Configure New Clerk Computers?

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
emmett
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby emmett » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:34 pm

I did my first PC upgrade, and I decided that once all downloaded files put them on a stick (memory) mls and Sophos and chrome, and cutepdf and openoffice and to save time for downloads i mean like an hour to 2 hours each setup :)

I am also checking the printers, because the printer we had on the first one will not update and run with win7, so if the others have the same printer FMGroup will send me replacements even before setup and this will save aggravation for your bishops and clerks.

**One Question any advice would be helpful*** Sophos will not update properly, should I simply uninstall and re-install? :confused:

bfromm
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby bfromm » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:43 pm

emmett wrote:Sophos will not update properly, should I simply uninstall and re-install? :confused:

I setup a new computer about a week ago, and I had similar problems. I asked the product manager over Sophos at the Church to get a new installer created and posted. For now, right-click the tray icon, tell it to update, wait for everything to finish, and then reboot. After logging back in, go through the same process and reboot. I did this a handful of times and everything finally caught up. I haven't had any problems since. I hope it works for you, and long term they can get a new installer posted that works better.

jirp
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby jirp » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:37 am

I just went through installing a downloaded image on a Dell 580 windows 7 system because of a corrupted version of sophos/windows that couldn't be fixed. It was a real pain.

First off I am going to suggest a change in procedure from the church directions. They tell you to enter the computer name, user name and password and security question and what to enter for each of those. Instead for these steps I am going to suggest you only give the computer name and user name and leave the password and security question blank. The reason is you are about to do 20 to 25 reboots of the computer during this install so you don't want fight with that password. If you leave it blank in windows XP and in 7 the computer reboots completely skipping the screen asking you for user name and password and booting directly to the desktop. So instead leave it out for now and after you get everything up and running go and put the password and security question in through the users/admin section of control panel. The end result is the same but it is faster and easier this way.

Now I ran 2 complete install cycles at the same computer. The first one while I learned took about 8 hours. The second one with every file and program possible on a thumb drive and an exact plan still took 4 1/2 hours. This isn't a fast operation.

Now if you follow the church directions when you start trying install sophos things will start going wrong. The problem as best I can tell is that windows is a long ways from being up to date enough to run sophos so it can't install properly. Normally this would mean you simple start cycling through windows update and reboot cycles till you get windows up to date. Windows needs to update about a dozen cycles of update files and reboots before sophos can install successfully. The problem is that when the church had windows update rerouted that it doesn't work that way. The manual update mode when used will tell you connecting and then lock up and sit there indefinitely saying connecting. You will have to use crtl alt del and end task to stop it. The automatic in the background update mode does work but it is slow. About every 15 to 45 minutes it finds new windows updates and asks for a reboot. If you waited all of these cycles out this would probably let you do this without crashing sophos. The other answer is just to keep trying and cycling both sophos and the automatic windows update and you can hammer through the errors by simply repeating till windows is up to date and sophos has installed correctly. The church ideally needs to fix the manual mode so it works correctly or they need to improve the drive images so they are closer to up to date.

The first error message installing sophos crashes the program.(error( group name could not be found)) The first time I encountered it I thought it was because it turned out the windows firewall is on in the image. The second time I made sure this was all off before trying sophos. It did change my error messages through the cycle.(there may be other reasons for the change I will explain shortly) So I would say the next step after getting the desktop for the first time after installing the image before doing anything else is to go turn the firewall fully off in security.
The second error happens either way also and is SWC plugin failed to intialize. From here on the error messages changed a little between the 2 runs.

So for now if I were going to try again I would change the reccomended order of operations. Install image then to kill time while waiting on the automatic up date for windows(icon will pop up in the task bar icons when ready to reboot) I would begin by installing directories and setting up windows. Then I would sort of work backwards through the programs. Be aware here that open office won't install early either because of a problem with the C++ driver files.(sophos has the same problem in early installation) Which ever one of these programs you try early and fail at will freeze the other one out till the install can be completed on the first program. Once the easy programs and all setup was complete I would go into stall mode simply watching for the windows update reboot icon and repeating till it was done showing up. Then I would try following the church directions from there for sophos and MLS. My second run I used the delay to get a couple of windows update cycles done before I tried to install sophos. This may account for the change in error messages. But once I started installing sophos and getting errors I again simply hammered through failed sophos installs and windows updates with reboots for each until I got things running.

Now on the first run when I had sophos in and windows up to date and I found the next problem. I couldn't use the clerks printer which is an hp 1320. It turns out in the updates that the church version of windows provides that isn't included in the drivers. Next step was to go to the HP site and download the driver only that doesn't work. HP site checks and finds it is a windows 7 computer and tells you that driver is included in windows to get it from microsoft. Since that isn't possible I tried downloading the universal HP printer driver. That I could do. But it wouldn't correctly run the 1320 printer.(gahhhh) So after a bunch more hunting I found a link in windows to the windows update site that the church had failed to screw up. I went there and found that it had 100+ critcal security updates listed as well as video and printer drives and the MS malware removal tool. Here is where I went wrong on the first install session. I debated knowing it might screw something up but decided to install it all. Well this destroys the links to the church security in the proccess. I could have done a system restore probably at this point but I had so many screw ups that I simply decided to start over with the drive image from scratch. I would turn the fire wall off and prevent that error and I wouldn't try to install open office while sophos was pending and everything would be good and it would be far faster. Wrong! The second run was where I figured out the problem was windows being to out of date for sophos to install.

Okay finished the 2nd install and I still need a driver. This time I only selected the video and printer drivers from the updates and installed them. This was fine and didn't hurt the church security stuff. The path to that working version of windows updater that connects you to microsoft is Computer from the start menu. When that screen comes up right click a blank area and select properties from the menu that comes up. This will give you the screen with your computer stats.(maker, board, drives, memory and so on) In the lower left corner is a link to windows update that they didn't screw up that lets you got to microsoft. So you can get missing driver files this way. Just be very careful NOT to download any security updates while you are here or you will wreck the church security and automatic update stuff.

In all it was an expensive time wise operation. Spent about 11+ hours on the phone with LUS techs trying to fix the sophos problem. Then add about 5 hours of researching the sophos problem myself. Then another 4 to 6 hours backing stuff up and bringing the drive image in and writing the drive image on my home computer since the church's firewall prevents accessing the drop box location where they store the drive image. Finally 12+ hours getting the computer image installed. These kinds of needed times to fix things are silly. Basically 30+ hours blown to fix the problem. More than half of this was wasted time that could be fixed simply by improving the system. Hope this helps someone else avoid some of the problems.

drepouille
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby drepouille » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:33 pm

Sounds about right. Silent Sophos installs are quite frustrating.

I must confess that when I install images onto FHC computers, I do it at home, where I have a DOCSIS 3 cable modem and 50 MB download speed. That trick probably won't work with admin computers, especially if I have to download Windows Updates from the Church servers.

Another trick I use when I install a new image onto an existing system is that I remove the old hard drive, install a spare drive (I have several at home that I have from old Church computers and then wiped clean), and install the image onto the spare. When all is done, I can copy all the user files from the old drive. When I am satisfied that all is well, I then wipe the old drive clean. I suppose I could then copy the spare drive back to the old drive if I thought it was warranted.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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johnshaw
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby johnshaw » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:09 pm

STS time and effort are not figured into the instructions we receive. STS must determine how much time and effort they are willing to put in and do the work accordingly... make sure that your Stake President knows just how much time and effort goes into your support work.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:12 pm

jirp wrote:In all it was an expensive time wise operation.

How fast did the Sophos updates go? When I did that a little while back it was "start it and go home". Or, at least go do something else for an hour. The download took far longer then it should have for the amount of data.
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aebrown
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:59 pm

jirp wrote:In all it was an expensive time wise operation.
...
These kinds of needed times to fix things are silly. Basically 30+ hours blown to fix the problem.

Fixing problems can certainly take a lot of time. It sounds like you spent over half the time on approaches that were ultimately a waste of time, since you ended up reimaging anyway.

But it can go more smoothly. Earlier this year I set up 8 new computers in less than 15 hours. That includes all the required software, plus several other applications, and all the Windows and Sophos updates, plus restoring the data. (A fair amount of that was done in parallel, so the average of 2 hours per machine is admittedly a bit misleading.)

It would be nice if it were easier than that, but it didn't seem outrageous to me -- when I get a new computer, I certainly spend far more than 2 hours getting it up and running, so averaging under 2 hours per computer didn't seem too bad.

jirp
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby jirp » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:32 pm

johnshaw wrote:STS time and effort are not figured into the instructions we receive. STS must determine how much time and effort they are willing to put in and do the work accordingly... make sure that your Stake President knows just how much time and effort goes into your support work.


I wish I was STS because then I wouldn't be juggling. My stake doesn't have such. I am the ward clerk and I am solving this as well as being ward clerk + ward broadcast person + unofficial ward tech support. And if I don't get it fixed then I am back to doing my ward clerk calling with pencil and paper is my incentive to get it fixed once I started. It is also incentive to get it right. I will talk to my bishop about purchasing a 32 GB memory stick to do a drive image on with the software and data now installed as future prevention. I may buy it anyway out of personal funds if he disagrees. The current hard drive is just over 33 GB in use with everything installed but I think if I clean the sample movies, pictures and music off as well as cleaning unused themes out of windows I can probably get it down to where the drive image will fit on a single stick. If not then it will be a bunch of dvds.

russellhltn wrote:
jirp wrote:In all it was an expensive time wise operation.

How fast did the Sophos updates go? When I did that a little while back it was "start it and go home". Or, at least go do something else for an hour. The download took far longer then it should have for the amount of data.


The sophos downloads were easy. The LUS techs nearly all commented on how fast they were on my system. It is still a 20+ minute operation but wasn't bad. Installs of sophos not working took only about 10 minutes. If I ran the uninstall program then used windows to remove the auto updater the install took 30 minutes but still didn't work. A complete install cycle of sophos clean was taking 47 minutes for the first run and progressively less for the next 5 or 10 runs while windows got up to date enough to allow sophos to actually install. The last error run before sophos actually installs only takes about 5 minutes Here is the lessons learned on Sophos during this go round. https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=15236&start=20# see post #29 in case anyone is interested.

Sschuman
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby Sschuman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:13 pm

if you are going to restore an image from a USB drive, check your computer to see if it supports USB 3.0. Most of the newer clerk computers have at least one USB 3.0 drive slot. The others slots can be 2.0. Buy a USB 3.0 stick. You will be amazed at the difference in time. copying 12 Gig to a 3.0 drive and stick took 10 minutes instead of 55 minutes.

This can speed up your Image restore and etc.

note that the 3.0 slot has an additional mark next to it.

russellhltn
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Re: Configure New Clerk Computers?

Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:19 pm

Sschuman wrote:note that the 3.0 slot has an additional mark next to it.


3.0 can usually be identified by blue plastic on the inside of the connector. 2.0 and below is the standard dark gray. There should also be a "SS" next to the USB logo for "Super Speed". Check both front and back. I've seen one early 3.0 computer with the fast ports only in the back.
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