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Screensaver settings via Group Policy

Posted on 2010-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,
All users on our 2003 based system have a 20 minute timeout on the screensaver which I cannot seem to change.

I have searched group policy in the AD and set all references under user settings/administrative templates/control panel/display that reference the screensaver to 'not configured' but users still have a greyed out 20 minute setting - even after forcing GP update and 2 days.

I'm not sure where else to look so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
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Question by:jerryhatt
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by:rockiroads
ID: 33607618
your looking at screensaver timeout right?
what about the registry
HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop look for ScreenSaveTimeOut
or HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop

though I would of thought it would be same as group policy editor
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
ID: 33607619
Run on one of affected workstations RSoP.msc and navigate to user settings/administrative templates/control panel/display and chace which policy name is assigned there. Possibly, some GPO sets it again. Then you would know which policy should be disabled to prevent Screen Saver settings.
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Author Comment

by:jerryhatt
ID: 33607719
Thanks iSiek,
RSOP shows me the settings are down to a GPO called companywide but I have already changed settings withing that policy but those changes are not being picked up.

I have ran gpupdate and gpupdate /force on one domain controller and client PC but to no avail.

There are several domain controllers on the network, could that be causing this issue?
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by:amclaughlin01
ID: 33607791
Do you get different results if logged in under an administrative or domain admin account?  Also, have you checked the event viewer for any errors that might be related to GPOs?  If there were any errors, they would be under the system log.
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Author Comment

by:jerryhatt
ID: 33607872
When logging on as admin there are no administrative templates as they are all set under a 'user's' group in AD. As admin I can change screensaver setting OK.

There are no errors in the log but there are notifications of group policy settings being updated successfully (not specific info on which settings).

I have forced gpupdate on all domain controllers and then on the client machine but it still has settings greyed out.

I have examined every GPO in the AD and none of them have the settings I am seeing when loggin into user's machines.
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by:farjadarshad
ID: 33609017
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Author Comment

by:jerryhatt
ID: 33609172
Thanks farjadarshad - those articles relate to configuring the group policy which I am OK with , it is just that either the GP is not updating or replication has an error as the settings when looking in GPMC differ from the settings passed through to the client.

I have logged onto each domain controller and viewed the group policy but cannot find where the problem lies.
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Krzysztof Pytko earned 500 total points
ID: 33609186
OK, it looks like your policy was defined for users and now you set those settings to "Not configured". Clients still have them configured :) Setting in GPO "Not configured" doesn't restore default settings : So, open that "companywide" GPO and navigate to Screen Saver options. Set them to:

"Hide Screen Saver tab" -> Disabled
"Screen Saver" -> Enabled
and the most important setting in your case :)
"Screen Saver executable name" -> Disabled

then run gpupdate /force on client(s) or reboot them and check the results. You should be able to modify those settings from Control Panel on clients :]

After some time you can change that GPO to "Not configured" when you be sure that all of your clients have received correct settings.

Hope it helps.
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by:rockiroads
ID: 33609202
Is it possible for maybe a login script to copy over GPO? have a look at windows\system32\grouppolicy maybe this has been set then this is copied over by some login script. just a thought.
I was looking at secedit but couldn't find screensaver options in there.
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by:rockiroads
ID: 33609249
not sure how windows\system32\grouppolicy works actually, just thinking maybe something in there might point to your troubles
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Author Closing Comment

by:jerryhatt
ID: 33609312
Thank you iSiek, it was indeed that setting the items to 'not configured' did not remove their settings on the client.

All working now! Thanks again.
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
ID: 33609352
You're welcome.
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