Windows 2003, SBS 2003, Group Policy, change desktop background.

Posted on 2007-07-31
Last Modified: 2009-04-28
Windows 2003, SBS 2003, Group Policy, change desktop background.
Hey everyone. Can you help me find the GP where the desktop background is changed (or not). I have not been able to find this anywhere (if it exists).
Question by:dmcgovern
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Yes this can be done via GPO

    Administrative Templates -> Desktop -> Active Desktop ->

    Enable Active Desktop (enable)
    Prohibit changes (enable)
    Active Desktop Wallpaper (Path)

    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    I was doing this on a site before and found issues using Group Policy to do this.  In the end I used BGInfo ( through the network logon script.  You setup a BGInfo config file including specifying a desktop background then just roll it out to the PCs.  I have it in C:\BGInfo on all PCs and a background called say background.bmp.  With a bit of code in the network logon script you can easily roll out new desktop backgrounds etc. in this way.

    You will need to use Group Policy to prevent users changing their background.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Just in case you're going to use BGInfo here are some of the bits and pieces I use with it, some may not be relevant -

    To actually apply a saved BGInfo config file run the following command (can be done from a logon script for instance) -

    c:\bginfo\bginfo.exe C:\bginfo\configServer.bgi /timer:0

    To add a key to the registry so BGInfo gets run and updated every time the user logs in run the following command.  BGInfo can add info to your desktop background, like IP address, disk space usage, computer name etc.  Adding this registry key means this will get updated each time a PC/Server is restarted, otherwise the info would be out of date quickly -

    reg add "hklm\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /f /v BGInfo /t REG_SZ /d "c:\bginfo\bginfo.exe C:\bginfo\configServer.bgi /timer:0" >nul

    The following is what I have in the network logon script for the site.  It will copy over the latest version of BGInfo (eg. new Desktop background, new config file etc.), add the registry key and apply the BGInfo config.  It all happens in a couple of seconds so doesn't slow the login down -

    md c:\BGInfo
    xcopy "\\ntserver06\IT Admin\Software\bginfo\*.*" C:\BGInfo\ /D /Y /E
    reg add "hklm\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /f /v BGInfo /t REG_SZ /d "c:\bginfo\bginfo.exe C:\bginfo\configPC.bgi /timer:0" >nul
    c:\bginfo\bginfo.exe C:\bginfo\configPC.bgi /timer:0

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