What is Windows SteadyState?
You know, I was wondering the same thing! I came across Windows SteadyState last week when I was writing a tip for the Windows Vista parental controls, but at that time, I didn’t have a chance to look into it more. So, when I received this question in my e-mail Inbox yesterday morning, I knew I had to write about it right away! I’m sure there are several of you out there wondering what it is too, so we’ll just all learn together! After you’re done reading this article, I think you’ll have a better understanding of what Windows SteadyState really is. Let’s check it out!
To begin, SteadyState is mostly used with shared access computing. So, what is shared access? Well, it’s basically when one or more computers serve multiple users all from one location. For example, the computers in schools, Internet cafes, libraries and even in a few homes. SteadyState was created by Microsoft for the main purpose of keeping all those shared access computers running smoothly and without any trouble. Also, with it, the computers will stay the way they’re supposed to, no matter who uses them from day to day.
With shared access computers, you never know what sort of condition they will be in by the time everyone is done using them. Each computer probably has several users on it throughout the day and more than likely, each one did something different, depending on the type of work they had to do. So, by the end of the day, those computers could be filled with downloaded files, newly installed programs, the normal settings could be changed, there could be some viruses or spyware on the system and so on. Basically, a shared access computer is always filled with different items and it could be bogged down for various reasons.
Because of that, you need something that will be able to clean up those computers and get them ready for the next day. And that’s where SteadyState comes into play. With SteadyState, you’re given an easy way to manage multiple users, you can set in place a locked down platform that will make each computer more stable for shared computing and there’s even an easy way to keep all of your settings in place, meaning no one will be able to alter them.
Like I said earlier, SteadyState really comes in handy for certain locations, including schools, Internet cafes and libraries. In a typical day, the computers at those types of places will be used by hundreds of people. Luckily, SteadyState comes with a design that fits each of those locations the best. So, for example, if you’re managing the computers at a school, you can use the specialized part of SteadyState that works the best for computers in a classroom. Or, if you have shared access computers in your home (maybe you have one for yourself and a couple for your children), there’s also a special design in SteadyState for that. Each one really fits each location to a tee and it makes managing your computer so much easier!
So, how can you get SteadyState? Well, I will give you that information in a second, but there are a few things you’ll want to do before you install it on your main computer. First, you’ll want to double check the system requirements. SteadyState only works with Windows XP with the SP2. It works for XP Professional, Home and even the Tablet PC edition. Now, you may already be using a utility called the Shared Computer Toolkit, but you’ll want to upgrade to SteadyState, as it is the newer version. You’ll want to uninstall the Shared Computer Toolkit first as well. You will also need to defrag  your computer before you install SteadyState. That’s just to ensure that your computer is optimized and ready to go.
When you’re ready, you can click here to install SteadyState. Just click on the blue Download Now button and follow the directions. It will bring up a wizard for you to follow and it’s not that long of a process. For more information on everything we’ve discussed today, you can visit this Web site. It should answer any additional questions you may have. Once you have SteadyState installed, you’ll be all set and ready to go with your new shared access computers. Check it out today!