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Basic Staff PC Setup

  1. Install WinXP, Create ITS account
    1. If necessary, install XP Pro. Either boot from the CD, or start it from Windows and it will reboot. (We often buy machines with XP home since they are cheaper and we've already paid for a site license to XP Pro).
    2. During install, set a password for Administrator if prompted. Ask staff which standard password to use. DO NOT just make one up! This will also be the ITS account password, which gets set later.
    3. If promted to create user accounts, create an admin account named ITS. Leave the password blank to save typing during setup, but set it at the end.
    4. When Windows install is complete, log on to the ITS account and set the following properties:
      1. Right-click to get display properties, and set the theme to "Windows Classic".
      2. In Display Properties, Desktop Tab, set the desktop color to ugly dark red to remind us that this is the admin account.
      3. Click the "Customize Desktop" button, and turn off the desktop cleanup wizard. Show the desktop icon for "My Computer", and hide it for "Internet Explorer".
      4. In control panel>System>Advanced, click "Performance Settings" and turn off grapic effects that slow the user interface: fading of menus, smooth scrolling of lists.
  2. Update Assets Database
    1. Put a metal Bard College at Simon's Rock tag on the system and collect system data.
    2. For now, email all this stuff to skbohrer. Eventually we'll have a database where you can enter it.
    3. Record the tag number, user name, and machine data.
    4. Record MAC addresses for both wireless and wired ports (from a command window ipconfig /all)
    5. Record serial number or (Dell) service tag number
    6. If the computer is one of a kind, record processor, hd size, RAM size, + CD/DVD capabilities. (If it is part of a bulk order, we already have that data)
  3. Install software
    1. Install Thunderbird and Firefox. Set them to be the defualt browser and mail programs.
    2. Install Office.
    3. Install Filemaker 6 if needed. Key number is on the CD. Org name must be "Simon's Rock College"
    4. Install Java runtime environment, which is necessary for WebFocus.
    5. Install other userful software: Acrobat reader, PrimoPDF, SSH.
    6. Install Spy-bot (do not enable Tea-timer during installation).
    7. Install F-Prot, download latest F-Prot updates, and Set F-Prot automatic scan to run weekly.
    8. Go to ControlPanel>Add or Remove Programs. Select the "Add or remove Windows Components" icon at the left and uncheck MSN Explorer, Outlook Express, and Windows Messenger. Click "Next" to have it uninstall them.
  4. Network Setup
    1. Open My Computer window. Choose menu "Tools>Folder Options...", and then the "View" tab. Uncheck "Simple File Sharing (Recommeded)"
    2. Turn of Windows File Sharing, which is on by default: Open Control Panel>Network Connections, select a connection, right click and choose properties, and uncheck file and printer sharing.
    3. Write down the MAC address and get a staff member to manually netreg the system. (If you know the intended user, write down their user name for the staff person as well.)
    4. Plug in a network cable.
    5. Run Windows Update.
      1. Click the link at the right to install "Microsoft Update" instead.
      2. Update everything until it can't find any more. It is often necessary to run windows update, reboot, then run it again to update the previous updates.
  5. Create the user's account
    1. Set a password on the ITS account to the same as you set on the special Administrator account during the initial setup.
    2. Create an account for the user, and make it admin for setup. Log out of ITS and into the user's account.
    3. Set the display properties as for the ITS account, but don't make the background ugly red. Do remove any wallpaper that advertises the computer vendor. (We already bought one. We don't need the ads!)
    4. Set up Thunderbird with the user's SRC email address, IMAP with SSL. (If you do not know the username, do not set up mail, as it is harder for the user to change a spaceholder name than to set up an account from scratch.)
    5. Add printers if you know where the computer will be located.
    6. If the user has an existing system, transfer their data to the new system.

PC Network Security

Be sure "Simple File Sharing" is off.

Turn of Windows File Sharing, which is on by default: Open Control Panel>Network Connections, select a connection, right click and choose properties, and uncheck file and printer sharing.

When giving the user the machine, have them create a logon password. Accounts without passwords can be vunerable online if they ever turn on file sharing.

PC User Settings

Most files in the user's home folder, C:\Documents and Settings\username. (Again, this name may not match the login name, as the directory is not renamed when the account name is changed.) Set Folder Options>View to show hidden files when exploring these directories.n [Except on old (Win98) systems, there is no "Documents and Settings" folder, so many of these folders are in \Windows.]

In this folder, Username's Documents is the user's "My Documents" folder, which contains their "My Music" and "My Pictures" by default, and Desktop has their desktop items.

  • IE Favorites are in home\Favorites.
  • Firefox and Thunderbird settings are in home\Application Data\(Firefox or Mozilla)\... and also in home\Local Settings\Application Data\(Firefox or Mozilla)\... . Copy these four folders to the same spots on the new machine to move all their settings.
  • Outlook Express: Open the Tools dialog, and press the File Location button to find the directory where all the files are. Copy this directory, and use the same proceedure on Outlook Express on the new machine to find where to to put these files. NOTE: Once the stuff is on the new machine, use Thunderbird, or (if the user insists) Outlook, to import the files from Outlook Express. Then remove Outlook Express.

Dell Laptop Ethernet Note

Many Dell laptops have a power saving setting that shuts off the ethernet port if the laptop is on battery and not connected to a network. This leads to confusion when the laptop is unplugged from the network, moved, and plugged back in, as the port will have shut down.

Open Control Panel > Internal NIC Configuration, and select "Always activate on battery"