MS Alternative to Deep Freeze etc

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by StevieO, Sep 10, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. StevieO

    StevieO Guest

    I stumbled across this today, it sounds as if it might be worth looking at and testing.

    . . .


    This tool will replace the PAC tool for anyone running Windows XP.

    http://pacomputing.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=7593

    . . .


    Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP product overview

    Microsoft created the Shared Computer Toolkit to help make shared computers more reliable and less time-consuming to maintain. Unlike personal computers, shared computers are:

    • Used by many different people who generally don't know or trust each other

    • Used in public places where personal privacy and security are big concerns

    • Subjected to greater wear and tear due to their frequent use and public availability



    The Shared Computer Toolkit is ideal for computers in schools, public libraries, community technology centers, and Internet cafés. It allows those who manage shared computers in these environments to easily:

    • Restrict untrusted users from accessing system settings and data.

    • Defend shared computers from unauthorized changes to their hard disks.

    • Enhance the user experience on shared computers.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/overview.mspx#Restrict


    Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP (Beta)

    Overview

    Shared computers are commonly found in schools, libraries, Internet and gaming cafés, community centers, and other locations. Often, non-technical personnel are asked to manage shared computers in addition to their primary responsibilities. Managing shared computers can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Without restrictions, users can change the desktop appearance, reconfigure system settings, and introduce spyware, viruses, and other harmful programs. Repairing damaged shared computers costs significant time and effort.

    User privacy is also an issue. Shared computers often use shared accounts that make Internet history, saved documents, and cached Web pages available to subsequent users.

    The Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP provides a simple and effective way to defend shared computers from untrusted users and malicious software, safeguard system resources, and enhance and simplify the user experience. The Toolkit runs on genuine copies of Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.

    Disk Requirements
    Before you can turn on the Windows Disk Protection tool, the computer must have unallocated disk space (1024 MB or approximately 10% of the disk, whichever is greater) to create a protection partition.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...56-E3DA-42EA-857D-92B716077A84&displaylang=en



    Frequently Asked Questions About the Shared Computer Toolkit

    Other shared computer solutions

    Q. In what other situations can the toolkit be useful?

    A. Although the toolkit is designed to secure and manage shared computers in public environments such as schools, libraries, and Internet cafes, there are certainly other uses for the tools. For example, you could use the Windows Restrictions tool to help secure a family computer, or use the Windows Disk Protection tool to test software especially software that you download from an unfamiliar source.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/faq.mspx

    . . .


    StevieO
     
  2. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts:
    662
    I've seen mention of it before, but never heard from anyone who uses it...often wondered about how easy it is to use...how secure it is...and how it compares to DF/SU
     
  3. sin nickel

    sin nickel Guest

    Would anyone be surprised to learn it kept index.dat and alt data streams for "user convenience and to enhance web surfing experience" ?
     
  4. controler

    controler Guest

    I have brought it up befor but couldn't get any responces. I am guessing there aren't many using this type program. If they are I am guessing it is DF or SU.

    Here are a few screen shots for you.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. controler

    controler Guest

    nother one
     

    Attached Files:

  6. controler

    controler Guest

    last one
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts:
    662
    I take it the + next to 'Internet Explorer Restrictions' etc, mean there are a number of options available ?
     
  8. StevieO

    StevieO Guest

    sin nickel

    "Would anyone be surprised to learn it kept index.dat and alt data streams for "user convenience and to enhance web surfing experience" ?


    Knowing MS, no not really ! But at least we now know about it thanks to you, and most of us will know how to deal with it, unlike a lot of others out there, who wouldn't even be aware of it, or how to.


    controler

    As you are posting screen shots, thanks, i presume you have installed this. If so can you tell us what you think of it please ?


    StevieO
     
  9. controler

    controler Guest

    here are a couple of the restriction buttons expanded. I don't want to suck up too much a wilders space :D
     

    Attached Files:

  10. controler

    controler Guest

    Yes I have had this installed on my test computer for a few months now.
    So far it has been working with all kinds of my wierd configurations.
    I have made some other posts here on this toolkit. You would have do do some searching. I think some are in the deepfreeze posts ect. I know there was a tiny bit of talk about it over on DSLReports.
    The windows update feature works great. It can also be adverce time clock if you sleep close to your computer. Default is at 3:00AM. When the updates are done, your computer aumaticly reboots and goes beep beep beep and of course if you have your volume turned up, you get the sound of Windowz starting up. LOL
    I am not an expert with this toolkit by any means but hey, it is free for now.
    As I mentioned in another thread. You can install this on your current partition
    as the install program directs you to Terabyte if it detects you do not have enough unallocated space. You then create a very very simple to make boot CD and reboot your computer with the CD in. If you do a fresh reformat, you just uses Windows's partition program or another of your choice.
    They Terabyte CD is a very powerfull tool in itself.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. controler

    controler Guest

    This will be your welcome screen or you can go back to it at anytime thereafter. You will see the simple format of guiding you through the setup after install.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. controler

    controler Guest

  13. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts:
    662
    Just how does the disk protection work, in combination with the other 'restriction' settings...

    It seems sort of back the front to me...we will restrict you from doing such and such (which would be effectively the same as wiping at reboot), but will allow you to do anything else...so what get's wiped at reboot ?

    ...I'm probably wrong somewhere in there
     
  14. toploader

    toploader Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Posts:
    707
    hi sn could you explain for the benefit of myself and others who may not understand what the significance of this is?
     
  15. StevieO

    StevieO Guest

    controler

    ( Maybe we finally started a good thread on this kit? )

    Well i hope so, as i didn't even realise it existed until the other day, and i imagine there are a lot more people out there too who still don't !

    Nice to see the screen shots etc.

    Would say it's Reliable/Stable/Useful etc ?

    Have you had any issues with it, or with other people trying to work with the App running since you installed it.

    Is it running full time ?

    What are the Resources/CPU like with it activated ?

    Thanks

    I found this which may of use to some - How to Use Microsoft’s Shared Computer Toolkit
    http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Microsoft-Shared-Computer-Toolkit.html


    toploader

    index.dat are secret ( ish ) files where all your web History and Cookies etc are stored. Unless you delete these on reboot with suitable software, like the Free MRUBlaster etc, then they hold personal private info which you might not want storing in your PC.

    ADS Alternate Data Streams are ( Normally ) hidden files on NTFS configured Hard Disks. Malware can hide in there, and also there can be large amounts of data about various aspects of your PC contained within. These can also be viewed and flushed with Free software too.


    StevieO
     
  16. controler

    controler Guest

    This Toolkit is now Gold and not Beta anylonger with improvements for RUMUS
    Deepfreeze users and easier AV updates, no more scripting.

    The Gold release of the Shared Computer Toolkit has had several improvements and fixes since the Public Beta release, including:
    • The Windows Restrictions tool has been renamed to User Restrictions.
    • The User Profiles tool has been renamed to Profile Manager.
    • A shortcut called Check Windows Disk Protection has been added to the Toolkit administrator’s Startup menu to display the status of Windows Disk Protection when it is on, and when Getting Started is not configured to start automatically.
    • The critical updates process in Windows Disk Protection has improved; scripting anti-virus updates is not necessary for many products. Simply schedule your antivirus signature update at occur the same time as the Windows Disk Protection critical updates schedule.
    • A Proxy Exceptions field has been added to the User Restrictions tool.
    • Several new restrictions have been added to the User Restrictions tool, and some restrictions have been moved within the tool.
    • A Group Policy template for applying our restrictions and settings to shared user accounts in Active Directory has been added.
    • The domain-joined scenarios in the Handbook have been significantly improved.
    • Many international issues have been resolved, to ensure that the Toolkit operates properly on non-English versions of Windows XP.
    • An improvement has been made allowing integration between the Toolkit to work with Faronics DeepFreeze. This is for customers that want to use DeepFreeze instead of Windows Disk Protection, yet still use the other Tools in the Toolkit

    Like it reads, You don't have to use Disk Protection. You can just use all the other restrictions ect. I am about to download the Gold version and see how it works. I did not have much trouble with the Beta though.
    Only issue I had was trying to install Eliet Keylogger with a couple other security apps LOL

    controler
     
  17. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Posts:
    2,040
    Location:
    South Texas, USA
    How does the Shared Computer Toolkit + Deepfreeze combination compare to using ShadowUser, which is more expensive than deepfreeze, but better in my opinion.

    dja2k
     
  18. controler

    controler Guest

    dja2k


    Hello

    Nobody seems to want to talk about the MS toolkit here. I am guessing there is only a handful in the world using both the Toolkit and Deepfreeze.

    The MS article only mentions Deepfreeze. I don't see why Shadowuser wouldn't work. SHadowuser would work the same except it would have the added ability of this tool. If you do give it a try, please post back here about your experiences.
    I think most the users here think they don't need products like this for everyday home use, and think they will just stick with other means of protection. I don't think these type programs are proactive. The seem to be more in the class, reactive, since you reboot to clear.


    controler
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.