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group policy settings applying when not configured

Posted on 2007-12-05
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Last Modified: 2010-03-17
I've recently taken on a job managing an windows 2003 active directory environment and I've encountered something I think is a bit odd.  When I log on as the domain administrator account it appears to be massively locked down in that the desktop and taskbar is locked and only Programs and Log Off appears in the start menu.  This occurs when I create any new account and I can only disable the restrictions if I create a group policy in an OU and disable these settings.  But I don't understand where these restrictions are coming from because these settings are not configured in the domain policy.  So I can't do much for the administrator account because this is in the Users container which is not an OU.  Am I mssing something obvious here?  Is this normal behaviour?  When I use RSoP and GPMC all these settings are not configured.  I've even created a new OU, blocked inheritance, created a computer account and a user account and still the restrictions apply!
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Question by:davidmsolo
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CasUK earned 500 total points
ID: 20410249
It sounds to me like the default user account is locked down. The restrictions are probably locked before you start group policy - which is why it doesn't show up in RSoP.

When you create the accounts, are you doing this on one computer? If so, delete the user profile and try to create the account on another system.

If that is the problem, you could replace the default account by copying it from another computer system (C:\Documents and Settings\Default User on XP)
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by:davidmsolo
ID: 20410352
This didn't resolve the problem unfortunately.  I tried creating a new local user on a PC and when I logged in with that account everything was fine (i.e. all the icons on the start menu were there) and presumably any new local user accounts will use the default profile.  I then tried copying this local user profile into the default user, deleted the domain account profile I was using to test then logged in as this account.  It does not have a roaming profile so it should use the default user profile but everything was locked down as before.  I also tried previously setting up a PC from scratch rather than using our images and still it appears locked down.
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by:davidmsolo
ID: 20411365
You were right about the default user account being locked down.  But I've just discovered that you can set up a default user profile in the netlogon folder on the domain controller so every time a new user logs on they use this profile rather than the default user profile on the local machine.  I did not know you could do this!
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