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Windowx XP Group Policy - Start Menu

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#1
Hello all,
I'm trying to set a policy which will force our user base to use the new XP Start menu style, the setting I've found is "Force classic start menu = Disabled", the description suggests that it should do what I want but I'm finding users are able to change back to the classic and their change remains in place even after logoff/logon. All other settings in the policy are working as expected. We are AD W2k domain, XP SP2 clients being rolled out.
Does anybody have any ideas on this ?, any advice appreciated. (I did see a relevant post on one of the message boards here two or three yerars ago, but that didn't seem to come to a conclusion)
Many thanks
Howard
 

Mooz

Moozically Con~foozed
#2
Hi,

that setting purely forces the classic menu if set to true ... the only way i know of achieving this is to force the theme through group policy and to block the theme change option, that said however they can still change the menu back to classic however if the gpo is set to be enforced the user would revert at logon. you can also stop the task bar properties being changed through gpo.

in amongst that lot there is a solution .... its not a single entry though it is three phase.
1) enforce the theme
2) force theme enabled
3) disable the taskbar property change.

i hope this helps, if all else fails there is a solution that i used in the past involving a VBScript logon script that modifies registry keys at logon and does this.

good luck

Mooz
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#4
Thanks Mooz - I'll see what I can do with Group Policy the Themes. ?
Venom - It's all to do with giving the user base a standard apearance so that Help Desk always have the same options to guide them through.
Thanks
Howard
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#5
User Configuration
Administrative Templates
Start Menu and Taskbar
Force classic start menu

Set to Disabled and they will be forced into using the default XP start menu.

If you disable this setting, the Start menu only displays in the new style, meaning the desktop icons are now on the Start page.
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#6
Maddmatt,
This is what I originally thought, but the setting doen't seem to work. i.e users can change back to classic and setting remains even after they logoff/logon.
Howard
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#8
Hello Punk,
I've now tried setting the themes as suggested by Mooz, this doesn't seem to have any effect on the Start Menu appearance, just the desktop.
Yep I've got a no override set on the policy. GPresult is showing no errors and other settings within the policy arebeing applied. Maybe I've missed something Is there anything else which needs to be done to get this one to work ?
thanks
Howard
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#9
Well if you are sure that you haven't missed anything, make sure you are using an account that is not a member of the local administrators group as that could let you override such settings.

(just had a similar experience with offline files, which we force on but I don't like so disable, but I wasn't in local admins so couldn't disable it...)
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#10
Just tested with an account that's only a standard user with no elevated rights. Setting still not taking effect.
thanks
Howard
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#11
You may need to create your own .adm, is it a simple registry setting that enables/disables the xp start menu button? If so I can give you a template and you can just save that as an adm and add it yourself.
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#13
Yes, but do you know what value in the registry needs to be changed guessing on/off that will switch between the old and new start menu?
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#14
According to MS;
The registry entries are DWORD values. A value of 1 is enabled, and a value of 0 is disabled.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer Registry Value:"NoSimpleStartMenu"
Ta
Howard
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#15
Looks like that value can only force the classic start menu, honestly doesn't appear that there is anyway to force the "new" style startmenu, will get in touch with some MS contacts a little later and see if they have any suggestions.
 

howardmp

OSNN One Post Wonder
#17
Hello Punk,
Did you get any response from Microsoft?. I'm wondering if this is a bug as the description of the setting is exctly what I'm attempting to do.
Ta
Howard
 

GliTCH82

OSNN One Post Wonder
#18
I can also confirm that I'm having the exact same problem. Microsoft's description of the policy setting indicates that enabling the option will force the classic start menu, but disabling it will essentially force the new start menu. This is not the case. On a user profile with the classic start menu already enabled, disabling the key has no effect.

The related registry key is NoSimpleStartMenu. When enabling this policy, this key is set to 1. The "SimpleStartMenu" in question is the Windows XP new start menu. Disabling the policy, or setting the key to a value of 0 seems to allow the new start menu to once again be selected but it does not enforce the new start menu.

I believe that this is either a bug from Microsoft, or a lack of proper documentation by the programmer implementing this feature (maybe he forgot?)

As it is, I have failed to find anyway, group policy, registry, or otherwise, to force the user to have the new start menu.

My explanation for this is that Microsoft, at the time of Windows XP's production, was so worried about people accepting the new start menu and complaining about lack of features to disable it they could not envision any administrator or user who would want to enforce it.

Unfortunately I'm a sole proprietor computer consultant who does work for small business, I have no contacts at Microsoft and would not even know where to begin to put in a ticket to see if this could be resolved. Anyone else who can pull some strings, it would be greatly appreciated.

The main premise for my decision to implement the new start menu here is consistency. The staff at one of the offices I do work for all use Windows XP at home. They have gotten used to the new start menu and rather like it. While I could log in as each user and change it for them, I would rather not have to do the same at each office I manage if I choose to do so.
 

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