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Disable Windows XP Tour

All,

I am trying to disable the Windows XP tour balloon from popping up the first time I log into a machine as a domain user.  I have tried all the registry settings (RunCount=0) to no avail.  My issue is when I log into any machine for the first time as a new user (to create the profile) the 'Welcome to Windows XP Tour" icon is in the system tray and I must click on it and select Cancel to have it disappear.  I want it to NOT show at all when a new user logs in.  Is that possible or not?  Please let me know what I need to do.  All machines are running Windows XP Pro SP2/3.  We are using group policies and login scripts in our environment.  
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changjia
Asked:
changjia
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8 Solutions
 
jcimarronCommented:
changjia--I think the pop up is default for the first three times you use XP after an install or it seems based on your experience when you create a new user.  You have done all you can.  It should stop after the third time.
Uninstalling the Tour is not recommended as it is a System Folder/Files.
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mail2prabirCommented:
Hi

I'm assuming you are familar with the process of adding an a new ADM to Group Policy.  Here is the link to an ADM that will block the exact thing you are talking about:

http://www.gpanswers.com/downloads/tourism.adm

If you have trouble reading it for some reason, here is what the contents are supposed to be:

     CLASS USER
     CATEGORY Nuisances
     POLICY "Disable the Windows Tour"
     KEYNAME "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Tour"
     VALUENAME "RunCount"
     VALUEON NUMERIC 0
     END POLICY
     END CATEGORY

Just a few tips to make sure you are adding the ADM right, remember that while you have the GPO editor open, right click on "Administrative Templates", and click "Add/Remove Templates".  It should show up as a folder "Nuisances".  Note that you must change a filtering setting for the policy to become visible.  Click View > Filtering, and Uncheck "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed".  Note you must do this EVERY time you open the GPO editor, there is no way to make it save this setting.  So if your problem is that you cannot see the policy, but can see the folder that is why.  If you are having problems making the policy apply or importing in to the editor, tell me and I can help you troubleshoot that.
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rindiCommented:
You could create a custom XP installation CD using nlite. Using this tool you should be able to disable the tour feature.

http://nliteos.com
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your comments.  Just so you all know I thought the tour would show up 3 times no matter what as part of XP.  I also did already try that custom ADM template but it didnt seem to work for me.  Is that supposed to remove it completely or just after the three times?  Rindi, I have not tried the nlite route as this is not a critical issue but more of an annoyance.  I will look into that though for future for sure.  
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mail2prabirCommented:
Hi


you have to edit the group policy of the OU of the computers where you want the tour disabled or as a part of your default domain policy.

after installing the adm template make sure that you force the gppolicy update by

start->run->gpupdate /force

check the eventviewer of the clients to be sure that the group policy update has been applied.

i had similar problem in my setup and the group policies worked
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
OK so right now I do not have any policies on the default domain policy.  I created a separate OU and within that two 2nd level OU's for users and computers.  What exactly do I need to setup in GP under the Default Domain Policy?  
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mail2prabirCommented:
Hi

assuming that you have windows 2003 server and the computers OU has the computers where you want to disable the tour.

one option is to edit default domain policy by using the tool available in administrative tools or alternatively you can apply the custom adm policy in the parent OU which contains both user as well as computer OU.

revert back in case of any problem

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changjiaAuthor Commented:
OK so I can create the custom ADM template and apply it on the parent OU and then which group policy settings do I need to change to disable the Tour?  Under computer configuration or user?  Sorry I just want to make sure I have all the steps down and I know all the specifics.  So first I need to create the custom ADM template and then add it to the parent OU.  Then I need to change the group policy settings on the parent OU by going where in gpedit.msc??
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mail2prabirCommented:
just install the adam under administrative template. it would enable the policy. the adm template has the setting enabled.

and donot forget to force updation of group policy

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changjiaAuthor Commented:
OK so create the custom ADM and then install it under parent OU>Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates?  Thats all I need to do then?  I thought I tried that before but I never got it to work.  I feel like I am missing something else.
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mail2prabirCommented:
OK right now, i am not in front of my server.

does the user setting show administrative template section?
if yes then install it there and force update.,

else wait till tomoro, i shal write you the detailed steps after verifying it on the server
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
Both the computer configuration and user configuration have an administrative templates section.  I just didnt know which one I should install it under.  Within the adm template you specifiy "CLASS USER" so I dont know if it should then go under User Configuration.  I just tried creating the custom template and it is giving me an error message on the last line.  It says "Found: CATEGOR Expected: CATEGORY".  I have everything spelled correctly so I am not sure why I am not able to import it.  Any ideas?
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
mail2prabir:

Just to give you an update I created a custom ADM using CLASS MACHINE not USER.  I imported into the Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates under my Computers OU.  I also add two lines to my login script to add HKCU and HKLM\SW\MS\CurrentVersion\Applets\Tour keys.  It definitely sets the right value for RunCount when I first login as a new user, however, the XP tour prompt and icon does show up for the first time when I log in.  I do not know if there is a way to suppress that all together and never have it come up.  But the wierd thing is that after a little while the icon does disappear without my clicking on it.  So maybe it is working???  I just thought the effect would be instant but maybe the login script needs to run and we need to log off/on to apply the changes.  Any thoughts?
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
I am still not able to remove the XP tour popup from showing up the first time a new user logs in.  Any other ideas?  I am still wanting to give out 500 points for the expert who can help me resolve this issue.  My goal: To eliminate ALL TOGETHER the "Welcome to Windows XP Tour" pop up from EVER appearing in the system tray when a new user logs in.  I want the script to disable it from ever showing up.
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changjiaAuthor Commented:
Looks like the reason why the prompt keeps coming up is because the tourstart.exe file is a protected system file.  How can I unprotect the file so I can delete it?  I think if I can do that then the Tour prompt should never appear.  
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jcimarronCommented:
changjia--Try Unlocker.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4660.html
Other ideas here (read all the way through)
http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/778/access-denied-how-to-delete-protected-or-spyware-files/
It may be well to backup your system before you do this, since uninstalling system files can cause problems.
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