As Martin and I have said before (here, here, here and here), the problems in the lab in terms of its ability to handle embedded media in web pages is a thorny one. Simply uninstalling Sanako stuff does not have the desired effect, so I built the spare lab machine (ex-Casper) with a clean install of Win2K (not without a power failure at 98%, though! Power failures at that point in an install, by the way, are difficult to recover from.).
After doing all the updates and only installing WMP9 I tested all the sites (CTV, CBC, CNN & BBC) and had no problems. Chuffed, I went back to each in turn to try again. This time CTV froze the machine. After waiting several minutes to see if it to recover I rebooted it. I then went back to the sites and had no problem with CNN, but CTV froze the machine.
Adjusting the collection of cookies seems to have some kind of effect but it isn't reliable enough for me to say that it can be resolved. The worst offender seems to be CTV, though, so I guess we could just tell everyone not to use it.
I also installed Firefox and got very similar results (turn off cookies and things seems to be better, but not reliable enough).
The machine I built is on my bench, and is set up to use channel 4 on the KVM if someone wants to play with it. The only account on it is Administrator. It's updated, but no AV or firewall.
Long story short, we're at the very end (maybe a wee bit past) the end of the line with these machines (or the OS on them) and I think it boils down to this:
1) Do we tell instructors that using websites with embedded media is likely to freeze the machine, and we can't support the machines for that use?
2) Do we install XP ($6000 approx.) and start fresh? I'm pretty sure that the machines will handle XP as I ran XP on a less robust machine with no difficulties. That said, it was before WMP10 and 11, service pack 2 etc. so no guarantees.
Obviously these are questions that can't really be answered by me, so...