get what i'm looking for.

    See ya! :D ;)
    Thanks.

    David

    PS. Well I've tested SURUN and looked for Anvir Task Manager...seems to be quite different programs for different functions...SURUN gives you "temporally" Admin rights for running or installing software, while Anvir Task Manager, as its name say, its a replacement for the traditional Task Manager.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  16. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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  17. ramoncin

    ramoncin Registered Member

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    Hi,
    what about using Returnil to protect your C: Drive while having each user run Mojopac on separate partitions? Has anyone tried that combination?
     
  18. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    Hi Bollo, the advantages of application virtulization are many, they have a higher performance compared to full virtualization and enable you to run an app with nearly the same performance as running natively on the hardware. Altiris, Xenocode and ThinApp are very similar tools achieving it in slightly differently ways. They are costly for single users and usually purchased by a business. - ThinApp can cost over 5k, Xenocode is I think around $400-500.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  19. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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  20. Bollo

    Bollo Registered Member

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    Thanks pandlouk...iCore seems to be THE software I'm looking for..wow, great to see that some people interested in this case.

    Again, many thanks pandlouk, I'm trying right now that soft.

    David Ulises
     
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