Home page GPO not working properly!! Please Advise!!

Hello All:

This one has been driving all of us crazy here so hopefully someone has some insight on this:
We have loaded or image master machines from scratch with Windows XP SP2 & all security updates. The machines also have other basic software like Office 2003 & Norton AV, nothing really special. We have user group policies tied to students that once they login, their default home page is set to a particular college web page. This is where the problem lies…. When a user logs into the machine for the 1st time their, profile loads with no issue and all policies apply. They launch their IE web browser and they get an MSN setup page with a URL of http://renounce.msn.com/en/renounce.asp. If they refresh the page or re-open their browser they get the proper home page that is set in the policy. However every single user that logs into the machine for the 1st time will get this http://renounce.msn.com/en/renounce.asp. I have triple checked the GPO and it is set and applying with no errors, we have scoured the registry to look for this URL to change it to the proper home page that we want one with no luck.  We have removed the MSN software from the machine as well thinking that it had something to do with this issue. When we look at the IE properties of the home page for the user before launching it there is an entry of the correct URL which is grayed out indicating that a policy is applied. This is the same URL that we set in the GPO. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!!
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While building the image, you may want to open the file homepage.inf and set the "First Home Page" to your preffered URL.

Ref - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=289902

If you have *already* built the image, a small REG or VBScript to change the "First Home Page" during user logon will help. Place the script at Runonce.

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Hard to say why the policy isn't applying the first time.  One thing you could do to work around this is to configure a Default User profile with the home page set to the page you want.  This way, when the profile is first created it will default to the home page you want.  You can setup the Default User profile in on your XP workstations or copy it to the NETLOGON share on your DCs (assuming you are running NT/AD).  Upon first logon, the user's profile will be created from a Default User on the NETLOGON share if it exists.
FlaglerCollegeAuthor Commented:
Thank you both so much. This was driving me a little crazy and I knew that there had to be something. I will give the article recommendations a try tommorrow (Tuesday). Thank you again!
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Windows XP

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