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How do you do....it? Thread, How do you do your start menus. in Technical; Hi, How do you do your start menus. Something i dont like is global redirected and disbaled the all users ...
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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    How do you do your start menus.

    Hi,

    How do you do your start menus.

    Something i dont like is global redirected and disbaled the all users folder. You end up with dead shortcuts, with my little OCD it will drive me nuts. Plus it cant go to a shared folder because of laptops going offline etc.

    It would be nice to have everything sorted into folders. EG English, Maths etc But if you change the all users start menu and move things about and you remove applications in leaves dead links.

    Something i am thinking about is creating a redirection to a local folder in the C drive and disable the all users folder. That way it will work offline and shortcuts to dead programs can be used. But i would like a way to hide shortcut to network applications when offline. I have found the start menu can be slow when trying to access network applications it cant get to.

    How do you do your start menus please?

    Thanks
    Last edited by FN-GM; 3rd May 2011 at 07:40 PM.

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    MicrodigitUK's Avatar
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    I am also looking at this for my new 2008 r2 domin and have a similar plan to you. I was going to deploy start Menue as a msi to workstations and the do a redirect to the deployed start menu. Then I was going to script some cleanup proccess that checks availability of shortcut and hides the dead links.

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    FN-GM (11th May 2011)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We have folders copied down on boot depending on what ou they are in (different gpo's/scripts) for Science pc's it simply copies down the folder Science and places it in the All Users Start menu. All our MSI's are then created without start-menu shortcuts and we simply put the shortcut into the folder on the network share and on next reboot they are copied down.

    Works pretty well as is quite easy to setup.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    This was one of the benefits of our old RM Network - somehow the start menu knew what was installed and only built itself using those icons - no white boxes (which indeed ar a pain).

    Cannot remember how the RM network did it though.

    Gareth

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    FN-GM (11th May 2011)

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    This was one of the benefits of our old RM Network - somehow the start menu knew what was installed and only built itself using those icons - no white boxes ...
    If anyone has the Network Manager training manuals for an RM Connect 2.4 I think there may have been an explanation as to how this works in there [If I recall correctly!]

    I would check myself but it has been years since I managed an RM network and all of the documentation is long gone.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    You can use Group Policy Preferences to create/delete shortcuts as needed for the user's Start Menu when they log on. I believe this is how Community Connect does it. I've found that shortcuts you set up to be created in this way are automatically skipped if the target is unavailable, so that takes care of your network availability condition.

    Personally I have very very few programs that run from a share, but I customise almost every .msi I install to move the shortcuts into a subject folder in the All Users start menu.

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    I've seen some people do it with folder redirections and Access-Based Enumeration to do the magic so they only get what is installed/what they are allowed but I don't have any guides handy (there should be some floating around here somewhere.

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    andy_nic's Avatar
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    We did use start menu redirection but it lead to more problems than it solved. So we just use “all users” start menu (windows XP) and wherever windows 7 puts it now and just structure it in subject departments. Any software which points to severs runs off the intranet. We structure it to make it easier on the kids to find programs also it use to take forever to bring up the start menu when the people before my time here just left shortcuts where the programs installed them.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Thanks to those who have posted.

    Please can more people let me know what you do?

    Thanks

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We use a local folder on the c:\ for start menu and desktop re-direction and a custom written startup script which only copies down the necessary icons for that machine by looking for the relevant executables on the C:\ . The Brilliant thing about this is if we distribute a piece of software we've already setup to more workstations, we don't have to mess with the start menus as the script sorts it all out for us. Works well for us and has done for the last 2 years.

    The script could easily be modified to remove shortcuts if you un-install software as well, although I've never bothered with this as we rarely remove software from workstations once we've installed it.

    EDIT: For dealing with un-avalable network programs I did used to use a simple VBS script 'launcher' which checked for the programs availability first, if it wasn't available then it simply gave you a message saying the program couldn't be run, but if it was then it ran it as normal. However I don't have any software which runs from network shares now so it became redundant.
    Last edited by maniac; 11th May 2011 at 12:20 PM.

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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    Ours is in the mandatory profile, so I update it as and when new software is installed. This does lead to the occassional unsightly dead link, but I can live with it. Start menu is divided into subjects, with only accessories and Microsoft office having their own folders.

    I think some of the above methods would be a better way to go though! Only benefit to the method I use is that its quick to setup and change, and doesn't involve running more scripts or modifying .msi files. More my limitations in that area that lead me to it I suppose.

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    Galway's Avatar
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    I also redirect mine to a folder on C Drive, as well as the desktop icons and wallpaper.

    A startup script check for changes and copies then latest start menu or other changes from a network share.

    I feel this is the best of both worlds in that the network is not hammered everytime the user clicks the start menu or logs on.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    We use a local folder on the c:\ for start menu and desktop re-direction and a custom written startup script which only copies down the necessary icons for that machine by looking for the relevant executables on the C:\ . The Brilliant thing about this is if we distribute a piece of software we've already setup to more workstations, we don't have to mess with the start menus as the script sorts it all out for us. Works well for us and has done for the last 2 years.

    The script could easily be modified to remove shortcuts if you un-install software as well, although I've never bothered with this as we rarely remove software from workstations once we've installed it.

    EDIT: For dealing with un-avalable network programs I did used to use a simple VBS script 'launcher' which checked for the programs availability first, if it wasn't available then it simply gave you a message saying the program couldn't be run, but if it was then it ran it as normal. However I don't have any software which runs from network shares now so it became redundant.
    Is it possible to share the script please?

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Is it possible to share the script please?
    I'm not actually anywhere near my network at the moment, but if I remember when I am then I'll copy the relevant bit. It is actually already posted on here in more than one post, as people have asked me for it before. It's very simple, just 4 or 5 lines of VBS code for every program you want to distribute icons for this way, essentialy 'If EXE exists then check to see if icon's already copied and if it isn't then copy it' repeated for each program - only take seconds to run thou.

    We also have a 'common' set of icons which gets copied to every workstation which has all the icons for things like MS office etc. and we also have another section of script which lets me distribute icons by OU - I use this when I know the same software is on every machine in an area as it's more efficient as it copies them in one block. Most of my startup script is to do with startmenu and desktop icon management.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I'm not actually anywhere near my network at the moment, but if I remember when I am then I'll copy the relevant bit. It is actually already posted on here in more than one post, as people have asked me for it before. It's very simple, just 4 or 5 lines of VBS code for every program you want to distribute icons for this way, essentialy 'If EXE exists then check to see if icon's already copied and if it isn't then copy it' repeated for each program - only take seconds to run thou.

    We also have a 'common' set of icons which gets copied to every workstation which has all the icons for things like MS office etc. and we also have another section of script which lets me distribute icons by OU - I use this when I know the same software is on every machine in an area as it's more efficient as it copies them in one block. Most of my startup script is to do with startmenu and desktop icon management.
    Thanks, i look forward to the script. This sounds ideal!

    Thanks

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