Archive for the ‘Setting of the Week’ Category.
Last week I talked about the “Remove Homegroup link from the Start Menu” option that removed removed the links from the start menu to the Homegroup option without it being disabled. However the setting by itself does not stop a computer from joining a homegroup. So this weeks setting is of course called “Prevent the computer from joining a Homegroup” and is a per computer setting that can be found under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Homegroup.
Note: Unlike the name suggests if you enable this setting and the computer is already joined then the next time it is reboot it will not connect the homegroup it is already a member (See image below). Therefore I recommend you implement this in conjunction with the “Remove Homegroup link form the Start Menu” setting so as to not confuse the users by allow them access to something that will not work.
Also note that if you were to then remove of disable the “Disable Homegroup” policy then that computer would also no longer be a member of that homegroup anymore.
For more information on this policy see http://gps.cloudapp.net/Default.aspx?PolicyID=2358
Homegroup is a new feature in Windows 7 that allows users on a small network to easily share all their files and printers with each other with a single share password. This greatly simplifies the process to securely share information on a home network and it can include both domain and non-domain joined computers. As an IT administrator you may not want to encourage the use of this feature for your domain joined computers so there is an option to remove the Homegroup link from the Start Menu. This setting can be found under User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar and as a Homegroup is a Windows 7 feature this can obviously only be configured on Windows 7 computers.
|Start Menu with Homegroup – Before
||Start Menu with Homegroup – Before
|Start Menu without Homegroup – Enabled
||Customize Start Menu – Enabled
Note: This only removes the shortcut from menu so users can still configure a homegroup via the control panel.
For more information on this setting see http://gps.cloudapp.net/Default.aspx?PolicyID=4668
This week setting of the week allows you to prefer a custom logon background image in Windows 7. This setting is called “Always use custom logon background” and can be found under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Logon.
Microsoft brought back the option to easily customise the logon background in Windows 7 as this was previously possible in Windows XP but it was removed with Windows Vista which left people with some pretty messy workarounds.
Once you have enabled this option all you have to do to create the “%windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds” folder and populate it with a backgroundDefault.jpg image and your computer will then use that as the background image when logging on and off.
Note: Some sites will direct you to configured the OEMBackground or UseOEMBackground in the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background however this setting will negate the need to set this key.
For more info on how to configure a custom background check out Windows 7 to officially support logon UI background customization
The setting of the week this week disables one of the features in Windows 7 that allowed users to pin programs to the taskbar. This option will be handy if you are in an environment where you want to prevent users from customising the taskbar such as a kiosk or library style computer. The setting can be found under User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar and only applies to Windows 7.
Note: If you do apply this setting to your existing users all the existing pinned taskbar programs will be removed on the next logon.
Below are some screenshots of the UI with the setting enabled.
“Pin to Taskbar” is removed
“Pin this program to taskbar” is removed
All existing pinned programs will be removed.
This week setting of the week is called “Change Start Menu power button” which allows you to configured the start menu shutdown button in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. You can find this setting under User Configurations>Policies>Administrative Templates>StartMenu and Taskbar.
If you have setup your computer to support Hybrid-Sleep then you should consider configuring this option to help ensure that your users select the “sleep” option.
Note: If you select the “Sleep” or “Hibernate” options and the computers does not support that power mode then the option of shutdown will be used instead.