Client setup of W2k3 server AD setup
When I setup PCs for use in a basic Windows 2003 server R2 setup using AD/GPO, I have this thing in my head that if my client machines are pre-set with as much settings as I want already then this is faster than doing it all through GPO.
Just to put to bed a few myths could you please let me know if and where the problems are in the below method:
1) I get a virgin XP Pro SP3 (don't use Vista or 7) machine, say a Dell, with their base image on it.
2) I install the software that needs to go on it.
3) I remove the flaff software that they put on it, eg McAfee, Office 2007 trial, etc.
4) I create a user local user account, which gives me 1 x admin account and 1 x user account.
5) I log on as the user account.
6) I set a plain colour background, XP classic theme, desktops icons in the place that I want them, set auto-arrange on, set energy saver/screen saver settings, taskbar settings, control panel settings and so on.
7) I restart and log on as admin.
8) I 'show' hidden files and via C:/Docs & Settings I go into the Default User folder.
9) I delete anything in useless out of the start menu, Favs, My Docs and Desktop.
10) I copy the NTUser.Dat file from the 'user' folder and overwrite the default user's ntuser.dat file.
11) I hide the hidden files setting.
Note: the machine is still in Workgroup mode.
12) I image this master PC onto other machines.
13) As I start the machines up I change the computer name to make it unique and then add the machines to the domain of the server. This is all done through the My Computer > Properties window.
I also do the above My Computer tasks on the master PC if this is also used as a client PC in the school.
Does this perform faster than having to be pulled down from GPO each time a user logs in?
PLEASE NOTE: that we only redirect the My Docs to a User folder on the server. There is no roaming profile or redirected desktop, etc.