I have about 30 XP/Vista occasionally connected laptops on a simple network (no domain) and would like to push out the contents of a folder that exists on one of the PCs on the network to a specific location on each laptop en masse. If possible, I would like to have each laptop "request" the update every time they connect to the network. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
It sounds like you have no management tools for these machines? A domain is a fairly good way to manage machines but it's not the only one. Assuming you don't have any other tool like ZENWorks, etc, then there is no automatic way to do anything.
Answer: You can configure each machine to have a startup script, or each user account on each machine to have a login script. But: that has to be configured manually on each machine, and any changes to it will have to be done manually on each machine. Additionally, you'll need to allow anonymous access to the share that contains the file(s) you want to distribute.