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How does Deep Freeze work?


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#1 Post-It Note

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 22:53

Deep Freeze ( http://www.faronics....ADA/product.asp ) is a program that prevents changes to a hard drive. You can do whatever you want to the drive, but when you restart it will return the disk to its original state.

It does this without partitioning, taking up extra space, or having another hard drive to image across. Anyone have any ideas or theories on how it works? I'm going to install the trial and see what I can find out.


#2 vetColin-uk

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 22:57

maybe it keeps a compressed version somewhere? :unsure:

#3 mzkhadir

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:15

ThawSpace
Deep Freeze Professional has the ability to designate a portion the hard drive as “thawed” for permanent storage. ThawSpace can be set anywhere from 16MB to 2GB. Save documents and favourite Internet sites by mapping My Documents and Favourites to ThawSpace.

#4 OP Post-It Note

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:22

I'm just going to say that it's a secret how it works, so going through the website is not very helpful in finding out how it works. I'm looking for how YOU think it works.


Anyways, I've installed it and started testing it out by deleting things. (of course I imaged my drive beforehand.)

#5 pmh

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:23

Yeah, I'm also interested in this.

#6 OP Post-It Note

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:25

I've delete an entire Software regedit key, and I managed to right click->delete my recycle bin. :o. Now let me restart...

Yup.. No problems. I'm going to thaw, make a really big file, freeze, and see what happens when I delete it.

#7 Another_Paul

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:29

Deepfreeze is awesome for public/school computers! I have been using it for several years without any hitches. Standard will "freeze" your whole hard drive preventing any changes you after rebooting. If you have multiple harddrives you can pick and choose which ones to be "frozen". Professional will let you have a Thawed folder that will allow changes to remain the same. But the catch is that you have to buy a minimal of 10 copies of Professional instead of just one.

It's only like a 5 meg install, I have no idea how they do it! Maybe something keeps track of all the changes and reverts to the original state after it reboots.

#8 pmh

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:51

I always just thought it "imaged it" but it did it into a locked file of somesort. Oh well, I have no idea.

#9 vetJohn

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 23:54

It installs its own disk driver for each of your hard drives I noticed. I believe this is key... But I haven't been able to crack it yet. Uninstalling the driver doesn't work :(

I was able to stop the DeepFreeze process by gaining SYSTEM priviledges through a very sneaky method :shifty: (which is now blocked with SP2 :pinch:)

As much as I played with it, I couldn't break it :/ Though I'd like to try again sometime...

#10 pmh

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 00:12

How were you able to stop it gameguy?

#11 The Burning Rom

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:23

I'm not sure how it works, but I know the program itself is a pain in the arse to work with. I worked at a college that had it running on around 800 student computers. And it can get quite annoying. One of the newer versions goes into what we called "hardening" mode...where the icon in the taskbar disappears after the machine has been on for a certain period of time. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 reboots to get it back too :angry:

What mzkhadir was talking about..."thaw space"...is a new feature of deepfreeze which allows you to designate a "partition" for deep freeze to create, which allows you to save files in, and reboot without loosing them. The only downside is when deepfreeze is uninstalled, you also wave bye bye to your thawspace and the files it contained. I sure hope they changed that in the newest version.

It's a program I'd avoid if I could. But in some situtuations (like at the college), it's one of those things that you just have to deal with.

#12 Solarix

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:26

alright managed to mess around with it on my test system, and no matter what i do IT WONT STOP!!!!, this is one amazing piece of software

#13 _tux_

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:30

so if you basicly go in and do a full format and then format over that it will still work? :p

*goes to try in virtual pc*

#14 Callaway

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:35

It's a fantastic program for Windows. We use the console/enterprise version in our public labs extensively at UNLV. Essentially, as long as a user can't boot to a floppy or cd-rom (lockdown the bios), it's flawless.

Want to delete Windows directory? No problem.

Want to download a few trojans? No problem.

Want to download a virus that will infect the MBR? No problem.

Soon as the workstation reboots, reverts back to the previous settings. You can set up multiple passwords, onetime passwords, mainteanance times, and if you have the console installed, you can remotely thaw/freeze workstations with a click of the mouse (or run programs / install updates).


It kicks @SS!

If you need help, send me a /pm. I would encourage ALL Windows system admins to invest in Deep Freeze.

#15 Callaway

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:38

I'm not sure how it works, but I know the program itself is a pain in the arse to work with. I worked at a college that had it running on around 800 student computers. And it can get quite annoying. One of the newer versions goes into what we called "hardening" mode...where the icon in the taskbar disappears after the machine has been on for a certain period of time. Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 reboots to get it back too :angry:

What mzkhadir was talking about..."thaw space"...is a new feature of deepfreeze which allows you to designate a "partition" for deep freeze to create, which allows you to save files in, and reboot without loosing them. The only downside is when deepfreeze is uninstalled, you also wave bye bye to your thawspace and the files it contained. I sure hope they changed that in the newest version.

It's a program I'd avoid if I could. But in some situtuations (like at the college), it's one of those things that you just have to deal with.

No offense, but you don't know wth you're talking about. The thawspace has been around since for years, and you don't even need it. All it is is a temporary partition which is created before Windows loads where changes can be made that will not be erased. It's much easier and faster for the workstation to simply create a logical partition and set that drive letter as unthawed or not frozen.


As for the icon, you can choose to have the icon show in thawed / frozen or not at all. Most admins will set it to display when the workstation is thawed, so that a quick peek at the desktop will tell them somoene forgot to lock the station down.