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hello everyone i recently decided to take on a "big" project (big for me at least). A friend of mines is opening up her business and asked me if i can network all her computers and i said yes. Thought it would be fun plus i can gain some experience since I'm planning to major in the CIS field. Well here is the scenario:

  • She has 4 workstations and 1 server.
  • The 4 workstations will be used for word processing. 2 out of the 4 will be able to connect to the internet.
  • All four will be saving their work on the server's hdd

I'm thinking of implementing deep freeze so when the users log off everything is erased. That way i can get the virus and any other headaches out of my way.

My questions are:

1) Do you guys recommend ghosting? How does ghosting work? What software do you guys recommend for ghosting? Can i ghost the computers so when i want to install one piece of software they all get it installed at the same time?

2) Do you guys recommend Deep Freeze? Can Deep Freeze be used on Vista Machines?

3) Would i need to buy a switch to get all computers on a lan and then port those 2 computers that get internet through the switch to the router?

4) Do you guys recommend i run the server on a Ubuntu/Linux OS or Windows?

Any help would be awesome, i am very excited yet scared because i have never done this and it's a bit overwhelming. Thanks guys!

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Last Post by Docktor D
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Sort of. Ghosting lets you image a hard drive. However you will run into problems if the machines have different hardware configurations and if you are using retail versions of windows you will run into activation and licencing issues.

if you only have 4-5 machines just use nlite or vlite to make an up to date install disk. Saves you downloading lots of updates/

What windows OSes would you run? Xp? Vista? Server OS? 2003? 2008?

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the workstations are going to be running vista :( and as for the server it comes with vista installed, but i dont know what to do since it's my first time doing this. I'm either going to install server 2008, xp or use linux. Which is the best as for as putting limits on the users. I belive thats the group user policy?

The workstations have all been configured the same, so there shouldn't be any hardware conflits if ghosting, the only thing is the windows licensing and activation. So i guess ghosting is a no go :( i just wanted a tool so that when i install a software it goes to all workstations instead of me having to go one by one installing the software. Is Nlite the solution? Since i am running vista on the workstations i think they released a vlite.

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if you want to setup active directory, policies, roaming profiles etc... you must buy windows server 2003 or 2008. They are both quite expensive (and you need to buy CALs too)

With vlite you will still need to install the software youself but you can integrate sp1, hotifxes etc...

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Norton ghost is pretty straight forward and easy to use. you can install all the programs and software then ghost the pc, as Jb said hard ware must be the same to a great extent and u must use a XP profesional with Volume license.

as for the server side, i suggest you work with some thing u are more familiar with, and not so expensive. you need to also let this person know it is not going to be a cheap task, in terms of software and hard ware that will be required to make this possible. as for the 2 computer going on the internet you can 1 either setup a proxy server on the server or just block port 80 for the computer that do not need to go online.

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if you want to setup active directory, policies, roaming profiles etc... you must buy windows server 2003 or 2008. They are both quite expensive (and you need to buy CALs too)

Since i am currently studying and majoring in the CIS field my college has a problem/agreement with Microsoft so i get Server 08 free so that's not much of a problem, but...what are CAL's?

So there is no way i can set restrictions and such on the ubuntu server?

Plus there is no way i am getting Norton Ghost. Like you said above there are only 4 computers.

One more question, would it be too difficult to make only 2 out of the 4 workstations have internet access while still accessing the server? I heard this would be a pain and maybe couldn't be done?

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you are forbidden from using those free academic copies for commercial use. CALs are client access licences.

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Thank you for emphasizing that point and making it clear to the others that you can not use a student copy of any Microsoft given software for commercial use. I myself agreed to Microsoft's terms when i signed up and therefore know exactly what i am doing. It is simply a home network and a non profit organization involved. I simply referred to it as a business to make it easier to explain.

Thank you all for all the help you gave. Ubuntu Server Edition is going to be the Operating System that is going to be installed in the server. I will install this with Samba to make my network work properly and efficiently. Thank you once again for everyone that helped me out to get a better understanding of things.

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Samba is extremely limited with regards to policies though.
Sambas functionality level is about that of windows NT 4.

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We'll the only reason im not going to use server 08 is because i heard that windows vista home edition won't be able to connect or have some problems. I have not looked into this myself, this is just what i have heard.

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I am a bit confused here - if it is a non-profit, it is still legally a business, so no, your client can not use a student edition. The school has the license agreement with MS, not you.
Having gotten that off my chest, I would agree about ghosting - it is useful, and not that hard to do, but if these are merely workstations, as you said, as opposed to networked individual PCs, then there is no point of ghosting them - all the data should be on the server anyway, and of course you should have that set up to backup daily.
Deep Freeze is a great program, but might be overkill.
If you laid out more specifics about the business - how many employees/volunteers would use the PCs, some idea of the type of work done and/or software used....

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I am not going to use any software provided by Microsoft that was given to me by my school so you don't have to worry about that.

As i said above...there will be 4 workstations all they will be doing is simply using open office to type up some documents and saving it onto the file/printer server that i will be using. Backing up will be done off site.

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I am not going to use any software provided by Microsoft that was given to me by my school so you don't have to worry about that.

As i said above...there will be 4 workstations all they will be doing is simply using open office to type up some documents and saving it onto the file/printer server that i will be using. Backing up will be done off site.

Hi
Just a quick note to help with the software issue go to
www.techsoup.org if you are a registered charitable or non-profit organization you will get Server 08 for about $75.00 US with 5 CALS
Office 2007 Pro $20.00 per license
If you are in Canada make sure you use the Canadian Website
there is a redirect on the US site. Please understand you are allowed to buy once every 2 years so make sure you get what you need in one order. You can also get other software like Adobe
Symantec etc. Equipment too
Hope this helps

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