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Enforcing Standard Desktop Configuration

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Lee Pipkin

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Posted: 11 Jul 2002

Current Version: ZENworks for Desktops 3.2

We had a problem in Windows NT where users would buy PCs then configure them themselves with OS and the NAL client. Our consultants were not sure how these PCs were setup when they went out on a support call, which resulted in a lengthy support call.

Now we are rolling out Windows 2000 and we have a Windows 2000 Autoinstaller we use for every customer PC. To prevent users from configuring their own "non standard" PCs we included a unique registry entry in our Win2k autoinstall. We, in turn, use ZEN 3.2 to set registry dependancies on all of our applications.

This way if your PC does not have the registry dependancy you see NO applications objects in the NAL. This indicates to us that you are not running our standard desktop configuration and you need to make arrangements to update to it. Seems a little harsh I know, but it saves us a lot of headaches. This reassures our consultants that every PC is configured identically. Which helps us out on the support end as well as quick resolution of the problem on the customer's end.

If you have any questions you may contact Lee at

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