group policy on xp that we could modify to change the screensaver all accounts on the pc,all users, default users, and existing users, for each pc

Posted on 2011-09-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
would love to automate this using landedsk and my learn how to do this automatically but not sure landesk can/will do it.  boss wants to run a ppt as the screen saver for  educational purposes.  first, not sure in registry where we need to change this policy - yes, familiar with gpedit.msc and have made changes there but stuck on his onel   it only affects current user logged in.  we have a landesk guru who can help automate this process for all our workstations/and hopefull all users, if we can tell him EXACTLY which registry key and item needs to be modified.  Beats having to visit 160 pc's, especially since this ppt file wiill continue to be updated.  We can get the ppt file to run as a ssaver for the current user logged in, but we have many multiuser pc's as well.  Hope this makes sense.  Thanks in advance for any help!
Question by:stateofmind
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Expert Comment

ID: 36540743

Sorry there's ads in the link. However, the gpo settings are there. This is for win 7 but you just pick a policy for clients xp in gpmc.msc.

If you are not in a domain then you can't do it centrally. If you are in a domain .the keys are in the link just right click the xp client policy and go edit. Follow the article from there


Author Comment

ID: 36545712
louisreeves, thank you for the quick response.  We are back in the dark ages and don't have Active Directory.   Is there a solution for this that doesn't rely on Active Directory?  All the workstations are in the same Workgroup, but that's old school.  If we are sure of the registry locations that would affect any current users and any newly created users (off of default user profile), we can probably push it out with Landesk.  Just not sure where in the registry that is.  We found we could do what we wanted to with the current user, but not the others.  Hope that makes sense.  Thank you in advance.

Expert Comment

ID: 36580670
Your registry settings for Screensaver are in

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop - An export shows what I have set

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
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Author Comment

ID: 36596856
Do these settings, once applied to the pc, affect every user, whether they are new, using the default user profile, or an already established user on that pc, or can these settings be put into an allusers profile?   Would that overwrite or negate any previous existing settings in a user's account that has already been established on that pc?  If so, we might be able to effect this change during their login script since we are running novell 6.5 and not AD.  Let me know what you think please. Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 36597575

This is in the HK Current user Hive.  It will only affect the current user when changed.

If you are running a login script that each user runs at login then you can change each existing user's screensaver behaviour and any new users that login..

If you make the change in the HK_USERS/.Default this will affect all NEW users profiles that login.  But it wont affect the existing users profile.

In your login script put a reference to run this registry "push" - this will then ensure all current users and any new users get the same settings.

There isn't such a thing as the AllUsersProfile - A new profile is created for each user when they login.  This is based on the HK_Users/.default profile.

Hope this helps...

Author Comment

ID: 36599934
Thanks.  Will try to figure out how to push it from the default login script ... none of our users have admin rights so I need something that will get around that and modify the registry when they login as a power user instead of an admin user.  That's the trick.  

Expert Comment

ID: 36813600
If you have a LANDESK Guru he should be able to deploy registry changes...

I would set up a test PC.
Make the necessary Registry changes and files to get the screensave working as you want.

Using regedt32 - Export the Registry settings HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop to a xxxxx.reg file

Edit the xxxxx.reg file and remove any lines you dont need

Give the Reg file to your LANDESK Guru and ask him to deploy it, along with the ppt file

Author Comment

ID: 36964255
We're not sure which reg key affects all users, new and old, on every pc.  We're don't know Landesk well enough yet to push registry changes, and need to make sure that can happen whether the user is on the pc or not, since none of our users are admins, just power users.  Does HKCU cover both a new and old user as well?  Thanks.

Accepted Solution

MarkieS earned 500 total points
ID: 36967006

One reg key wont affect all users, new and old.  You need to make this change as users login.  In that way, new users are changed as the profile is created and existing users are changed as the existing profile is loaded

HKCU affects the user profile that is currently logged in.  It doesnt matter if they have logged in before, changing the registry in HKCU as they log in will affect them.  This is what you want to amend at login.

HK_USERS holds the profiles of ALL the users that have already logged in.  When a user logs in, the Profile is copied from HK_USERS\S-1-15-???????  to HKCU.

The HK_USERS\S-1-15-???? is the User Profile for each user that has already logged into this machine.

If the user has never logged in before then HK_USERS\.Default is copied from HK_USERS\.Default to HKCU thus creating a New Profile.

Let me explain another way.  

You turn on your PC and it sits at the login screen.  It doesnt know who is going to sit and use it.  It knows about all the users that have already logged into it and it is storing thier profiles in HK_USERS\S-1-5-???????.

A user logs into the machine.  The machine makes a decision..  Has the user logged in before?  

If the answer is yes it copies the profile HK_USERS\S-1-5-UsersID to HKCurrentUser
If the answer is no it has to create a new profile, and to do this it copies HK_USERS\.Default to HKCurrentUser - then it creates a new HK_USERS\S-1-5-???????? ready to save for the next day!

So to answer your question - Does HKCU cover both a new and old user as well?   YES, but only when the user is logged on.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 36979075
A huge help!

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