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What is a good way to manage user accounts for a Windows 7 Media Center PC that is part of an entertainment center for a family? Each family member keeps most of their personal stuff on their own computer.

I was thinking the simple approach would be to create an admin account for management and then just create a "Family" user account w/o a password that is the default account used by the media center. This account would be used for the PVR, playing blu rays, music, etc. I don't think it is practical for someone to have to log in every time they use the media center.

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Great question. I've XP, Vista & now Windows 7 machines and have never gotten the user account permissions to work for me in the way i think should be possible. – Lunatik Dec 1 '09 at 14:45

What you suggests sounds like a good idea - I would take it a step further (depending on your other equipment).

Map network drives that are read only (use permissions at the hosts) for all your media, password protected shares so that everyone can view their own saved data from their machines.

On top of this, you may want to take a look at Windows SteadyState which I think may save you some time in the future.

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no steadystate for windows 7. – Molly7244 Dec 22 '09 at 15:31

my advice for "family computers" is to freeze the machine in its pristine state with DeepFreeze (not free but it is the best software of its kind).

partition the drive, install OS and software, move the user folders to another partition (then deepfreeze ONLY C:!) so they can save files, playlists, favorites, etc.

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