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Hello Everyone:

 

A giant thank you to all who responded to my request regard Deep Freeze.
I've assembled the responses as follows:

 

We used to have it and we loved it.  Then our IT department decided that we
could no longer use it because they wanted to be able to automatically push
stuff onto our computers without having to worry about calling and having to
have them rebooted in non-freeze mode, etc.

So, instead of just having all the nonsense that patrons do to our machines
disappear, now we have to take off the stuff they leave, find the things
they accidently remove, change the default language back to English from
Korean, etc., etc.  There are some things that windows can do with passwords
so that patrons can't get into the server but they can still do most
everything to the individual workstations.  So, if your IT will go along, I
highly recommend it.

 

  Here at Rady Children's we use Deep Freeze. I love it. So does my IT
department, although when they need to updrade something on the computers,
they have to come into the library to do it in person...BUT those smarty
pants med students cannot make changes and have them stick. I just erase all
of their annoying efforts. I assume we are using Enterprise because we use
it on other computers besides those located in the Library. Recommendation:

couldn't live without it!!!

 

we don't use Deep Freeze, but we do use a similar software.  It really
eliminates viruses, and we don't have to worry too much about people
changing settings.  They always do, as much as we tell them not to.  From
the user point of view, you have to make sure they save their work on a disk
or thumb drive.  It won't necessarily be there if they leave and come back.
It does take some time to keep up if you want to make a permanent change on
the computer (i.e. one that will stay after you turn it off).

 

If your computers are heavily used by the public, as ours are, you save a
lot of time troubleshooting a computer that a user has disabled by messing
around with it.  Just turn it off and back on.

 

If your computers are running Microsoft WindowsXP, you might consider
Microsoft's Shared Computer Toolkit for WindowsXP

 

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

 

We have been using this software in our public library for about 4 months
now with good results.  The documentation is pretty straight forward and
there is an active newsgroup community of users who offer help and support.

Also, WebJunction provides some articles about the shared toolkit.  You can
find links to all by following the link above.

 

Best of all, the Shared Computer Toolkit for WindowsXP is free.

 

We have been using Deep Freeze Enterprise for close to two years.  From the
systems point of view I like it a lot.  It has saved a lot of time.  There
was a transition period where the staff had to get the full meaning of
having the pc returned to a clean state upon reboot.  We do not have DF
installed on our main teaching stations, but we did install it on some
public desks, such as circulation.

 

We're a hospital library with about two dozen public computers, and I
installed Deep Freeze on them last year. I'd recommend it highly for public
workstations; we haven't installed it on computers generally used by one
person. 

Good points: 

No more adware! Before I got here, every computer was infested with pop-up
ads, toolbars, etc., to the point where some of them were unusable. I took
care of a lot of it with Spybot, but even so, it kept coming back. We don't
block any sites (though our IT department is starting to block music
download sites and a few other things), and people were going to some
dubious places that conveniently installed all sorts of stuff. Now, even if
someone does (accidentally) install something, it's gone when we reboot. Of
course, you have to install Deep Freeze on a clean computer, but after that,
life is much easier. 

No more unauthorized software, patient files, or anything else we don't want
to have hanging around. 

Bad points: 

Windows updates are more difficult. We have the standard version, so I can't
unfreeze them from my computer, or schedule them to unfreeze in time for the
automatic updates. Therefore, I have to unfreeze the computer, reboot, log
in as administrator, do the updates, log in as our generic user, refreeze,
and reboot. And do that two dozen times every time I want to make changes.
If you have a computer that can serve as a central console (I didn't at the
time we bought DF), it might be easier. 

If someone wants to install software temporarily (which we allow in certain
cases) and the computer needs to be restarted as part of the installation
process, guess what happens? Setting up and synchronizing PDAs is difficult,
too, especially since we use a single generic username for our public
computers. (I usually tell people to use computers where they can log in
with their own username.) 

If something goes wrong with the computer, it's more difficult to try to
make repairs. We recently had a computer that would reboot as soon as you
logged in. I tried changing a few options, but DF kept resetting everything.
Faronics sent me a file that was supposed to take care of the problem, but
it didn't work. (I think this was more of a hardware problem than a DF
problem, though.) The tech support staff were very helpful, and were
genuinely interested in figuring out what the problem was. When I e-mailed
them to say the problem had somehow solved itself, they called me for a
shared "huh??" 

So, in general, I'd say it's worth the cost for a computer that's going to
be used by a multitude of people. A truly determined person could probably
break through the security, but in our case, we're more concerned with
accidental damage/additions/changes. We hope our users--doctors, nurses,
medical students, etc.--have other things on their mind than hacking into
our PCs. If I had gotten that job in the high school for gifted and talented
students, I might have a different view. 

You can download a trial version from their web site.

 

I worked at an academic medical library that used Deep Freeze on all the
public computers and learned that the major concern is buy-in and support
from your IT people. Our IT Department didn't allow the reference librarians
to have the access passwords and they were extremely slow to update and
maintain the computers (about 25 PCs). We found it to be a terrible headache
because important updates were not updated on time, and IT resented having
to bother with all the public machines so often. The benefit was obvious, at
each re-start the computers wiped away any changes made (or instant
messaging programs or PDFs downloaded) but the loss of control over the
machines was a major problem for us. 

That's my two cents. If you can get solid support from your IT people or
retain control of the Deep Freeze passwords, I think the benefits outweigh
the drawbacks. 

 

We use Deep Freeze on all our public computers.  We have also recommended to
the School of Medicine staff who administer computers in meeting rooms and
for use by the medical students in labs and group study rooms.

 

It eases maintenance by erasing all files as you have mentioned.  In
addition, the Enterprise edition allows you to control the computer
remotely.  While it does not protect the computer from all mishaps, it can
do two things.  First, it can limit the need to periodically clean the
computer of unused files.  Second, it gives you a base line to go back to if
the computer is infected by a virus or something.

 

The first time you don't have to rebuild a non functional computer from
scratch because someone has totally messed it up, you have more than saved
the cost of Deep Freeze on that computer.  

I recommend it.

 

We have Deep Freeze installed on 40 workstations that various students use 7
days a week.  I love it!  

We have not had a virus or other such problems with any of the computers for
over a year, since it was installed. 

I have created & installed seeds & consoles in version 5.4 & 6.0 (the
current version) - once you do it, it is easy.

Their tech support is very helpful and will talk to you for hours if need
be.

 

A few things to know/tips:

 

You can create "thawed" areas of any size (like a T: drive, which is
actually part of C: where they can save files to that won't erase - the
larger this is, the longer the PC/client installs

take) These thawed areas change with config seeds, so back up the data
before updating config setups on the pc/clients.

 

You can Freeze anything or everything or only C:, this includes USB & CDs,
etc.

 

You can set your PC/clients to restart thawed for a certain time period, so
your Antivirus and/or Windows updates can run-like at 5-6am, then it
restarts frozen.

 

You have to restart the PC thawed or any changes YOU make will not stay
either - then remember to re-freeze it again.

 

The hardest part is figuring out which file does what and where so this is a

summary:

 

The Console pgm monitors all PCs on the port with DF installed (you must
enable a port number UPD & TCP on each PC you want to communicate with) must
be on the same network with port enable but NOT be a pc/client.

 

The Administration file creates the configuration/setup criteria for the
"client install file" you will create and copy to the PC/client and run.

This is what actually freezes the PC/client.  Write down the encryption
authorization code exactly as entered - you will only have ONE chance and
may need this in the future, if you want to change the setup.

 

Basically once a pc/client is configured & frozen, you just forget it.  If
you have a problem with the PC just restart it and that resolves most
problems.

 

I would HIGHLY recommend it to any place where multiple people use a
computer but you still want to keep the same look & setup available for each
user.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Doris Wisher, MLS, MA, AHIP

Director of the Library

Jay Sexter Library

Touro University-Nevada

874 American Pacific Drive

Henderson, NV  89014

Tel. 702-777-1741

Fax 702-777-1743