Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Windows SteadyState

Share computers, not headaches

What state is your shared computer in at the end of the day?

  • Hard disk filled with downloaded files?
  • Strange options configured?
  • Programs installed that you don't want?
  • System infected with viruses and spyware?
  • Computer bogged down for unknown reasons?

Windows SteadyState, successor to the Shared Computer Toolkit, is designed to make life easier for people who set up and maintain shared computers.

An easy way to manage multiple users
An easy way to manage multiple users

You can manage whole groups of users as single user accounts. The new Windows SteadyState console makes it easier than ever to create and modify user profiles.

A locked-down platform for stable shared computing

Not every computer user should have access to every software capability. Your system can be more stable and consistent when you limit user access to control panel functions, network resources, and other sensitive areas.

Set it and forget it
Set it and forget it

Once you have everything set up the way you want it, you can share the computer and rest easy. Any changes a user might make to the configuration or hard disk can be undone by simply restarting the machine.

Windows SteadyState Installation Overview

The key to success with Windows SteadyState is to properly prepare your computer before installation. This section will help you perform the necessary pre-installation tasks.

Verify system requirements

Windows SteadyState works with genuine versions of Microsoft Windows XP with SP2 installed, including Windows XP Professional, Home Edition, and Tablet PC Edition. The hardware requirements are the same as for Windows XP, so any computer that runs Windows XP well should also be able to run Windows SteadyState. See the Windows SteadyState Handbook for more detailed hardware specifications.

Uninstall Shared Computer Toolkit software
Shared Computer Toolkit version 1.1 was the previous edition of Windows SteadyState. If any version of the Shared Computer Toolkit is installed on your computer, uninstall it before proceeding.

See how to uninstall SCT.

Optimize the PC
It is very important to defragment your hard disk before using Windows Disk Protection. There are a number of other steps that are also highly recommended, such as clearing out caches, histories, cookies, temporary files, and anything else that users shouldn't see. The idea is to clean out and update everything on the PC to get it in the exact condition you want it to return to every time it restarts.

Read the optimization checklist.

Install Windows SteadyState

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