Windows 8 Thread, Windows 8 Start screen with post image application installs in Technical; We are getting ready to do an almost complete hardware refresh of our entire district which includes over 1,000 student ...
22nd July 2013, 03:43 PM #1
- Rep Power
Windows 8 Start screen with post image application installs
We are getting ready to do an almost complete hardware refresh of our entire district which includes over 1,000 student units and over 250 staff machines. All student systems are shared either in labs or carts with no real primary user. I have got the imaging process down pretty well using Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 with Windows 8 deploying with a custom start screen with the base apps of the image. My issue comes up after imaging and I deploy custom software to the various labs. This includes things like the AutoDesk suite, Adobe CS, Visual Studio, and various curriculum specific programs. The software deploys just fine but unless a specific user is logged in while the program is installed the icons never appear on the start screen the user and none of the other users will see the icon by default. They can of course click "All apps" and see all the programs but I would prefer to have all the big apps pinned to the start screen even if that means having all apps pinned and they have to scroll though a giant list of applications. I don't care if they can modify the screen after new icons are placed there but I would like to make sure they can see the icon without having to click "All apps".
I have seen a few workarounds. One is a script that traverses the start menu folder with a VB script that "right clicks" on all the files and pins them to the start menu but I would have to run it basically on every logon to make sure that no new programs have been installed since the user last used the computer and it would repin things they may have removed.
I was considering adding "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" as a task bar which allows all the normal start menu programs to be presented in a start menu like list or even putting a shortcut on the desktop. I would prefer to stay away from 3rd party start menu replacements just because I would be worried it would break with 8.1 or any number of other possible compatibility issues.
Has anyone else ran into this problem before or have any better workarounds?
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22nd July 2013, 04:40 PM #2
The 8.1 update will let you set a layout via GPO so should do the trick
25th July 2013, 10:16 AM #3
This was a topic of arguing between me and my boss :P
With windows 8 we do not deploy start menu redirection. This means, students get more customisation and happiness not being restricted. And new application installs automatically put icons on the main start screen (as long as your customisation files don't conflict with it).
Then anything in the %programdata%\Microsoft\windows\Startmenu + Programs get somehow put on the start screen. anything we do not want to appear i do a file delete with GPP
Hope that helps. but also 8.1 should adresss some of these things =]
26th July 2013, 06:28 PM #4
- Rep Power
are you deploying any windows store apps to your laptops?
28th July 2013, 12:06 AM #5
not at the moment as controlling / updating apps is pretty much non existent as far as we can see. 8.1 apparently allows you to update them. Its almost like they are going out of their way to make it hard tbh.
28th July 2013, 10:53 AM #6
I think theres some powershell script for pushing out a custom start screen.
There's a file you could create as the local admin then push out using gpp.
29th July 2013, 10:09 PM #7
- Rep Power
Sorry I did not respond to any of these posts sooner but the problem I am seeing is a little different. My problem is icons are not being put on the start screen automatically unless the user is logged in while the program is installed. Take the below steps as an example
1. Computer has been imaged and has a set of icons
2. A user logs in and out
3. Another user installs an application or is deployed via a silent install method
4. The original user logs back in but only sees what they originally saw in step 2.
The user can of course right click and select all apps but this implies they have knowledge about right click and selecting an option that is not visible. This is more of a useability bug and it is what I think will make the most people confused. I have actually use 8.1 recently and it looks like they solve my problem in a different way. They now have an obvious down arrow that takes you to all apps screen and swiping to the all apps screen is much more intuitive. For the time being though I am going to put a link to the Start menu program's folder in the start screen. That way even if they don't know about the all apps screen they can still access all the start menu apps like before.
I know this does not help anyone here who is concerned about students customizing their start screen but we allow them to customize their desktops and windows themes so assuming they don't go crazy and delete all their icons I think this will be ok.
I am attaching a screenshot of what my start screen looks like for the time being. I am trying to make the most common things 1 click away for anyone who uses the system.
New Start Screen.png
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