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Locking icons in Windows 95

Posted on 1998-12-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I knew how to do this in the Windows 3.x days, but how do you Lock down the icons with a clean installation of Windows 95?  I'm wanting it that when a user boots up, that they are not able to copy, move or delete the icons, thus keeping the desktop the same each time the computer is freshly booted.
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Question by:khanson
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760207
Poledit (Policy Editor,not normally installed - you can find it on Win CD at \Admin\Apptools\Poledit) - File - Open Registry - Local User - Shell - Restrictions - Don't save settings on exit.
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by:khanson
ID: 1760208
I am aware of Policy Editor, however was hoping not to have to go that route.  Two questions:

If I use Policy Editor, when it prompts me to save the file, where do I save it in order for it to go into effect?  I have tried using PolEdit in the past and was unsuccessful.

In windows 3.1x days, there were two ways to accomplish this task.  You could either use a [restrictions] section in progman.ini and then list the actual restrictions, or you could make the corresponding group file a read-only file.  I thought that I read somewhere where this could somewhat be done in the Windows 95 OS.  Especially wonder since when you use the Upgrade Windows 95 over Windows 3.x it incorporates those restrictions into the upgrade.  I have one computer that I used the upgrade versus a clean load and have not been successful in turning it off (guess I should have turned off prior to the upgrade).

Any further suggestions would be most helpful.
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760209
"If I use Policy Editor, when it prompts me to save the file, where do I save it in order for it to go into effect?"

Just save it - it modifies the registry by default.(Or try to close it without saving - it will ask you if you 'Want to save the changes to the system registry').Poledit is nothing more than a menu-driven registry editor.


"You could either use a [restrictions] section in progman.ini and then list the actual restrictions,"

Win9X's registry incorporates the functions of Win3.X's Progman.ini.If you make the modification I mentioned in my first post,you'll find the familiar 'NoSaveSettings' in the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/Explorer.
 
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by:khanson
ID: 1760210
Bless you!  I'll try and see if I have success.
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by:kayton
ID: 1760211
You can also change the properties on the icons to read-only without going near the registry!
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by:BurridgeIT
ID: 1760212
Coo they do love the complicated stuff here don't they? - why not just right click on the desktop - then go to Arrange Icons then click auto Arrange.

Much simpler and easy to change!

:o)
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760213
BurridgeIT - please note what khanson is trying to accomplish:
"that they are not able to copy, move or delete the icons"

khanson - you should reject that answer if it isn't what you were looking for.

To all responders: The usual protocol around here is unless you have a dead-bang right-on 100% surefire answer from the git-go,post it as a comment to avoid tieing up the question and wait for the questioner to verify it worked.THEN re-post it as an answer.
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by:BurridgeIT
ID: 1760214
Sorry  MATTCEI (I'm rushing through again) I meant to  click comment. Apologies all round :o)
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760215
Khanson - you there?
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by:khanson
ID: 1760216
BurridgeIT,

Thank you for your answer, however I'm rejecting it as it does not address locking the icons so that the users cannot delete, move, or copy them.

MATTCEI,
RE:
      From: MATTCEI
      Date: Sunday, December 13 1998 - 03:33PM PST
      khanson - you should reject that answer if it isn't what you were looking for.

      To all responders: The usual protocol around here is unless you have a dead-bang
      right-on 100% surefire answer from the git-go,post it as a comment to avoid tieing up
      the question and wait for the questioner to verify it worked.THEN re-post it as an
      answer.

I'm also new around here so I'll keep this in mind...

Also, apologize for my delay in responding to the responses.  Am doubly tied up getting ready for the holiday at all.  Happy Holidays to all!

Guess I'm still hoping for the answer of how to tie down the icons within Windows 95 without the use of PolEdit.  Have tried making the icons read only, but have seen no change in the effect of the icon.  Any further suggestions?  If PolEdit is the only way in Win95, that'll have to be it.
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760217
You could use Regedit to manually add the String Value:

NoSaveSettings 0x00000001 (1)

to the aforementioned key - but keep in mind this is the same thing Poledit will do.
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by:sureshmovva
ID: 1760218
Hi Mattcei,
  I tried Ur solution, I am sorry It did not work, Suggest something else.
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760219
Which suggestion,and what didn't work?
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760220
RE:  You can also change the properties on the icons to read-only without
going near the registry!  --  I tried this and Windows 95 seems to ignore that the files are read only.  Nothing changes.  I can't believe it.  That never happened in Windows 3.1x.  I tried changing them to read only via the dos prompt using attrib and via Explorer.

Also, since am having no success with read only files, went back and tried PolEdit.  After using PolEdit it requires you to save the file.  The default place on my systems (have tried several different computers) is the CD-ROM where PolEdit is running from (and we all know you can't save it there!).  I have tried saving it to the C:\Windows subdirectory, c:\Windows\system and to the C:\ root.

Help!!!! <crying out for a simple solution>

This is the last and final thing I need for setting up this new DIALIN computer for my users and really want to make it a stable environment.  At this point if I can just figure out how keep the users from deleting, copying and moving the icons properly and successfully with Policy Editor I'll be happy.

P.S.  I'm not just wanting NoSaveSettings but the old EditLevel=4 under [restrictions] in the old PROGMAN.INI file.  It was not a well known restriction, but one of those "secrets".  There were four edit levels where 4 gave the most restrictions.

Thanks for all your help thus far.
--Karen
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by:MATTCEI
ID: 1760221
I was wondering about those questions on saving the file with poledit - didn't occur to me that you were running it from the CD.It's meant to be INSTALLED and run from the HD.To do so:

Control Panel - Add/Remove Software - Windows Setup - Have Disk

Browse to the Poledit Directory on the CD,select both of the offered .Infs

Run it from the hard drive (from the menu,or just Start - Run - Poledit).No more 'Where do I put this?" questions.


As for the rest of those restrictions,I'll get back.
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760222
Mattcei,

Thanks for your suggestions.  I think I am on the right track, but am still not totally successful.  I was able to install PolEdit with no problem.  Thanks for the advise of the install.  I was not aware of that.

The problem still remains that it does ask for a location to the store the *.pol file.

I've gone back and enabled the User Profiles to be "enabled" (thinking that that might have something to do with it), but am still not successful in getting the system to recognize the restrictions.  Aaargh.  Have you been successful with this?

The first time I attempted to use the poledit without saving it as a file (making the changes to the default user and computer I had a lovely experience of locking myself out!  So, I guess I'm not far from success.  :-)  I had to reinstall poledit.

After I'm successful with establishing the policy believe that I could make the *.pol file a system/hidden file?  Do you uninstall Policy Editor leaving the file in place?

I'm getting ready to leave the office for the evening and will try a few more experiments this evening.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760223
Mattcei,

Well, I guess I'm on the right track.  I'll probably have to go ahead and invest in the Windows 95 Resource Kit and hopefully it will come with some documentation.

My experiment worked a little bit when I logged in as a particular user and then created a user named the user which was logged in.  The settings didn't work for that, however when I tried to open the Registry, the settings for the Local User were set for that particular user that was logged in.  I guess what I'm not understanding is the purpose of naming a user other than the local user.

Since, however I was somewhat successful we can close this unless you have some other further suggestions.  Please repost your suggestions as an Answer.  I really Really REALLY appreciate the help.

Thanks,
Karen
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by:sureshmovva
ID: 1760224
Hi Matteci,
I tried Ur Regedit solution, it did not work
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MATTCEI earned 20 total points
ID: 1760225
I'm mystified as to why you're getting this grief with Poledit.I've used it many times and not had any questions about where to save the changes.Did you load the 'Group Policies' along with Poledit? (you have to check both boxes).How about manually editing the registry? (see 2 previous posts)
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760226
re:  I'm mystified as to why you're getting this grief with Poledit.I've used it many
   times and not had any questions about where to save the changes.Did you
   load the 'Group Policies' along with Poledit? (you have to check both
   boxes).How about manually editing the registry? (see 2 previous posts)

I'm having problems with poledit because obviously I haven't figured out what I'm doing yet!  :-)   I got into work this morning and my Supervisor login had a very strange bootup! <he he>  Of course, I did get it back to normal.  Again, I'm on the right track.  I'll set up that darn DAILIN when I came back from vacation.  I should set it up as an NT station as that is a much stabler environment!  But, alas my users want it to be Win95.  Oh well...  Hope you and yours have a wonderful Holiday.  Maybe we'll chat again on another issue...
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760227
Well, the DIALIN computer project got canned for a llllong time and has just resurfaced.  The company did some serious growing and that became a total low priority.   Have completed the project, however, at this tim EXCEPT for the last and final step of LOCKING DOWN THE ICONS.  I know that I've seen this accomplished in Windows 95, however it was after upgrading from Windows 3.1x where that machine had  "EditLevel=4" under [restrictions] in PROGMAN.INI.  That computer system is long gone and there are no other upgraded Windowx 3.1x computers to compare.  I did go ahead and use PolEdit for many of the other restrictions.  Has anyone out there found this "secret" since ages ago?
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Author Comment

by:khanson
ID: 1760228
Well, the DIALIN computer project got canned for a llllong time and has just resurfaced.  The company did some serious growing and that became a total low priority.   Have completed the project, however, at this tim EXCEPT for the last and final step of LOCKING DOWN THE ICONS.  I know that I've seen this accomplished in Windows 95, however it was after upgrading from Windows 3.1x where that machine had  "EditLevel=4" under [restrictions] in PROGMAN.INI.  That computer system is long gone and there are no other upgraded Windowx 3.1x computers to compare.  I did go ahead and use PolEdit for many of the other restrictions.  Has anyone out there found this "secret" since ages ago?
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