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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Aw, c'mon Dad, staying awake all night in front of the glow of a monitor is a hallmark of geekdom. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> Seriously, though, you may want to check the system BIOS - many modern BIOSes allow for scheduled on/off times. Otherwise, you'll be looking at the group policies (in XP Pro) to restrict logon hours or perhaps a third party program. I'm not aware of any but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
    -Mark

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    4 Star Lounger
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    Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    I'm planning to give my daughter her own PC for Xmas. Till now, she's used the family one.

    To prevent her spending all night on the PC, I'd like to try and control when the PC can be switched on. I know that a program like CyberPatrol will let me control the hours for internet access, but I'm looking to see what I can do to control PC use generally, ie games, off-line readers etc. I know that with boot disks or whatever, anyone can get round this, but she's not capable of that (yet!!!) I think (or is that hope).

    Does anyone know of a Win XP based program that would let me do this?

    Thanks

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    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Colin,

    I hope this doesn't sound too nasty (it's not meant to be), but....

    If you are that concerned with her use of it Why give it to her?

    As for solutions, place the computer in an "open" area so you can monitor it. Something like the family room, the living room, something like that.
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    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Colin, Here's a couple to check out. See SafeLogon here http://www.gemiscorp.com/english/main.html and 1st Security Officer here
    http://www.1securitycenter.com/sc/index.html. I don't know if either is any good and I'm sure there are plenty of others available.

    hth,
    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Joe,

    That is amazing. How do you do it? You always seem to come up with such great links. You must know exactly the phrase to use in your searches.
    H Lewton

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    I'd have to second this one myself. It's a parenting decision, ultimately - but I would rather it was in the open simply because kids don't realize the dangers of being too forthcoming on the Internet. Software can always be worked around.
    -Mark

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    I have experience of ONE (only son) but you've got a big question on your hands, Colin! My comments are probably a mixture of coming close to what the others have said already. Your daughter sounds like a TEEN with some computing experience under her belt. Giving her a PC and then telling her you're going to lock it during night hours or put it in the living room would be a blow to how she perceives your trust in her. It would be fairly easy to "teach" her the potential dangers of chat rooms, viruses, porn sites, spam and all the other dangers on the 'Net - the media is full of example stories. Then, it comes down to TRUST. On the other hand, if she's a pre-teen, I think I would opt for the physical location, rather than the locking or special software. Good luck, Dad, with your decision! And Merry Christmas to HER, however you decide to go. She should be a happy camper.....

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    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    If some of you had READ the original post, they would have seen that I wanted to restrict the Hours she spend on the PC, not what she does on it. What she visits is a matter of trust.

    However she is in final 2 years of school, and I want her (as does she) passing exams as well as passing computer games. So it is sensible parenting to agree a timescale that can be enforced. Otherwise, she will spend an unreasonable number of hours on line, and she and I will suffer in the end.

    I'm afraid this is one area where parenting has to be a bit stricter than kids would appreciate. She'll still get plenty of time on-line, and as late as we agree is sensible, but then she'll have to have a rest.

  9. #9
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Thanks for the various comments.

    I've downloaded SafeLogon, and will give it a try.

  10. #10
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Colin ~

    If you have XP Pro you can use the Local Security Policy to force your daughter off the computer and allow her to log on to the computer only at the times you determine.

    First, set Log On hours. Open the command prompt by going to "Start" >"Run..." > then type cmd. Type in a net user command to set the user's hours.

    Example:

    net user colin /time:M-F,18:00-20:00
    net user sarah /time:M-F,6pm-8pm
    net user edward /time:M,6pm-8pm;T,5pm-6pm;W-F,20:00-21:00

    Notice that the user name is listed after the net user command. After the /time: switch you enter the day of the week and time frame they can log onto the computer. Please note the appropriate spaces.

    Now you need to configure the Local Security Policy to log users off when they go past their logon hours. Go to "Run..." and type gpedit.msc.

    Go to the following location:

    Local Computer PolicyComputer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsLocal Policies

    Look in the right pane for Network Security: Force Logoff when logon hours expire. Double click on it and set it to enable. Restart the computer. Bada-bing-bada-boom! Your daughter will only be able to log on when you want her to & the machine will force her to log off when it's time to get off the computer and into bed.

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Gang, let's remember what Colin asked for....which wasn't parenting advice. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Colin, you may want to keep in mind that software can be defeated, so make sure you set up user profiles and use them appropriately if you want to keep SafeLogon, erm, safe. If your daughter has administrative access it won't do any good to install it.
    -Mark

  12. #12
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Thanks but unfortunately I'm using xp home

    Colin

  13. #13
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Thanks.

    Yeah I haven't built hers yet. I've just finished my son's, and I've left hime with administrator privileges.

    I'll need to remember to add appropriate users when I build hers.

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    Edited by WyllyWylly to clean up markup code. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I'm a homie too, unfortunately <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>. I believed the salesmen, and PR material, that said Pro had a few extra security features useful only for networkng <img src=/S/crazy.gif border=0 alt=crazy width=15 height=15>.

    But, it seems it's not quite as crippled as it appears <img src=/S/fanfare.gif border=0 alt=fanfare width=31 height=23>

    I just tried out the NET command, as suggested by Bruce, and it seems to work. I set up a new limited user, timetest, and made sure it worked OK (log on/off). Then, as admin, used the command:
    <pre>net user timetest /times:M-F,06:00-07:00</pre>

    When I tried to log on as timetest I was asked for a password (it doesn't have one!), effectively preventing a logon. As admin I then used the command:
    <pre>net user timetest /times:ALL</pre>

    Now timetest was back to normal, able to log on/off.

    So, you can define logon times. However, without gpedit <img src=/S/groan.gif border=0 alt=groan width=16 height=15>, the forced log off needs another solution. In your situation, maybe just a scheduled task to pop up a reminder to go <img src=/S/snore.gif border=0 alt=snore width=32 height=15> at the appropriate time.

    Another potentially useful <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16> command that's available is cacls, to fiddle with file access control lists.

    NB Either net, and cacls, could cause similar grief as playing with the registry, so tread carefully.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Controlling on/off time of PC (Win XP)

    <hr>Another potentially useful command that's available is cacls, to fiddle with file access control lists.<hr>
    It's worth mentioning that CACLS will only work with the NTFS file system - and personally, I'd avoid fooling with access control lists as it relates to Colin's original request. That would prevent access to certain resources, but it won't lock out the workstation at an appropriate time. Besides, why use the command line when the GUI is there to make it simpler? I say that even though I am a command-line commando.

    The NET commands should work in all iterations of XP, though, as it's part of NT's original design (from which XP is borne). Great example!
    -Mark

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