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Omega

Windows Network Hell

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Hello People,

 

Iam a recent switcher to mac, I spend most of my days supporting a Goverenment office around 200 users in a Windows enviroment. Since starting employment here I have upgraded the network from NT4, to 2000, to XP and now looking at upgrading the servers to 2003 - and it seems with each upgrade the headaches get worse and worse. It seems that M$ likes to take something that does its basic job quite well like NT 4 did and stuff it royally like 2000 - Long live netware!!!

 

However I digress - I was getting tried of working with pcs/servers at work and then going home to my partner crying that her xp machine keep droping off the wireless network - it was a simple fix the usual fix for all things microsoft - re-boot. But it was becoming more and more frustrating so I decided there had to be better. Around 5 years ago I used to suppoort a small mac network of 5 machinces running OS 8.5 for a graphics department, and I never had much of an issue keeping them talking to each other, so I started to think different and went to a local Mac dealer and bought my ipod and fell in love. This didnt help the situation at home though my partner was still frustrated with the network and blaiming me because it was crap, so in June of this year I took the plunge and bought her a G4 powerbook and ipod mini. I remember saying to her - "be patient I havent set one of these up in awhile and never on a wireless network" - You can imagine my joy as the machine booted up for the first time and deteched my network and with one click of safari we were off into cyberspace. Now when I go home, I can sit down with a book and not hear insults and cursing its so nice.

 

Being the "IT Guy" in my office nearly ever week I will get questions about computers and what to buy - I am glad to say I have only had the powerbook since the beginning of June, but I have been able to convince 3 others to make the switch too and all are thanking me - when all I did was open there eyes!

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Now I love my XP laptop, it connected as easy as that. But my dad's 2000 laptop, well, didn't. We've had some trouble with XP computers too... and I've gotta admit, sometimes a Mac would be nice. Microsoft tries to have everything just work, but it only works about half the time. I've seen Macs in action, and I like it.

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Well Allen, not surprisingly its the little things. When my office (2 it guys myself and one other) plans for a network change we plan and test the platform as much as we can before rolling out the new SOE (standard Opertaing Enviroment). One example of frustration was when we went from W2K to XP. Now being in a government office we try to keep things as simple and SIMILAR as possible. Im sure most of you reading this have seen the standard W2k 9x dull boring interface - well being an office that interface is much more preferable to the telly tubby XP look. However you can change the look of xp back to classic. The problem with this was that in the windows registry the classic desktop is desktop2 while the telly tubby desktop is desktop1. So while your testing a platform and you log into one machine for testing (xp) then back into your standard w2k machine, you user profile will set back to desktop 1 so when you log back into the xp machine you get the telly tubby look. Im not an xp hater - as a lan admin it does have some nice features over w2k and NT4 for administrating the network. There are many others like the fact in active directory a object such as a person can only below to one OU - in a real network os like netware a person can belong to as many OU's as you like.

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ah.. so you were using traveling profile. And once you are on Xpdesktop it keeps it's gui even when you move to another system.

 

Doesn't sound as bad.... just little annoying things. We also have our SOE image but I'm not involve with building the image. Our problem is more on migrating Office or mass roll out on Antivirus upgrade (not dat update). The OS itself doesn't give us too much problems but yeah the registry have been mod quite heavily.

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Allen I use ghost for our rollouts, always have and I guess always will - I know MS have the RIS server and sms server but we stick to what we know. Yeah we use roaming profiles, which are finicky at best they sometimes update other times they dont, we find for no reason at all that some people profiles do not update and there is just no explaination for it.

 

But back to your soe rollouts, I have just orderd and waiting for delivery Ghost Site solution - it supports multicasting which i can not promise as I havent used it as yet (just the standard ghost product that we use with network boot discs) but what im hoping it will do (as it says it will in the product info section of the symantec site) is wake the pcs over the lan, boot to ghost pxe type of os and download the approiate image for the pc model. We have 200 machines 3 different models of desktop and 5 laptop models. SO it minimse the dreaded weekend rollout like this - at Friday Myself -jeremy, and offsider Mike, set the pcs to wake at 11pm and go home, the pcs wake up, boot the ghost pxe client, install approate soe image for the model, mike and jeremy come in saturday at 9am and welcome the new pcs back to the network. - fingers crossed it works it would be great to automate this as much as possible

 

With the above situation you will still need to create the image and ghost file but you dont have to watch the 200 machines as they ghost. In the past we have found that you can do 20 machines at a time before the network becomes to slow. our normal roolouts include saturday for imaging sunday for joining the newtork and encrpyting the laptops

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Ghostcast server is probably the most use and if not the best IT tools ever.

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