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Win7 - Use GPO to set different User Account Picture at logon-screen

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
At our company we are going to migrate to Windows 7 next year. One of the things we would like to do, is to display a specific picture for each user that log on to the system.

Users can set their own user account picture but we would like to set it to the photo of the user. This needs to be done through GPO when the user logs on.

I found out that the picture information is stored in "c:\programdata\microsoft\user account pictures\" and is called domain + username.DAT (eg. MYDOMAIN + MARK.DAT).

I am able to create a script that during logon of a users copies a specific file to this location but how do I create this DAT file? If I open it in a picuture viewer it is not a picture file.
Has anybody else had this challenge and how did you deal with it?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:u795696
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 34118478
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by:u795696
ID: 34119302
Ermm, no I did not see that article because it discusses the change of the LogonUI Background. Something completly different..... I need to change the User Account Picture for each separate user
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The_Kirschi earned 75 total points
ID: 34119724
Yes, you're right. Sorry for this.

The .dat file is not the picture itself but a file that has multiple info about the users' profile. The user picture actually is a bmp file.

Maybe this will help you:

I'm running server 2008 (with all the extra GP items for Vista, requiring the client side extensions installed on each maching).  I use the User Settings->Preferences->Windows Settings->Files, I'm using a central location as my source, and destination is C:\Users\%Username\AppData\Local\Temp\(Domain)+%Username%.bmp where (Domain) is your network Domain.

Found at: http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/32256951/force-user-account-picture-wgroup-policy.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Lee Osborne
ID: 34130446
Just for information, I do exactly the same as @The_Kirschi, although with a slight variation on the file locations.

My user.bmp file is copied from the central share to c:\programdata\microsoft\user account pictures\user.bmp . When a user logs on, it will copy this file to their profile account picture.

I also copy guest.bmp to the same location which will automatically set the account picture for new users who log on.

Lee
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Author Comment

by:u795696
ID: 34138381
I have now created 2 scripts that will do the change for me.

Script 1: runs at computer startup and changes rights to the USER.BMP file at C:\PROGRAMDATA\MICROSOFT\USER ACCOUNT PICTURES\ with ICACLS

Script 2: Runs at logon of a user; this script looks at the user loggin on and then copies the appropriate user-picture to the folder mentioned in script 1. Then it stops the explorer-process and restarts it so that the picture is also displayed at the top of the startmenu.

All works fine, we do not use Fast User Switching so everybody had his own picture displayed and if there is no picture then a default logo will be displayed.

I now need to be able to prevent that users are able to use the Windows menu to change their picture so that it will always be the picture I set to the user.
Is a GPO available for this? We have a DC running on MS Server 2003.

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Assisted Solution

by:Lee Osborne
Lee Osborne earned 75 total points
ID: 34138455
You can lock this down by using the following GPO:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > User Accounts
Apply the default user logon picture to all users: Enabled

This will force the default picture to be used, and will also prevent it from being changed.

Lee
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Author Comment

by:u795696
ID: 34139020
OK then I guess my queste for this is finished :)

I'll split credits between you and The_Kirschi
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Author Closing Comment

by:u795696
ID: 34139039
With the provided links I was able to get things the way I wanted them after some tweaking
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