Load a specific visual style using gpp on first logon

Posted on 2009-02-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello Experts,

I have a new Windows 2008 domain and I have written all GPO's in 2008.  I am trying to set the theme of the Windows XP machines to "Metallic" instead of "NormalColor" on the first logon.  I have created a GPO that uses a GPP Registry editor on the users node.

GPO > User Configureation > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry

I added a registry item that changes the value:

REG_SZ "ColorName" = "Metallic"

None of the common options are selected.

The registry setting does not work on the first logon, but when the user logs out and logs back in, the setting is then applied.  Is there a way to make sure that it is applied on the first logon without creating a new default user profile?  I really do not want to use a defualt profile and want to stick with GPO's.

Question by:completefear
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    by:Chris Dent


    Give this command a try if you can:

    RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters

    Because that should force a refresh. If that works for you, running it in a batch file may achieve what you need.


    Author Comment

    I ran the command, but it did not work.  When I checked the registry, my setting was not applied.  Or it was and the system overwrote it when it did the new user setup process.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    by:Chris Dent

    If you're creating a new user profile the template is HKEY_USERS\.Default, although I'd expect your policy to apply after the initial registry set has been copied and therefore still show the change in the registry.

    The command above it the one I use to fix, or refresh, the wallpaper should it be changed in the registry during logon. The theory being the application of the theme is done in the same way... maybe...


    Author Comment

    I have actually changed the .Default registry setttings and it is displaying correctly at the logon screen.  But it does not carry over into new users.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Two possible solutions come to mind (I suggest trying them one at a time before trying them both so you can let us know how it went):

    Try configuring the policy in Computer Config instead of User Config.  Computer Config should apply to the System and Default Users.  This means it should carry over to new users.  
    Additionally configure the machine policy for the theme instead of the current user policy:

    Enable the "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" policy:
    GPO > Computer Config > Administrative Templates > System > Logon > Policy


    Accepted Solution

    I found the solution, not the solution that I wanted, but here it is.
    You cannot load a visual style on the first logon unless you use a default profile.  No matter what registry entries I used I was not able to change the default profile.  So, In my image I made sure that I copied over the default profile I wanted using robocopy.

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