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Disable Group Policy Managed Screensaver During Presentations?

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2013-05-22
We have a password protected screensaver enabled for our workstations to auto-lock idle computers. Clients are running Windows 7 Pro x64.

However, our conference rooms have VGA inputs where employees can connect their laptops for meetings. If they are presenting a PowerPoint, it somehow stops the screensaver from appearing.

I'm wondering if we can do anything group policy or otherwise to allow the screensaver to be disabled during presentations.

Note: I've tried turning on "presentation mode", but it doesn't seem to have any effect, possible because the screensaver settings are AD managed. Any other thoughts?
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Question by:DVation191
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 39165189
If it's coming from Policy, and the policy affects those computers, then no - there's not much you can do about it. However, you could specifically set those computers into a different OU in Active Directory, and apply a different policy only to that OU. That would fix the problem. But it does mean that those computers will not have the screensaver put in place automatically.
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by:Giladn
Giladn earned 167 total points
ID: 39165202
if those laptops are on your domain  you can deny those laptops from GROUP POLICY
see here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816100
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by:DVation191
ID: 39165218
I didn't mention that these laptops are used as the employees' main workstations - so putting them in a separate OU that doesn't get the screensaver policy isn't an option. The 99% of the time they are not giving a presentation requires that their machines lock when idle. I'm trying to see if there's some way to manage the other 1%.
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d0ughb0y earned 167 total points
ID: 39165228
Oh - whoops. I didn't notice that these were employee laptops. Actually, in this case, I don't think either solution is going to suit you. You're essentially looking for a way to say, "I want this policy to affect this computer when it's in Room A, but not when it's in Room B." But policies don't work that way. They follow the user or the computer. They don't follow the Room.

I would suggest that you either disable the policy, and use HR policies to enforce it. (I.e. If your machine isn't locked when you're away from your desk, you're in violation of the AUP, and can be penalized.) Alternatively, I would consider installing a Conference Room computer, specifically for use there, and then keep that machine from falling under that policy.
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by:Giladn
ID: 39165272
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by:DVation191
ID: 39165276
All good points.

Yes, group policy is not "room specific", but yet there is some mechanism in PowerPoint that prevents the screensaver - so it's definitely possible.

Disabling the policy and using HR is something I've considered. Unfortunately we can't enforce this current as we're a small company with outsourced HR management and IT doesn't have the resources to perform these audits at this time.

We do also have a conference room computer, but for various reasons that aren't important, sometimes users want/need to use their own machine. These machines are excluded from the policy already.
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by:ThinkPaper
ThinkPaper earned 166 total points
ID: 39172619
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