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Lockdown Workstation?

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New Member
Nov 15, 2002
Aberdeen, Scotland
My employers run a 'drop in' centre where visitors (known as 'members') are given free access to the Internet via a standalone PC running Windows 98SE and a dial up connection. Unfortunately, a lot of these members are young men with the knowledge and desire to 'fiddle' with the PC. Recently a member brought in his own software and loaded Windows XP whereupon the PC curled up its toes and died. I had to format the hard drive and re-install from scratch. The rudimentary security feature of disabling the ability to boot from a floppy and passwording the BIOS was circumvented in no time and a 'quick & dirty' fix of physically removing the floppy and CD drives is now in place. The latest episode saw someone load a program that recorded keystrokes so that all passwords were captured and then load a program that denied access to us! I see another format coming on.
What we want to achieve is that the PC boots straight into IE and doesn't allow the user to run any other program. Ideally, we would also want to prevent members from downloading anything from the Internet as well.
Whilst researching a possible solution I came across reference to the Zero Administration Kit (ZAK) which can be used to set up a 'Taskstation' which basically turns Windows 98 into a kiosk.
ZAK seems to be only available in a network situation.
Any ideas?
Unfortunetly Win98 is more the problem than the solution. You're going to have to depend on a third party program in order to do this.

Seeing as I know none off the top of my head I can offer these tips that may or may not be of help/use.

Run 2000 or XP. That was you can assign a default logon for the "visitors" and you can lock down what they can and cant do with security profiles that are pretty simple to setup.

If he plans on sticking with the 98 (which is probably better as your going to get "visitors" that can't handle 2000 and XP) then make a clone cd or a clone image on a different harddrive. That way if someone does screw the machine up, he can have it restored back to normal in a matter of minutes.
Well, my solution won't stop them from installing programs or tinkering around, but it will make your job easier.


DeepFreeze is a program you install on a computer once you have it running exactly how you want it to run. Then it is protected. You can delete files, install programs, do anything you want to it, even format it. A simple reboot will return the system to exactly where it was when you installed the program. You make a diskette when you install it, so that you can disable the protection to install a program and then re-enable it.