Just stumbled across this Microsoft KB that seem like a fairly common problem that may affect anyone who tries to apply a desktop wallpaper to a Windows 7 computer via Group Policy.
In an Active Directory domain network environment, you apply a “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting to the domain users. However, the setting is not applied to domain users who log on to client computers that are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
This issue varies if the following conditions are true:
- If the domain user logs on the domain after you deploy the “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting, the desktop background changes to black.
- Note The color of the desktop background varies, depending on the color scheme that you set.
- If the domain user logs on the domain before you apply the “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting, the desktop background does not change.
Additionally, in the Personalization window of the client computer, the desktop background is displayed as being changed to the setting that you applied.
For more info and links to the hotfix go to The “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting is not applied in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2