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ZENworks 3.2 on Laptops

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By David Murray, Jonny Shenton

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Posted: 23 Apr 2002

Version: ZENworks for Desktops 3.2

At The Scotsman we decided to deploy ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 to all Intel based PCs. This included laptops, which created a few headaches for us, and I thought it might be nice to save a few others the same problems.

  1. We created a base build on Windows NT 4 with the Novell client 4.81 for all models of PC.
  2. On the laptops we created three hardware profiles disabling unavailable hardware.
    • Office docking station
    • Home PCMCIA network card
    • Free roaming
  3. We set up all applications using M: as the user's home drive and an N: as a hidden drive. N: was used for application configurations to allow users to roam fully.
  4. We then installed Mobiliti Network Unplugged and used this to sync the two drives and have them available offline.

  5. All applications had their standard Windows icons removed.
  6. We then used Nalexp to control access to the applications and to force out updates.

This worked fine for office PCs and laptops in the office docking stations. It also worked fine for the Free roaming laptops as NAL went into offline mode.

However if you dialed up on a modem or ISDN line it took 20-40 minutes to log in. After speaking with Novell consultants and playing we almost gave up before hitting on an idea.

We set up three Location Profiles within the Novell client and disabled Novell authentication in both Home and free roaming profiles. We also added the /ND switch to Nalexp and when in home mode it logged in quickly.

This does leave a part of the network inaccessible. However, since the user's home drive is available offline, it provided all the functionality we needed.

This method has not been tested with VPN access but that is next on our list to try.

If you have any questions you may contact Jonny at

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