Set default preferences for all accounts

Forums Operating Systems Windows Server 2008 Miscellaneous Set default preferences for all accounts

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    • #43503

        Hi there-
        First off great guide and great site here. Very helpful info.

        We have laptops that we use between a few different people at times, all of which login using their own account. I noticed that with Windows 2008, after customizing a particular account, these customizations dont carry over to another account. While Im not very surprised by this, Im wondering if its possible to change the “default” configuration of a workstation so that any new accounts that login have the same settings.

        Specifically the only settings Im really interested in are enabling Aero theme and ensure the “Initial Server Configuration” and “Server Manager” tools dont appear when users first log in.

        Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!

      • #47804

          Settings for a particular user in Windows Vista and later are saved in the C:UsersDefault UserNTUSER.DAT file. This file will be copied to C:UsersNew UserNTUSER.DAT if you log in for the first time with the new user.

          Here is how to modify the values within the NTUSER.DAT file of the Default User:
          1. Open the Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> regedit)
          2. Left click the HKEY_USERS key and click Load Hive in the File menu.
          3. As File name enter C:UsersDefault UserNTUSER.DAT and click Open.
          4. When asked for the Key Name just enter something; it doesn’t matter what. I did Default User Settings.
          5. Expand the HKEY_USERS key and now you are able to edit the values within the NTUSER.DAT file of the Default User. See the possible modifications you mention as example below.
          6. After you finished editing the Default User settings, unload the hive by clicking the name of the key you created (In my case HKEY_USERSDefault User Settings), click Unload Hive in the File menu and click Yes when it asks for confirmation.

          Disable opening the Server Manager when logging on
          1. Browse to HKEY_USERSDefault User SettingsSoftwareMicrosoft and create the ServerManager key.
          2. Within the ServerManager key create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value with as name DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon and value 1.

          Enabling Aero Theme (I think this is the method but didn’t test it)
          Use the following keys of your own well configured theme settings and create these keys/settings also in the HKEY_USERSDefault User SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion* key:

          The Initial Server Configuration window is not a per-user setting, so if you disabled it in your account it should also be gone in the others. To hide this window at startup create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftServerManagerOobe with the name DoNotOpenInitialConfigurationTasksAtLogon and give it value 1.

          If you have other user preferences you want to set to some default value, try finding out which key you need to modify using Sysinternals Process Monitor or just search the internet for it!

          Good luck! :geek:


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