Table of Contents: Group Policy

Most Popular: Group Policy

Classic Shell – Remove First Run Wizard with Group Policy

Classic Shell is a necessary evil for any normal Windows user who wants to be able remain productive with introduction of the Start Screen in Server 2012 and Windows 8. As a network administrator, I highly recommend Classic Shell because it even has it’s own Group Policy templates that you can add in with the PolicyDefinitions inside your domain’s SYSVOL folder so you can at least somewhat try to put the Start Menu back to the way it once was. The Start Screen is a technical support person’s worst nightmare for novice users who don’t deal well with change (and trust me they don’t).

If you’re trying to customize a Remote Desktop Server environment, one somewhat annoying thing you will run into is trying to get rid of the first run wizard for Classic Shell. Obviously, the first run wizard is handy for anybody who wants to customize the look and feel of their Start Menu, but more than likely in a Remote Desktop environment, you’re going to want all this predefined with no user interaction so the chances of them screwing things up is slim to none.
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Windows Terminal Server – Three Ways to Disable AVG Tray Icon via Group Policy

I scoured the internet forever and a day to find a way to disable the AVG tray icon in a Windows Terminal Server environment because as with most people, even though to make any major changes in the AVG settings it does require an admin password, I didn’t want my users to be able to toy around in there even, let alone run a bunch of malicious scans and slow the server down for everybody or gain access to view our AVG Business license key. I even contacted AVG technical support and they didn’t have a solution to my problem and I find it extremely hard to believe that I am the only person out there in the world facing this issue.

Well, today I finally figured out a way to disable the AVG tray icon via Group Policy using Software Restriction Policies. By creating a rule to prevent the running of the “avgui.exe” process, you can essentially disable the tray icon. As long as you have your group policies structured so that your users OU get a different group policy than say the admins OU, then the admins can still get into AVG, run any scans, or change any settings inside AVG. I guess I should mention that you could use this for any OU for that matter that you didn’t want to have access to the AVG UI, it’s not just limited to Remote Desktop Servers. Pretty sweet!
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