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Changes Applied to a Managed Nexus Workstation

Introduction

Windows 7 and 8, as they come out of the box are often changed. Computer vendors apply value-added utilities and customize the look-and-feel of the operating system to optimize the experience for their clients. IST has done the same thing for PCs in Academic Support departments. Many changes are made for security reasons, others are for usability. This document attempts to:

  1. Inform clients as to what changes have been applied to their workstations and

  2. Provide technical assistance for those wishing to apply similar changes themselves, or
  3. Help you decide to agree to have these changes applied to your workstation.

Changes Applied by System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

SCCM is an important part of our infrastuture now. It has a presence in several faculties and is very important in Academic Support. Among other things, it is used to deploy:

  • Software

  • Updates

  • Patches

It is also used for:
  • Auditing

  • Software Metering

  • Antivirus delivery and monitoring

  • ...just to name a few.

The heart of SCCM for the client is the "Software Center". This is accessable from the managed workstation "Start" menu, whereever the SCCM client is installed. Go there and have a look at what may be advertised to you, and see what has been applied to your workstation.

Changes Applied Remotely by Group Policy

It is desireable to apply policies remotely, whenever possible, because:

  1. It is a fast easy way to apply a change to large groups of PCs

  2. It reduces concern that some PCs may not have some settings applied

  3. It provides consistency for clients

To view the changes that affect a workstation when it becomes “managed” click:

 Quick Summary of Remote Policies applied to a managed Nexus workstation.

Detailed View of all Remote Policies

  • For complete details of everything applied, from a workstation point-of-view, see: Nexus Workstation Policies
  • Some policies are applied for the protection of the client. Others are applied for the protection of the organization. When a client’s workstation is violated, it often affects more than just the workstation. In an attempt to avoid this it is asked that all workstations in Nexus be subjected to this list of Mandatory Policies.
  • For a variety of reasons some clients wish to manage the workstations they use themselves, with as little outside influence as possible. However, if you are interested in the details of what has been applied to a workstation within a fully managed OU a list of all Optional Policies Applied to Academic Support OU’s has been provided.

Changes Applied Locally to an Academic Support Workstation

Not all changes can be applied by domain policy. Others are important enough that they should apply whether-or-not the PC is connected to the network. This Quick Summary List of Changes lists most of what we modify locally on a workstation in Academic Support in Nexus before delivering the PC to the department.

Detailed View of all Changes Applied Locally

For a complete listing of all changes IST applies to an Academic Support workstation, for security and usability reasons see the document entitled: How to Configure Your PC to Academic Support Standards.

Windows XP (out of the box) Concerns and IST Basic Changes Applied

Lastly, these links are included for completeness. Windows XP has its share of security concerns. This web page identifies some of them. It also graphically displays a few of the more basic usability changes we’ve applied.

To see some of the Concerns IST has with Windows XP Out-of-the-box, click here.

  • To visually see how we’ve changed the following, click below:

    o        Taskbar

o        Desktop Layout

o        Start Menu and

o        “My Computer” layout

References

 

Created by: Manfred Grisebach. July 29th, 2005. Updated December 12th, 2014