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  1. #1
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Any experience of Logon Scripts - but NOT in a domain?

    I am faced with the maintenance problem of a large number of Windows 7 Pro PCs, in three locations, in workgroups (NOT a domain, more's the pity). Each workgroup has a PC which acts as a pseudo-server, on which I can store information for dissemination to the other PCs in that workgroup. Each PC has about eight user accounts, any of which can log on (one at a time!).

    I have a shared drive on each 'server', whose contents are synchronised between all the 'servers" using Dropbox, so that I can edit or copy files on one 'server', and it is automatically replicated on the others.

    I see three main requirements:
    • a need to copy files from the 'server' to specific folders on each other PC - pretty simple, once you've overcome all the hurdles
    • a need to run Stuff at the logon of any user on each PC - network drive mappings, .REG files, and so on. Some of this can be done instead from the 'server', or any other maintenance PC, using PsExec
    • a need to log on in turn to each user account on each PC to do configuration Stuff which can only be done practically through the GUI (I really don't fancy attempting to process the contents of HKUSERS!)

    I'm mainly interested in the second requirement, which I'm attempting to implement using Logon Scripts (just stick a folder called NETLOGON on each PC, then Share it and set up appropriate permissions, and the file LogonScript.bat is run at the logon of any user account on that PC, once each local account has the profile path set up). I can copy new versions of this BATch file to every PC courtesy of the first point, above.

    What I'd obviously like to do is to restrict the number of instances of the NETLOGON shared folder, to, say, just the 'servers', but I can't see a way for a PC to look on the 'server' for the NETLOGON folder (as would happen on a domain) rather than on each PC's file system. Perhaps I could point the environment variable LOGONSERVER to be \\'server' rather than \\PC ? (But how could this be done before the Logon Script runs?!)

    If anyone has worked in this area (and thus might have an idea of what I'm talking about!) or has any Brite Ideas, please say!
    BATcher

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    BATCHer,


    a need to copy files from the 'server' to specific folders on each other PC - pretty simple, once you've overcome all the hurdles
    Could this be a PUSH operation where a Scheduled Task on the server runs a batch/PowerShell file to copy the files to the PCs? Of course you have to give the Server access the the necessary folders. Are the folders PC Shared or Per User?


    a need to run Stuff at the logon of any user on each PC - network drive mappings, .REG files, and so on. Some of this can be done instead from the 'server', or any other maintenance PC, using PsExec
    I'm thinking Scheduled Tasks (on Logon) using UNCs to get the initial connection to the "Server"

    a need to log on in turn to each user account on each PC to do configuration Stuff which can only be done practically through the GUI (I really don't fancy attempting to process the contents of HKUSERS!)
    TeamViewer! Of course you 'll have to visit each of the user accounts on each of the machines to install and setup for remote logon but once done you have access to any machine/user account from any computer!

    The Final Solution would be to learn PowerShell as it will allow you to do almost anything even on remote machines once setup for remote access. IMHO could be well worth the investment in time and energry.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    With that number of computers, I don't think it would be long before TeamViewer tripped commercial use limitations.

  4. #4
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    The issue with obtaining the latest logon data before the user is logged on is the biggest issue I see. Setting up an FTP server may get you around the issue, with each PC pulling the files via a schedule at start up - you need the PC to check for a new login file regularly if it's left on but logged out.

    Running GUI set ups are always difficult as the user may interfere with an automated installation. Manual HKCU changes are often the best way - Acrobat Reader springs to mind as a particularly difficult beast to master. I use ITNinja to find set up information for tricky software.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Thanks RG and BruceR!

    I should have said that I make extensive use of Microsoft's Remote Desktop.
    In fact, from home I use a Cisco VPN to connect to an access server,
    which allows me to connect to the main 'server' at location A,
    from which I Remote Desktop to a 'server' at either location B or location C,
    from which I can Remote Desktop in turn to any of the PCs at that location (having woken them up with WakeMeOnLAN)!

    With regard to using Task Scheduler, this seems to me to be unnecessarily complicated for copying files, when I can have a BATch file running on one of the three 'servers', which copies (using COPY, even!) the requisite file(s) to each associated PC in turn.

    I'm afraid I'm too old to learn PowerShell, and BATch files and a modicum of ingenuity will probably enable me to do 80% of what can be done with PowerShell! Not even PowerShell can do everything, I am guessing...
    BATcher

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  6. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    I'm afraid I'm too old to learn PowerShell, and BATch files and a modicum of ingenuity will probably enable me to do 80% of what can be done with PowerShell! Not even PowerShell can do everything, I am guessing...
    BATCHer,

    Don't sell yourself short...I'm learning PS at 65! I have not yet encountered something that I haven't been able to do in PS and a lot I couldn't do with batch files. Learning is what keeps the mind working (actively fighting off Alzheimers).
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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