How do you do....it? Thread, All programs menu redirection in Technical; Had the ICT coordinator suggest that he wanted all the programs not being used by the staff/pupils to be uninstalled ...
4th February 2009, 09:51 PM #1
All programs menu redirection
Had the ICT coordinator suggest that he wanted all the programs not being used by the staff/pupils to be uninstalled from the PC's because its too confussing for them!!! I asked how long did he expect this to take to whichg his reply was can't you just do it from the server...if only!!! However after thinking I can do it by just removing the unwanted ones from the menu and apply in the new menu...buit how. Anyone got an idiots guide for me as usual for how to replace the current All Programs menu with one showing my own selection. The pupils have mandatory profiles and the teachers roaming, its Server 2003 with XP clients and the the software has only recently been started to be installed using msi's from the server so much quicker to change the menu. Got desktop redirection in two of my schools and thats just a brilliant time saver, but I have to admit not setting that up inthe first place.
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4th February 2009, 09:55 PM #2
start menu redirection works in pretty much the same way as desktop redirection - have a look at the existing policy, and you'll see how its done :-)
4th February 2009, 10:15 PM #3
It's worth setting up a test conatiner in your Active Directory and get your hands on a test PC (use a virtual PC if hardware is short). Pop this PC into the container.
Create a folder on a server called 'Start Menus' share this as read only for all users. In that folder create another folder for each ict room (if this suits the way you have your ict rooms setup). Then in each create a folder called 'Programs'. This is the folder you then copy you start menu short cuts to (they can just be copied from a PC with the relevant software installed)
Create a group policy for the AD container, look for the folder redirection policies. There is a specific policy for Start Menu redirection. Change the settings so all users use the same basic path and set the path to \\server\share\room-a.
The nice thing about doing this as you pointed out is the ability to manage you start menus from the server. You can add and delete shortcuts even while users are using the computers in the room and they see the changes immediately.
We have been using this for a while now and are aiming to implement a fuller 'standard' image across the site that has all (meaning most) of our software on all computers. Then we can easily 'move' software around site by changing the start menus.
Don't forget that in your group policy, you might want to remove the 'All Users' section of the start menu. Can't remember off my head and can't check at moment cos I'm at home.
Let me know if you need more info
Thanks to Richie from:
TechSupp (4th February 2009)
4th February 2009, 10:43 PM #4
Thats the kind of info I'm after, thanks. Will have a look at that when I get the chance on Friday. I'm sure I'll be back to ask more though. Ours will be simpler as we only just have a suite (corner of a corridor!) so all PC's will prefferably have the same start menus items and any specific programs i.e. for the foundation stage will be placed directly on the desktop for ease of access.
5th February 2009, 12:33 AM #5
Another option would be just to delete the shortcuts in the all users folder using a startup script.
6th February 2009, 12:52 AM #6
Or you could just use Group Policy to remove the contents of the All Users Programs menu.
To control the content of menus & desktops on PCs I have used the following technique;
Firstly, use Group Policy to remove the All Users Programs menu
Secondly, create a logon script which does the following each time a user logs on;
1 - Completely empties the users own Start Menu and Desktop
2 - Copy any required shortcuts from the Default User Start Menu to the users own Start Menu (this picks up stuff like Accessories)
3 - Copy any required shortcuts from the All Users Start Menu to the users own Start Menu (this picks ups locally installed applications)
4 - Optionally copy shortcuts from the All Users Desktop to the users own Desktop
In essence, this is creating a custom start menu and desktop for each logon session. My logon script copied shortcuts based on regular expression matching so that the full shortcut name was note required.
This method has the advantage of being able to cope with sets of PCs with different software installed as a shortcut will never appear on a start menu or desktop if the software is not installed on the PC
6th February 2009, 02:26 AM #7
Noo no more scripts!! *joke*
We basically just orginise the All Programmes area when we build the images just editing the all user's folder.
And then anything after that is done by GPO!
8th February 2009, 08:35 AM #8
As always, there's more than one way to skin a cat and you have to go with a solution that works for you and that you have confidence that you can manage. If you can get what you need without scripting then that's a good way to go.
The reason I came up with the script solution was that it has zero impact on the PCs that you run it against. It will work against PCs with different configurations and can be set up to deliver different sets of shortcuts to different groups of users (eg KS2, KS1, Early Years, Teachers ).
8th February 2009, 06:12 PM #9
All suggestions using whatever method thankfully recieved, there's more than one way to skin a cat (keeps head down in case RSPCA are looking!). Will try setting up a test PC using the policy first and if I can't get that to work I'll try setting up a script to do the job. Thanks all.
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