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Restoring Settings on Student Lab Computers

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By David Ruwoldt

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Posted: 2 Aug 1999

David Ruwoldt, Systems Specialist, Information Technology Services, University of Adelaide, sent this cool solution to a question we addressed in a Q&A awhile back. The question was: How can I reset the computers in my training lab to restore the original Windows settings after the students have changed them? Here's how he does it, down in Aussie land.

The simple solution is to create student accounts so they are volatile and not keep the account information on the NT Workstation. Next create a master account such as NTConfig. For the master account install all software and make all setting changes for the system that you desire.

Note some changes are stored in HKEY_Local machine which are not affected by this solution.

Now you have to log off and log on as administrator. Then copy the file c:\winnt\profiles\ntconfig\ntuser.dat to

c:\winnt\profiles\default user\ntuser.dat

Now when the student account is created all settings are taken from default user and copied into the student account profile. As we have setup default user with settings we put in place the student user will get those. This can also be done for desktop configuration of icons, send to etc. Anything that is in the default user profile in fact. When the student logs out the account is deleted (since it is volatile). When the student logs in again another copy of default user settings are taken.

In this way most settings that are kept in HKEY Current user are restored to the default.

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