User Config/Policies/Administrative Templates/Start Menu & Taskbar/
Enable 'Goto the Desktop instead of Start when signing in or when all the apps on the screen are closed'
So with Start screen working how you want?
Originally Posted by robjduk
Yes. In all honestly it was one of my techs who cracked it and he has moved on now. It was months of painful trial and error but yes it all works perfectly along with customised start screen.
haha! was that using the xml etc?
basically he did the following...
-Made a sysprep and customised it how he wanted
-copied various customised files (appsFolder.itemdata-ms for example)
-Set up a file copy to group policy to copy those files to the default user account in the desktop
-set up a block on the network's default profile
-Cleared the existing users profile.
When a user signed on from there on the computer would search for a profile, not find it and look at the default network one, be denied and then use the one local to it. This way we can have different desktops between staff and students.
With this method, any extra software it detects which is local to the machine has its icon placed at the end of the start screen or worst case a simple file copy creates it. Painful but worth it for the smug "we have it working" feeling.
Even though it works perfectly it is far from easy to get working and painful if I want to change any tile. I will be changing to 8.1 over the summer and just setting everyone a generic start screen via group policy.
I kept telling the guy who got this working for us he should write a book about it as MS we far from helpful. To this day I dispute their options on customising it work and have not seen proof outside of the TechNet images.
my dept was forced to switch over to win 8 earlier last year as we were approaching a new school year, we had to be ready to deploy windows 8 to the campus.
since our school has a laptop program, we had to figure out how to customize the metro screen and implement it on 650 student laptops (gr.7-12) and about 100 faculty/admin staff laptops.
using a custom built appsFolder.itemdata-ms file, we have it linked to a batch file and ran that after the first time they logged in so that their screen looked like everyone else's. not the most elegant way of doing it, but it works for the most part
I am currently testing 8.1 deployment. This guide seems to be the best one for how to sort out the start menus.
Customising Windows 8.1 Start Screen Layout with Group Policy
I am planning to do a new setup for each year group at the start of each term, so that there isn't too many tiles.