Never found an answer to fixing the layout of desktop icons

By mike ·
Once you position icons on the desktop they are saved in the profile somewhere - desktop.ini ?) copying this file to other users does not keep the screen position of the icons. Anyone know how to do make the desktop icon layout the same for all users (anyone who logs on to the domain (school environment) or is it just not possible?
Mike at CCD

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Which icons?

by seanferd In reply to Never found an answer to ...

The standard Windows desktop icons? These can be locked via GP.

If you mean other icons that you place, you may have GP options from your server OS that I don't know about.

Have you ever looked in a desktop.ini? Not sure why you'd think one of those would hold icon positions. These are in the registry.

You may be able to mess with this, if you are any good at vbscript, to run as a startup script rather than create a context menu item. Calling the layout.dll to do whatever - I don't know, I don't code.
(Second column at 186.)

Also, loads of other things are available via a search.

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Export Merge registry?

by TobiF In reply to Which icons?

In that case, I suppose that even if registry export and merge might work, it would be too risky?

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Site ate my post.

by seanferd In reply to Export Merge registry?

When I hit submit, all of TR disappeared for a minute. :0 I broke it!

Anyway, I don't think it would be particularly risky, but i don't know if it will do what the OP wants or not, especially since the requirement wasn't that specific.

Locking the registry key permissions might do it, too.

But if someone deletes the actual file...

(I think that is what I had in the post before it went into the black hole. No joy on the back button at that point.)

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Any shortcut icons I put there - I want same position for all users

by mike In reply to Which icons?

So no clear answer yet, I saw Desktop.ini suugested as a possibiity - its not that I know of. Registry - wish I could isolate which file stores the position data for each users icons - anyone? Looked in "Bags" but not enough info to determine which user is "All Users" or whch Icon is which - and I don't know how to code - I'm lost I guess or how to really make the setting the same for All Users.

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How about

by NexS In reply to Any shortcut icons I put ...

making changes to the 'default user' profile.
That's a good page I just found. Basically it offers for you to make the changes you want and copy your profile to "Default User" profile. Note that you should create a backup copy of "Default User".

Alternatively, you could put your icons under c:\documents and settings\All Users\desktop

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The only way to do this...

by PESK, mbcs, mcse, mcitp, sts In reply to How about

...would be to use 'Roaming Profiles' and 'Mandatory User Profiles'.

User profiles contain settings for the network environment, such as desktop configuration and menu options.

Making changes to the 'Default User' profile only affects new users upon *FISRT* logon. Any changes are then saved to that particular user's 'NTUSER.DAT' file.

When a new user is created (try it and see) no profile is created until that user logs on for the first time. Hence the message "Windows is preparing the desktop for first time use." or such upon first logon (say when you've just installed Windows).

When that user logs onto the console for the first time (interactive logon), the userinit.exe process uses the 'Default User' profile and copies all networking items, shortcuts, desktop items, registry entries,etc, creates a new profile with the user's name, then saves it to the 'ntuser.dat' file.

To avoid all these profiles from being created with multiple screensavers, desktops, etc, you create a 'Roaming Profile' on a server, and when the user logs on, this profile is downloaded to the local machine, cached and used to display the desktop, run the screensaver, perform folder redirection, etc. Once the user logs off, changes are saved to the local cache and the server profile.

The only way to stop the user saving changes is to rename the ntuser.dat to, thus creating a 'Mandatory Profile'. The user can make changes while logged on, but once they log off, no changes are saved.

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"ot enough info to determine which user is "All Users""

by seanferd In reply to Any shortcut icons I put ...

The one in HKU covers all users.
The one in HKCU covers the currently logged on user, as one might surmise.

Would you not simply lay out the desktop as you see fit, copy the key, merge it to a different user's Desktop, and see what happens?

Or you simply put what you want on the Desktop, and entirely lock it down by denying all permissions to change it. Of course, no OS makes this simple because it will cause usability issues.

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"All Users"

by NexS In reply to "ot enough info to determ ...

Can be modified to suit, then, by default, only admins can make any changes to that user profile.

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Yup. No regedit necessary, then.

by seanferd In reply to "All Users"

I was still addressing the registry thing, since logic and experimentation were obviously right out.

Never mind, I was "doing it wrong" from the start. If you get my drift.

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As long as your 'drift'

by NexS In reply to Yup. No regedit necessary ...

Gets you safely to the other side before the fall kills you, it doesn't matter how you drift.

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