This chapter is about user accounts in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Objectives important to this chapter are:
This chapter is about Windows users in a business environment, not users at home. Users cannot log in to a Windows environment (a workstation or a network) if they do not have an account.
When a workstation is installed, Windows automatically puts in two accounts:
Several groups (lists that users can be placed on, and rights and permissions assigned to) exist by default:
When a user logs on for the first time, a user profile is created on the workstation they used. This saves information about them and what they do. For instance, if the user runs Internet Explorer and sets some favorites, they are stored in their user profile. Other user of the same workstation will not see those favorites in Internet Explorer.
You can view user profiles on a PC by going to My Computer, Properties, Advanced, User Profiles.
When you create a user account, there are some rules that should be remembered:
When a user gets a new computer, their files and profile should be copied to the new machine:
There are several ways for a user to open a command prompt window. The text recommend clicking Start, Run, entering cmd, and pressing enter. When in that command prompt window, you can enter any DOS command you are familiar with. For the sake of those who have never used DOS, follow this link to Computer Hope's web page about DOS commands. Students should review basic commands such as: dir, del, copy, cd, md, rd, attrib, xcopy, chkdsk, and format
On a command line, commands and filenames are composed of letters, numbers, and specific symbols. Some symbols cannot be used in filenames because they have a special purpose. For example:
Task Scheduler is a Windows utility to schedule a program, a script, or a batch file to run at a particular time on regular basis, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or at log on. It is notorious for being a bit touchy, so be careful how you decide to use it.
Group Policy is a rule or set of rules that are applied to groups of network users or computers. In Active Directory networks, group policies can be set up for different groups to provide access to resources or to prevent access to them.
The Start Menu can be controlled from the properties of the Start button. You may never have right-clicked the Start button. Go ahead... try it. (It is easier to access these properties this way when the task bar is full of icons and task labels.)
The text suggests that you can control what programs appear to users by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Open All Users. I think you should select Explore All Users, instead. If you do, you will get a much clearer idea that you are looking at the Start Menu property of the All Users profile. (This profile applies to all users of the computer you are working on.)
XP provides two utilities for remote communication and assistance:
The text turns to the topic of hard drive support. Over time, all hard drives need some maintenance. As I was preparing these notes, I noted that my hard drive was almost full. I followed several suggestions from the text:
The text describes some problems that come from the way file systems work:
When a hard drive is getting full and you cannot remove data from it, you may want to consider data compression. You can compress a single file, a folder, or a volume.
If you are using NTFS, you can set a quota for each user, which limits the amount of data they are allowed to save on the drive.
Backups are recommended by all texts, but users rarely address the issue. A backup is a copy of a data or software file that you save in another place. The text offers tips for creating backup and recovery plans:
Four backup strategies, or schedules, are often encountered. You should know them. First some terms:
This needs more explanation. Assume we use a tape drive to make backups. In a Full backup strategy, the entire target is backed up to tape every time we make a backup tape. This strategy consumes the most time and the most tapes to carry out a backup. To restore, we simply restore the most recent tape(s). This is the least time consuming strategy for restoring, but the most time consuming for creating backups.
The second method, Incremental backup, means that we start with a Full backup of the target, and then each successive backup tape we create only backs up the elements that are new or changed since the last backup was created. This means that successive backups will not always be the same length. Therefore, this is the least time consuming backup, but the most time consuming restore. To restore, we must first restore the last Full backup made, and then restore EVERY tape made since then, to ensure getting all changes.
The third strategy, Differential backup, also starts with a Full backup tape. Then each successive tape made will contain all the files changed since the last Full backup was made. This means that we will have to restore only one or two tapes in a restore operation. If the last tape made was a Full tape, we restore only that one. If the last tape made was a Differential tape, we restore the last Full tape, then the last Differential tape.
In both Incremental and Differential backup strategies, you will typically use a rotation schedule. For example, you could have a one week cycle. Once a week, you make a Full backup, then every day after that you make the other kind you have chosen to use: Incremental or Differential.
To keep them straight in your mind, remember that:
The time required to create backup tapes should be considered along with the time to restore a backup. When you consider the two concepts as two sides of the answer to a question (What method should I use?), the answer may be the most common choice: Differential. It is the best compromise in terms of backup time versus restore time. Note also, that all three standard methods require a full backup on a regular cycle. The recommendation is usually to run a Full backup tape weekly.
Whichever backup strategy you use, you should consider keeping one set of backups in secure location at your site (handy and protected) and another set in a secure location at a distant site. Consider the potential disasters that could occur at your location (fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, vandalism, etc.) and decide how to protect your backups and how far away the other sets should be.
Some troubleshooting suggestions are offered at the end of the chapter. Students should review them, and consider them in terms of other troubleshooting techniques they know.