Thursday, August 15, 2013

A DeepFreeze Experience

Unusual to have more than one post in a week but I had a great learning experience today! We've been using DeepFreeze, some useful software, on our public computers for a year or so and found it made maintaining those machines incredibly easy. Any changes made get erased when the computer restarts, so no more time spent cleaning the desktop or files, removing saved passwords, worrying about viruses being installed. We were even able to schedule automatic Windows updates, saving more time! It's not perfect; I still have to manually update things like Flash, Shockwave and Java, but that's just an occasional morning and not as critical. It's easy to forget to "thaw" a machine before making changes, only to have them disappear at the next start-up, but after that happens once or twice you tend to catch on! We'd recommend it to anyone, and feel it is money well spent. So, we also had it installed on our PACs since people sometimes leave files or searches on those. This was done as part of a network analysis by the BTOP grant so I wasn't involved in the set-up or install. Now we're getting new PAC computers and need to reinstall DeepFreeze on those, using the same licenses. It took awhile to get the information (I have the Library's set of licenses but these are held by the State Library, and the BTOP folks have all moved on now that the grant is complete so no one was really sure who knew what!) but finally this afternoon I was ready to install DeepFreeze on our new PACs. The installation file I downloaded from the Faronics support site, associated with the licenses, turned out to be the Enterprise Console, a very useful version if you want to remotely control all your machines from a central location. It's how we manage all the library's computers. But for the PACs we just have each machine managed independently (and since I don't know if our Console version would match up with this one I wasn't going to mess around). I found where a desktop install file can be created - just what I was looking for! File created, Enterprise console uninstalled from this computer, restarted and DeepFreeze installed. Whew! Unfortunately thawing the machine was not an option - no password I tried worked. This is not good - it would be impossible to ever update or install something new! Moments to panic and wonder how to deal with this disaster. As I tell others, Read the Manual! I learned it's necessary to set the password for the Workstation installation file IN the Console program. Who knew? So, after re-imaging this computer (another lifesaving piece of software!) I began again. And, all's well that ends well. I set the password in the console program, installed the workstation file and was able to log in to DeepFreeze as usual. Just to be safe, I left the console program on that machine - no need to tempt fate! And, the license also was included so they are all good. Ready to set out new PACs in the morning!

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