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Microsoft Windows Student Labs as Bulletin Boards

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We have adopted the strategy to use Computers in Student Labs as the bulletin boards. The same target can be achieved by using a Login Notice feature in Group policy but it’s not as attractive as graphical wallpapers with message which grabs the attention of the users. As said “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Secondly, people treat the windows logon message as a regular notice and ignore it always. We cannot force them to read and it never displays or highlights the new message thus does not help in grabbing attention of the user. Further the network group policies do take some time in loading the policies and profiles so try to rely less on them for such small things.

The process is fairly simple and you do no need any third party software other than sharing a folder on your computer and group policy editor.

How it works:
Share a folder on your computer with permissions that everyone can view that folder and share the wallpaper you want to display on remote computers.

Manual Process:
Click Start - Goto Run
Type: gpedit.msc
Group Policy window will open
Goto User Configurations --- Administrative Templates -- Desktop -- Active Desktop
Click Active Desktop Wallpaper and Select Enable
Under Wallpaper name
Give full path to the shared wallpaper
e.g \\computername\wallpaperfolder\wallpaper.jpg
Press okay and exit group policy editor

If you are using imaging technique in your labs, just deploy the modified image and as soon as the computer will restart it will fetch the wallpaper shared on your remote computer.
If you want to change the wallpaper simply create new wallpaper and replace it with this one making sure that you are not changing name or extension of the wallpaper.

Via Active Directory:
If your student labs are connected to the domain you can change the above mentioned settings on Active Directory and it will be updated on all computers.

Goto User Configurations --- Administrative Templates -- Desktop -- Active Desktop
Click Active Desktop Wallpaper and Select Enable
Under Wallpaper name
Give full path to the shared wallpaper
e.g \\computername\wallpaperfolder\wallpaper.jpg
Press okay and exit group policy editor

Tips:
Please make sure that the wallpaper created is not too heavy to load on remote computer
Check if the wallpaper file has the required permissions to be views by everyone
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Author:shahzoor
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