Group policy applies to Alice but not Bob, both in same group, policy applied to group
Posted on 2009-06-29
I have a Windows 2003 Server onto which I have installed Active Directory and created a domain named "streetworks.lbwf.gov.uk". The server is the domain controller for the domain and the domain is used exclusively for this server. The server's purpose in life is to be a terminal server to host a single application. I have created a single user named "sw" which is shared by a number of real users for logging in, because the application they use on the server requires them to log in and I didn't want to have to create lots of identical users on the server.
The "sw" user belongs to a group named "Streetworks Users" which is configured as a local domain / security group. I have a single group policy named "Streetworks Terminal Services Users" which is applied to the streetworks.lbwf.gov.uk domain with the "Streetworks Users" group added under security filtering. The policy locks down the desktop heavily. This environment works perfectly and the group policy is applied.
I now need a second user, "swtest" so that I can grant that user access to a different program that logs into a test database. I want that user to behave identically to the "sw" user, except I want a different shortcut on the desktop (well, ultimately I want to do away with the desktop and start the program as the user logs on). I have added the "swtest" user to the "Streetworks Users" group, but when I log in as "swtest", inexplicably, I get a normal user desktop - in other words, the group policy is not being applied.
I have compared the "sw" and "swtest" users tab by tab, field by field. They are identical except for things like the name, and the Remote Desktop Profile path, which is "D:\Remote Desktop Profiles\swtest" for the "swtest" user, and "D:\Remote Desktop Profiles\sw" for the "sw" user. I have copied the profile from "sw" to "swtest" to ensure they are identical.
I have deleted and recreated this test user several times both manually and by copying the "sw" user. I've deleted it's profile and allowed a default profile to be created. I've tried putting "swtest" in a user group of it's own and attaching that user group to the group policy object. I've even tried duplicating the group policy object and applying it separately to the separate new user group. None of this helps. I've had three colleagues spend looking at this including one who is very knowledgeable about Active Directory and we're all stumped.
The only clue I have that might point to an underlying problem is this: when I take the "swtest" user out of the "Streetworks Users" group, I am unable to log on as "swtest" - I get an error message saying I haven't been granted permission to log on to this terminal server, and that I should add the user to the "Remote Desktop Users" group. Both "sw" and "swtest" users are explicitly added as members of the built-in "Remote Desktop Users" group, so I can't figure out why the "Streetworks Users" group has access to Remote Desktop or why the "swtest" user's explicitly granted rights don't work. It seems as though the two problems might be related, but it could equally be a red herring.
All I want to achieve is having the group policy apply to two different users - I don't really care how. Any help would be much appreciated.