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Windows 7 background and GPO

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2014-04-03
I want to push out a background using GPO for Windows 7 and XP machines. Is there a limit size on the file to push out?
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Question by:Thomas N
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by:Joseph Moody
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I would use Group Policy File Preferences to copy the background to a local machine and then set the background with group policy administrative templates.

There isn't a size limit that I know of.
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by:Thomas N
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Also I want to use a background but its not on each machine. Should I just put it in a share and allow everyone access to it? Then just map to it in GPO?
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by:Thomas N
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Can I just share the photo out from a central location? If not how do I use the gpo file preference? If you have step by step that would be very helpful. Thanks
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by:Nick Rhode
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Yes you can have it in a shared location but just keep in mind that on initial login (lets say the morning) that could generate a lot of traffic (depending on the environment).  Also if you use Group Policy to copy the picture/background to the local workstation it will recopy it every signing and every time group policy is pushed.

What I did was pushed the image out to all systems via script.  Setup group policy so the workstation references the pushed image location.
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by:Thomas N
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Do I need to use a script to push it out? I found this on the internet:

http://www.group-policy.com/gp%5Cshortcuts.smp

Does the source file in these instructions need to be stored in a shared folder everyone has access to? Im not sure if GPO will just grab the file and push it out or does it just make the machine request the file.
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by:Nick Rhode
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Yes the user that is logging in would need access to that location.  And Yes you can use group policy to copy the file to the local workstations.  I would just eventually turn off the copy method because for each login the image will be recopied.
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Author Comment

by:Thomas N
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Ok let me try it and come back award points if I have no more questions. Thanks.
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by:Thomas N
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It didnt work. GPO is not even pushing out the .bmp file. Any suggestions on how to fix?
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by:Thomas N
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I tested it out and manually put the bmp file on a pc and it comes with a blank white screen now. I attached the background I want to use.
generic.bmp
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by:MacroShadow
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This is a Microsoft hotfix to correct the "Desktop Wallpaper" Group Policy setting is not applied in Windows 7.

Additionally, please check if the Registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WallPaper] is missing. If so create a String Value [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WallPaper] on client and try to set wallpaper. You can use use Group Policy Preference->Registry or user logon script to deploy this Registry key.
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Iain MacMillan earned 500 total points
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we found that some registry changes on each Win 7 system, and a script to copy the JPG file to the Windows folder was all that was needed.  As long as the file exists, the policy will use it.  In our Win 7 OUs, we set the path for the JPG file.

XP needs a BMP file, so we set a different GPO for that as all the XP systems are in their own AD OU.

Set GPO under User config\Policies\Admin Templates\Classic Admin Templates\Desktop\Active Desktop and edit the Active Desktop Wallpaper policy.

GPUPDATE /force can be used from cmd line to quick update machines for testing.
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Author Comment

by:Thomas N
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ok i will try and come back
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