If you’re familiar with Group Policy, there’s been an administrative template available since the Windows 2000 days to restrict access to the drives in File Explorer. The only problem with that template is that it only gives you the options to remove access to either all the drives or drives A, B, C, and D which is isn’t very flexible.
In search of a more granular option, I found this very helpful post here that explains exactly how to restrict access to specific drives using registry keys. Here I’m just going to copy the table and show you how to add a Group Policy Registry Preference to achieve the same thing.
Continue reading “Server 2012 – Restrict Access to Specific Drives via Group Policy”
After much research, some poking around in the registry, and a little dumb luck, I’ve discovered a way to disable the Network icon from the left side of the File Explorer navigation pane on a PER USER basis using Group Policy Registry Preferences.
Basically, I borrowed the concept from other posts and made it work for the current user profile. One problem that I ran into trying to use the HKLM key was that I couldn’t update the key using the SYSTEM account via Group Policy and I didn’t want to manually edit registry permissions on a bunch of RDS Servers. On top of that, more importantly, I didn’t want to disable the Network icon for my administrator accounts too! So here’s what you need to do… Continue reading “Server 2012 – Remove Network Icon from File Explorer Navigation Pane via Group Policy”
When applying the Classic Shell Group Policy Templates in Windows 2012 RDS, there is an option called “Menu items for the Windows 7 Style”. In order to customize the menu items, you first need to make changes to some user profile that is using Classic Shell and then go and retrieve the entries from the HKCU\Software\IvoSoft\ClassicStartMenu\Settings\MenuItems7 key in the Registry to know what to enter there. Even on the Classic Shell forums, they didn’t have it documented so here goes…
First, you should have a list of entries titled “Items(1-23).Command=” followed by the friendly name of the item.
Following each one of those entires, you may or may not have an additional entry for each item titled “Items(1-23).Settings=” followed by one or more of the display options depending on how you want it displayed.
As of Classic Shell version 4.1, here is a list of the Command names and their descriptions:
admin - %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
Continue reading "Classic Shell – Registry Entries for Custom Windows 7 Style Start Menu"
Instead of using the PowerShell or VB scripts that are out there to address the User Profile Redirection display problem mentioned in Microsoft’s KB947222 article, I didn’t like the idea of having to waste precious CPU cycles on calling one of these scripts every couple of minutes so I decide to take matters into my own hands to come up with a different approach.
Those solutions do indeed work, but even if you’re running this script like once a minute, you still run into the possibility that a user might log in, which in turn creates their redirected documents folders, and then, anyone attempting to access the network share that contains the user profiles at that exact moment, would still run into the same issue until the next time the script ran via task scheduler. Not exactly a great solution.
In addition to that, at least for me, using the PowerShell script seemed to add a whole nother layer of document shortcuts that was reflected upon inside of the user’s environment making it to where they had to click on documents twice just to get into their documents folder. Again not an ideal solution.
Continue reading “KB947222 – Addressing the User Profile Redirection Display Problem with a Different Approach”
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.
Continue reading “Classic Shell – Remove First Run Wizard with Group Policy”
To disable the VMware Tools tray icon, edit the following key in the registry:
Continue reading “Windows Server – Disable VMware Tools Icon”
While trying to troubleshoot some issues with a user’s flaky VPN connection (they could get connected but couldn’t ping anything on the company network), my first guesses were that it was either a routing issue and that IPv6 might be the culprit or that it could be an MTU issue. In searching for the answers on how to disable IPv6, I had stumbled across a blog article that, while seemingly helpful at the time, had some misleading information on it that caused some rather undesirable results. It gave me an incorrect registry value setting of “0xffffffff” that actually caused Windows to take an extra five seconds to boot.
Continue reading “Windows 8.1 – Disable IPv6 Components”
For remote teleworkers who have computers joined to a domain running Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), to overcome Windows Update error 8024402C, via the registry, you will need to force the computer to bypass your WSUS server by setting the “UseWUServer” DWORD value from “1” to “0” and then restart the computer.
Continue reading “Windows Update Error 8024402C – Bypass WSUS for VPN Computers Joined to the Domain”
To enable viewing of the clock in the taskbar for clients connecting to a Windows Terminal Server, this can be achieved through the use of a group policy registry setting.
Continue reading “Enable Clock via Group Policy on a Terminal Server”