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common desktop

Posted on 2004-10-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I want a group a user to use the same desktop & start menu, is there a way to configure this through active directory GPO.

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Question by:Diane_Bourdages
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by:zamoti
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Do the users have roaming profiles?
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by:luv2smile
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Please explain a little more. Are you looking for a way keep users from changing specific things relating to the desktop/ start menu? For example, on specific computers I have group policy set so that the users cannot change any desktop display settings such as the background color or screen saver.
Or do you want them to not be able to change any desktop related settings? These are settings of a user's profile. Are your users currently using local profiles? Local profiles live locally on the computer. To better mange and centrally store a users profile you can use roaming profiles (which live on the server). Manadtory profiles are a type of roaming profile where any changes made to the desktop are not saved when the user logs off.

Here's an article on mandatory profiles

 http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/policy/policy/mandatory_user_profiles.asp
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by:zamoti
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You might be able to get away with setting up a PC the way you want and they copying the profile to a shared location.  Once you've got it set, make a login script that copies your template profile into the "all users profile."  

xcopy /s /y \\server\share\profiles\*.* \"documents and settings"\all users

Or something like that.
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by:Yaroslav_Buzko
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As soon as the Desktop and Start menu folders are set in the registry, I assume you can set a common folder for all users either through GPO or by a network login script with a REG-file.
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by:Diane_Bourdages
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I'm using roaming profiles with a very strict strategy for this group of users, I also want all of them to use the same desktop.
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by:luv2smile
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Then use mandatory profiles (see article above) to lock down their profiles so that only administrators can make changes. That should accomplish what you are looking for.
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by:luv2smile
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by:Diane_Bourdages
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I need to know if there's another way besides using mandatory profiles.
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valicon earned 125 total points
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Yes there is another way.  You can redirect both the desktop and the start menu through GPO's.  This would give you the same start menu and desktop for all of your users affected by this GPO.  If you look under User Configuration > Windows Settings > Folder Redirection you will see two folders, Desktop and Start Menu. In your case, I would create a sharepoint on the server with read only access for the group of users who will be affected and full control for one admin that can change the Start Menu and Desktop.  This way no one but the admin can make changes to either one.  Next right click on the Desktop and Start Menu Folders and on the Target tab choose basic-redirect everyones folder to the same location and in the Target Folder Path type the path to the sharepoint we created.  Hope this helps.  Good Luck!
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by:valicon
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You truly believe my answer was a 'C' grade solution?  I am somewhat baffled.  :S
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