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Why would IE take over as default browser in an mandatory profile?

Posted on 2011-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a local Win 2000 Server, which is also the Primary Domain Controller, on a LAN of exclusively Win XP Pro workstations.  All users have roaming profiles, with the profiles stored on a share on this local server.  We have two PCs in our workplaces reception area for members of the public to drop in and browse the company website.

I have created a user profile (with the username  'public')  and set it up with appropriate desktop icons, start-menu options, printer connection etc. I also made Mozilla Firefox the default browser for this user profile, dropped a shortcut to our company website into the Startup folder, and set Firefox to open in kiosk/F11 mode.  I then logged out, deleted the local copy of the profile, opened an RDC session as local Administrator and renamed ntuser.dat to ntuser.man for the stored profile.

However, since making this profile a mandatory profile, Internet Explorer now assumes the role of default browser when 'public' logs onto the domain.  Can anybody tell me why this is?  I want the profile to behave exactly as it was behaving immediately before I made it mandatory, including this important application setting.

Thanks
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Question by:VolunteerGlasgow
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36846330
Why did you delete the local copy? Is this one also a roaming profile, and you renamed the server copy of ntuser.dat?

Sorry for questioning, just trying to understand....
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36846819
If so, perhaps it didn't upload properly.... You could always load the profile to the server manually in an isolated instance like this....
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by:VolunteerGlasgow
ID: 36892380
I deleted the local copy so that I could immediately log in and simulate what it would be like logging into a workstation as that user for the first time

The copy on the server is fine, in fact if I revert from ntuser.man to ntuser.dat and log in again then Firefox opens in kiosk mode... then when I rename back to ntuser.man it's IE that launches

I have just checked other madatory profiles I have created (e.g. for visitors hiring our training room) and those profiles all have IE as their default browser too, despite me making FF the browser when I set up the profile (before making it mandatory)
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36892905
Is IE used at all in those systems?

Might try setting the "IsInstalled" value to "0" in the following reg key....

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\>{26923b43-4d38-484f-9b9e-de460746276c}

Mine is for V8. If another version is installed, it might be a different GUID. Might need to search "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components" for Internet Explorer" to get the proper key....
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36892916
Come to think of it.....

I am wondering if there are any first run costomizations hurting you here (if you created the mandatory profile on a FRESH profile.....)

If you create it locally, leave it as a .dat file. Logoff, then log back on once or twice to make sure it is done doing its thing, then make it a .man profile on logoff.....
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by:VolunteerGlasgow
ID: 36895069
Thanks for your suggestions

I'll try running the profile for a bit, and logging on/off a few times when I return to work after the weekend, to see if that helps.  I don't see how editing the registry for the local machine can help, when this user/profile could potentially log on to any workstation on the network, unless I've misunderstood you?
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36895505
Only reason I suggested that, is if there is some First run customizations causingn IE to take over, that value tricks the OS into thinking it is not even installed..... Hence preventing any IE changes....

Long shot I know....
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by:VolunteerGlasgow
ID: 36925599
One interesting thing to note is that if I revert back to ntuser.dat, after IE has taken over, it reverts back to FF being the default browser
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36928648
Wow.... I dont know where to go from there.... So using it and making sure it wasnt trying to do any first run customizations etc., hadn't helped?
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by:VolunteerGlasgow
ID: 36930523
I changed it to ntuser.dat, then I:

- Logged into a client PC that had never been used for this excercise
- Ran IE (in this client's case it is XP running IE8) and made sure the "welcome to IE8, lets choose some settings" type wizard was complete.
- Visited a few random pages
- Logged out
- Logged back in
- Again launched IE, ensuring that no other set-up options or wizards presented themselves
- visited a few more web pages
- Logged out
- Logged in, and again checked to see that opening a shortcut to an http location launched IE
- closed IE and launched Firefox
- Opened FF's options and made it the default browser
- logged off
- logged back in and opened a shortcut to our website, it launched FF
- followed a few links to other sites
- closed FF and logged out
- logged in, FF was still the default browser, checked out a few more sites
- logged out
- On the server copy of the roaming profile I changed ntuser.dat to ntuser.man
- logged into a different client PC...

IE is the default browser!!

I'm puzzled and a bit sad :(
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36936548
Wow.... HAve you tried the reg mod above to tell windows that IE is not even installed?
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by:VolunteerGlasgow
ID: 36941743
I don't want to do anything at OS-level, edit the registry on 50+ PCs, or be without IE altogether.  I just want a roaming mandatory profile to remember Firefox to be the default browser.  IE may still be needed periodically by other users for websites that are (poorly) developed to only work properly in IE.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36946437
I would just be curious to see if it worked at this point......
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VolunteerGlasgow earned 0 total points
ID: 37030529
One thing I have tried that worked is to go into the "Set Program Access and Defaults" feature and enable a custom setup of Firefox as the default browser.  This works but again it's done as OS-level on each machine as an Administrator first, so still not ideal but works.  I'll just have to do this when updating my library of cloned system images.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 37187443
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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