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Authenticating to Imported Workstation Objects

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Patrice Clement

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Posted: 6 Mar 2001

We've heard from a few people who have run into a problem associating app objects to imported workstation objects. Basically what happens to them is that they:

  1. Restore an image on the PC.
  2. Log into the network (automatic import of the workstation is done at this moment and applications are associated to this object).
  3. Start NALEXPLD, and get the applications that are associated to the OU's but are missing the applications associated to the workstation object.
  4. Reboot workstation.
  5. Log in to the network and find that the workstation applications are there.

So how do you prevent having to login twice every time you want to restore an image? Can it be cleared by modifying the ghost image so it includes the registration of the NALEXPLD?

First, take time to count your blessings. In ZfD3 there is a new feature in Automatic Workstation Import which allows the workstation to automatically "reconnect" to its already existing workstation object when, for whatever reason, it has "forgotten" what its workstation object was (for example after a re-image of the workstation as in your case). In ZfD2 on the other hand, it was not possible to do that (you would end up with multiple workstation objects in NDS like Workstation0001, Workstation0002, Workstation0003, ...).

Now, back to the problem. There two ways of getting rid of this additional reboot:

  1. Use the ZENworks Imaging solution together with the "Add-On Image" feature (you can create an Add-On Image out of an Application Object). Basically, the Application Add-On image will be distributed to the workstation together with the Base Image. The first time the workstation boots and NAL loads, the application distributed as an Add-On image will already be available (even without connectivity to the network since this feature is relying on the Disconnected Nal functionality of ZFD3).

    Note: with Disconnected NAL, there is no concept of user association or workstation association (since, by definition, we are disconnected from the network), therefore there is no way to check NDS to verify whether or not this user or workstation is associated to the application. In this case, NAL will show all the applications that have been distributed as an Add-On image, no matter whether the workstation is imported in NDS or not, and no matter who is logged in.

  2. Another option is to make sure that the workstation object information stored in the registry (see the "Workstation Object" key under HKLM/Software/Novell/Workstation Manager/Identification) is included in your Ghost Image. This would make sure that the workstation can authenticate as its workstation object on the very first boot (with no need to first "reconnect" and then authenticate on the second boot as it is currently the case). However, doing this would mean that you would need a separate Ghost image for every workstation on your network. That does not sound very appealing to me. The first option sounds better, although it also comes with its share of difficulties.

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