Public Access Computer Restart Software

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Madeleine's picture
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Anyone using software on their guest-accessible computer to reset the computer to 'zero' on restart. ie- to remove everything and anything the guest has downloaded, looked at, messed up?

I'm looking at Deep Freeze. Anyone else using it or something else? Real life experience with the software appreciated.

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Flower's picture
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We Love Deep freeze we have used it for 10 years. It is wonderful. You just have to remember to turn it off {deep freeze} every few months to up date your computer, It not hard then you  can instale all your up dates  then turn it back on [DF]  We just up dated all our guest computer and after 7 years we are buying a new program .It cost $35.50 plus tax to have the program. Cheap I say and wonderful program it is.

Every time the machine is turned off it automactic takes it back to square one.  one can down load any thing meaning guest ....  but when it is shut down it erase every thing they have done.  They cannot load any virus. or porn, If they did it will erase when they shut down the computer. So  the next guest will not see what they have done. It will be a fresh screen.

  JUST GOOGLE DEEP FREEZE SOFT WARE BY FARIONICS. opps sorry caps on now off I keep hitting caps button instad of shift DAH!

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Madeleine's picture
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Thanks, we looked at this one, even read a review from some blogger who tried to kill his computer and said it booted right back up no problem. We're doing a free trial on one now and will see how that works out.

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Here is a screen print, I can't attach it any larger on the forum. I will email it to you.  First section says UNDER THE HOOD, then select Proxy Settings and then BROWSING HISTORY and check the box to delete on EXIT.

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Madeleine's picture
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I don't want to work at this. I want to put the machine out there for guests and fuggedaboudit. Right now our guest computer is dead. Someone futzed with it last weekend and it's been getting worse and worse as the week progresses. So, that needs to be fixed and then I do not want to fix it again. Ever.

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Madeleine wrote:

I don't want to work at this. I want to put the machine out there for guests and fuggedaboudit. Right now our guest computer is dead. Someone futzed with it last weekend and it's been getting worse and worse as the week progresses. So, that needs to be fixed and then I do not want to fix it again. Ever.

Take a PC, create a guest account, set up the antivirus, do the updates. Install the Comodo software and take a snapshot. Let people use the guest account. And if need be, run the software to bring back the snapshot. It's like a time machine... it brings back how the system was set up previously. 

Or look at these commercial software packages.... http://techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/securing-public-access-computers-some-alternatives-to-windows-steadystate

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Madeleine's picture
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The ones I've looked at do that. Except they do it every time, automatically. I don't have to notice the guest account is hosed. Turn PC off at night, turn on in the morning, all guest crap gone. Happy innkeeper.

Thanks for posting all the links. I should try not to be so combative when someone is helping. Crabby innkeeper.

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Madeleine wrote:

The ones I've looked at do that. Except they do it every time, automatically. I don't have to notice the guest account is hosed. Turn PC off at night, turn on in the morning, all guest crap gone. Happy innkeeper.

Thanks for posting all the links. I should try not to be so combative when someone is helping. Crabby innkeeper.

I guess I don't really get this. If you have it partitioned and a "guest user" log in,  set the cookies and security so it doesn't save anything.  It is in the little tool bar thingy on up in whatever browser you select.

In the browser  - there is a tab called INTERNET PROPERTIES.  Under General, there is "delete browsing history on exit" there is also a page HISTORY "Specify how many days to store browsing history"

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

...set the cookies and security so it doesn't save anything.  It is in the little tool bar thingy on up in whatever browser you select.

In the browser  - there is a tab called INTERNET PROPERTIES.  Under General, there is "delete browsing history on exit" there is also a page HISTORY "Specify how many days to store browsing history"

How do you fix Internet Properties so a guest can't go in and change the cookies, security, and "delete browing history on exit" settings you've created? And all that just affects the web browser. There's a lot more somebody could do on the computer besides using the browser.

The Deep Freeze software sounds ideal for having a computer for guest use without worry of them messing up the settings or saving stuff you don't want future guests to run across. I have several old computers that still work fine, just outdated but would be pefect for guests to use just for some e-mailing and web browsing. This could be a nice amenity to add for not much cost (other than occasional tech support for guests who don't know how to turn it on).

I do think providing a printer could be nice, but also a lot of headaches. Printers just don't run trouble free as well as computers do. But they are handy for printing day-before boarding passes when you travel. Not all airports accept the passes e-mailed to your phone.

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Arkansawyer wrote:
I do think providing a printer could be nice, but also a lot of headaches. Printers just don't run trouble free as well as computers do. But they are handy for printing day-before boarding passes when you travel. Not all airports accept the passes e-mailed to your phone.

We have a printer attached to our guest computer and haven't really had any problems with breakdowns or abuse.  In fact, both our office printers need to be replaced but the guest one is still humming along.  Other than some stink bugs making their home in it this week, anyway.  We've only had one guest abuse the paper privilege and we buy the paper by the case anyway.  We don't get too many boarding passes printed but lots of people print directions to their next destination.  I'd rather them do it than me.

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Arks's picture
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muirford wrote:

...lots of people print directions to their next destination.  I'd rather them do it than me.

Nice to hear your printer service is going well. That's encouraging. Good thought about printing directions. Saves the innkeeper from having to do it for those who are computer literate enough to do it themselves.

You could even put some shortcuts on the computer "desktop" that directly bring up the more popular destinations in the area, your local restaurant recommendations, and a lot of other stuff that's currently in notebooks at most inns. For some people these days, having it on the computer is more natural than having it on paper in a notebook!

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Arkansawyer wrote:
You could even put some shortcuts on the computer "desktop" that directly bring up the more popular destinations in the area, your local restaurant recommendations, and a lot of other stuff that's currently in notebooks at most inns.

Yes, we already had those on our own computers so it was a simple matter to copy them to the guest computer. 

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If it were me, and I was buying this new laptop for guests I would buy the browser only like my mom recently got.  There is no pc, it is just a browser with screen and keyboard, it is nifty I tell ya! CHROMEBOOK.  Economical and very nice to use. (Can you tell I still want one for travel? and my bday is coming up...  )

You can set things on your machine via admin and passwords, no need to go into it here - we have two kids, we have total control.  Either LET THEM USE THE THING or not. Take it away...I think the majority who would use it at that B&B are foreign guests.

The last thing I would do is give our guests a pc to use. That's me and here. They can barely work out how to park in our parking lot. doh

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

If it were me, and I was buying this new laptop for guests I would buy the browser only like my mom recently got.  There is no pc, it is just a browser with screen and keyboard, it is nifty I tell ya! CHROMEBOOK.  Economical and very nice to use. (Can you tell I still want one for travel? and my bday is coming up...  )

You can set things on your machine via admin and passwords, no need to go into it here - we have two kids, we have total control.  Either LET THEM USE THE THING or not. Take it away...I think the majority who would use it at that B&B are foreign guests.

The last thing I would do is give our guests a pc to use. That's me and here. They can barely work out how to park in our parking lot. doh

J.B.  I totally agree with you.   In this day and age of smartphones and iPads,  just provide a Wi-fi connection.   Having a guest computer is just another piece of crap to contend with.  I think most of us have enough to deal with without adding technical issues to the mix.

Madeleine's picture
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Lots of people do use their phones and iPads, etc for connectivity. But this comes in handy for me, too. Walk-ins can be shown availability and pricing without me having to run back and forth to see what's open on what dates. And a lot of people don't travel with any kind of computer and they like that it's available. But, like phones in the rooms, it will be just taking up space in a few years but we'll have a pretty new computer for the office that way.

Madeleine's picture
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I'm still printing boarding passes for guests. The clever ones email them to me after they have saved them to the desk top of the guest computer. The not so clever ones give me their confirmation sheet and their cc so I can check their bags for them. It's the clever ones forgetting to erase their saved boarding passes that's annoying. A printer is going in when the lounge is reconfigured. Limited paper supply each day.

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

The ones I've looked at do that. Except they do it every time, automatically. I don't have to notice the guest account is hosed. Turn PC off at night, turn on in the morning, all guest crap gone. Happy innkeeper.

Thanks for posting all the links. I should try not to be so combative when someone is helping. Crabby innkeeper.

I guess I don't really get this. If you have it partitioned and a "guest user" log in,  set the cookies and security so it doesn't save anything.  It is in the little tool bar thingy on up in whatever browser you select.

In the browser  - there is a tab called INTERNET PROPERTIES.  Under General, there is "delete browsing history on exit" there is also a page HISTORY "Specify how many days to store browsing history"

Guests open crappy internet pages that download viruses then the guest leaves and the virus stays. They save stuff on the desktop that they think I will like. Not. So it's not entirely just getting rid of browsing history, it's also blocking pirated music and video downloading, and all the stuff the guest tinkers with to make 'their' experience better. We do have AV software and a separate log on for guests but it doesn't seem to stop the nonsense.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

The ones I've looked at do that. Except they do it every time, automatically. I don't have to notice the guest account is hosed. Turn PC off at night, turn on in the morning, all guest crap gone. Happy innkeeper.

Thanks for posting all the links. I should try not to be so combative when someone is helping. Crabby innkeeper.

I guess I don't really get this. If you have it partitioned and a "guest user" log in,  set the cookies and security so it doesn't save anything.  It is in the little tool bar thingy on up in whatever browser you select.

In the browser  - there is a tab called INTERNET PROPERTIES.  Under General, there is "delete browsing history on exit" there is also a page HISTORY "Specify how many days to store browsing history"

Guests open crappy internet pages that download viruses then the guest leaves and the virus stays. They save stuff on the desktop that they think I will like. Not. So it's not entirely just getting rid of browsing history, it's also blocking pirated music and video downloading, and all the stuff the guest tinkers with to make 'their' experience better. We do have AV software and a separate log on for guests but it doesn't seem to stop the nonsense.

the same place, go in and set the security. No downloading, set all the settings how you want them.

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 If it's earlier than Windows 7, there is Windows Steady State. The replacement instructions are http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/library/gg176676(WS.10).aspx?ITPID=sprblog

While it won't redo it at reboot, but you can make a copy of a state that can be restored using Comodo Time Machine. See instructions at http://csi-windows.com/blog/all/27-csi-news-general/214-free-replacement-for-microsoft-steadystate-on-windows-7-its-like-vmware-snapshots-for-real-machines

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