"Do you copy it to the machine and run it locally"
No ... I run it from the default domain policy under "run these programs on logon". (user configuration). Everybody gets the policy in the school ... This is for 2003 so assume its much the same for 2008. Ive put the exe into a folder on the server and pointed the policy to it. Also make sure all users (everybody) has read rights to the folder ... Dont forget to use a unc path or the logging on PC wont find the exe ...
Yes the "Don't save settings on exit" GPO won't work - the description states it doesn't prevent changes to shortcuts.
"If you enable this setting, users can change the desktop, but some changes, such as the position of open windows or the size and position of the taskbar, are not saved when users log off. However, shortcuts placed on the desktop are always saved."
I'll see if I can find the registry setting you need to clear (probably on log off) or you can use mandatory profiles...
This is why we created XIA links to get around some of these Group Policy headaches!
XIA Links - Desktop Application Launcher
OK so I've taken a look at this... Explorer stores the icon positions in the following format.
It seems that is stores icon positions in a different key dependant on the screen resolution (hence why projector connections normally screw up my icon locations I guess).
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
You would need to either block the client from changing this key, or to replace the settings after it changes them, or before explorer starts up.
Hmmm this is quite tricky
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