How to configure a default active desktop for all users on a computer

Posted on 2004-11-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a Win2K shop in a school, running Active Directory. I have computers in certain locations that are dedicated to certain functions, for example, in the library they're used to access the online library resources, and in the student lab they're available for general use of the students. Each student has an account in active directory.

I want to set it up so when a student logs in to a library computer, he automatically gets a special active desktop that has the library web page, and when he logs in to a student lab machine he gets a different active desktop with a different web page. Also, each location has a networked printer, and I want to have the nearest printer automatically installed when you log in.

I can see how to set active desktop in GP, but it's a user configuration, not a computer configuration. How do I do it per computer, for any use who logs in?
Question by:biblical
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Group Policies can be applied per user and per computer.  Create an OU for each location then put the computers in those OUs.  Then create a GPO on the OU to do what you want.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    "Group Policies can be applied per user and per computer. "

    Yes, this is true, but only settings under the comptuer config section will be applied....the user config settings won't apply to an OU of computers.

    In order to accomplish what you want...You can setup different security groups of computers based on your locatioins and apply GPO filtering by security group.

    Author Comment

    I tried what luv2smile recommended from, and it still doesn't seem to work. If only the computer is a member of the group, only the computer configurations portions of the GP applied when a user logged in.

    Any other ideas? Can it be done with scripts? I can run a login script as a computer GP setting, how do I turn on and configure active desktop with a logon script?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Maybe I'm not clear on what you're trying to do.

    You want:
    *All computers in each room to print to the nearest printer "for any use who logs in" - meaning NOT just students, but teachers, admins, janators, ANYONE.

    *You want ONLY students to get the "Library Desktop" or the "Lab Desktop", etc, when they log in to those locations.

    Is this correct?
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    I think that maybe you need to look at loopback processing of group policy. This is used to apply user configuration settings that are dependent on the machine a user logs in to, which sounds like what you're trying to do,

    Loopback Processing of Group Policy

    Deb :))

    Author Comment

    Thanks, Deb, that did the trick! I doubt MS could have found a more obscure way to do it, but it works.


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