Group policy preferences and item level targeting?
See the post by Mike1879 here: Deploying desktop shortcuts via GP for 32-bit programs on 64-bit O/S - Spiceworks
Can anyone give me an idiot's guide on how to get shortcuts to work on both 32 and 64 bit computers?
We have some 64 bit teacher's laptops that I refuse to wipe and put a 32 bit image on as it seems a bit backward to me.
These are shortcuts deployed by user.
If I create two shortcuts for each bit of software then I end up with a blank icon which looks bad and the computers seem to hang for a long time.
All the 64 bit computers (apart from my own desktop) are teachers laptops.
Grateful for any simple ideas!
sparkeh (2nd April 2014)
i redirect the start menus to \\server\startmenu$\win7\x86 (or x64) and use a wmi filter on a start menu group policy to decide which one a pc gets
It is extremely flexible and will only add shortcuts to programs that are actually on the computer / mapped drive etc - which makes the start bars tidier than having shortcuts to something not accessible.
The only big downside is the amount of shortcuts you need to create!! Can take some time to setup but once it is done it works very nicely.
Once you have put in all the info to create it - you then need to go to the common tab and tick item level targeting - then click the targeting tab - click new item - file match - then put in which exe or other file you want it to watch for.
These files will be different depend on if you are running 32bit or 64bit
The downside to these types of links - is you will also need to add a corresponding delete which checks if the file doesnt exist and deletes if it isnt there - that cleans up your start bar
In my opinion I think Microsoft got things the wrong way around.
They should have maintained C:\Program Files for all 32Bit processes (on both platforms) and created C:\Program Files (x64) for all 64Bit processes. We then wouldn't need to 'faff' with WMI filters as much.
I too use GPPs for this. However, I currently send out both 32bit and 64bit shortcuts and the correct one work and the incorrect ones (silently) fail. Though reading @computer_expert post I can make it more elegant by checking the OS version (bit of a moment there!).
At some point though, 128Bit or more will start becoming the norm, so you'll then have:
C:\Program Files (x86)
C:\Program Files (x64)
Program Files would be renamed again for 64Bit processes.
If they did what I suggested, it would be consistent across all versions of Windows concerned. Program Files wouldn't need to be renamed either!
C:\Program Files (x64)
C:\Program Files (x128)
C:\Program Files (x256) etc..
Not sure when 64 bit will be seen as the norm in the far reaches of junior school education, I have over 120 computers at one of my schools and currently I have 5 64 bit laptops and one 64 bit desktop.
These days all new PCs I've seen with Windows 8 or 8.1 are the x64 version from all the big OEMs. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen any OEM hardware pre-installed with x86 for the past few years.
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