Tag Archives: Group policy

Controlling the creation of Libraries in Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2.

Following on from my previous post about libraries, I have found you can actually control library creation, but there is a two fairly large caveats I’ll cover later in this post.

To Block Library creation, you can create a user group policy blocking the known folder ID. You may argue a login script can simply delete the unwanted libraries, and you would be right, but a shell context menu exists to restore these libraries on user request. The method below ensure’s they are never created.

For every default windows directory, these directories have known folder names and GUID’s. A great reference site for these GUIDS can be found here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378457(VS.85).aspx

In our case, we’re interested in the following five Known Folders:

FOLDERID_DocumentsLibrary   GUID{7B0DB17D-9CD2-4A93-9733-46CC89022E7C}
FOLDERID_MusicLibrary             GUID{2112AB0A-C86A-4FFE-A368-0DE96E47012E}
FOLDERID_PicturesLibrary         GUID{A990AE9F-A03B-4E80-94BC-9912D7504104}
FOLDERID_VideosLibrary            GUID{491E922F-5643-4AF4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}

and the little known:

FOLDERID_RecordedTVLibrary  GUID{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}

Once we know which folders we wish to block, open group policy and navigate to the following policy:

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer.

In this section, you will find a Disable Known Folders Setting.

Enable the policy and click show, here you can configure the libraries you wish to block:

(below I’m blocking the creation of Video’s and Music.)

Configuring the value above will leave you with libraries as so:

Caveat’s:

It’s a once off thing… Blocking the creation of a library will only take effect on the first login, aka the profile creation. There is no microsoft solution available to control these libraries after the fact. You could make do with login scripts, but its messy.

It’s not the size, its the contents that matter… You cannot control the cotents of libraries, i.e. you cannot block the link to the shared folders libraries. This is really silly, as you would assume that were you to block the known folder PublicDocuments aka {ED4824AF-DCE4-45A8-81E2-FC7965083634}. This would stop it being created in the profile on first load, you’d be very wrong, blocking this known folder causes the library to not be created. Not sure who thought that was a good idea, but I digress.

So that’s it in a nutshell, for more information on locking down the server 2008 r2 profile check in later or follow me on twitter @andyjmorgan.

Problems using Group Policy to set a mandatory profile…

Here’s a weird one i came across this week while configuring a mandatory profile, I was using my local laptop to configure group policy over the domain and could set the mandatory profile, but could not set the “Do not append the user name to the profile path” as it was missing from the group policy object!

After much head scratching we discovered an extra registry setting embedded in the group policy:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows NTTerminal
ServicesWFDontAppendUserNameToProfile dword = 1.

Still none the wiser to the issue we found the following article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/908011. With this we put two and two together, and logged into a 2003 domain controller (sp2) and low and behold the policy setting was available.

It seems the group policy were updated in service pack 2 to reflect an issue when trying to configure mandatory profiles, I do aim to copy the policies to my laptop and see if i can update them to reflect the change but I’ve been to lazy so far :)

Update: Well i got around to testing the policy copy, if you copy the .adm files from the domain controller to your local machine with the problem, it will resolve the issue.

Heres an example of scripting the change:

pushd domaincontrollerc$windowsinf
copy *.adm %windir%inf
popd

That’s it. reload gpedit.msc and you should see hte entries correctly.

how do i create custom .adm / group policy files?

 

Update: With thanks to some great help and troubleshooting from Steven we have resolved the line 46 “Categor” error. In order for the adm to parse the ending y in this file an additional two blank lines or “carriage returns” are necessary at the base of the adm file. The download file has been updated, Thanks again Steven.

A .adm file, is a group policy file that specifies policies outside of Microsoft’s default options. Basically they are policies you can put in place that Microsoft in their infinite wisdom forgot to put in before launch.

I had a situation recently where we have external users coming into our network, and using our CAG’s to access the the citrix environment. Once in there they needed access to an internal webpage that we published with internet explorer. The problem therein lied that these users could browse the local lan for resources with the address bar and many other wonderful utilities Microsoft put into internet explorer but failed to lock down efficiently.

All i really cared about (and for the interest of this post) was locking down the address bar in Internet Explorer 6.1. Nowhere could i find an option to do this, and i was getting nowhere fast. Searching internet explorer did bring back a few “helpful” articles on technet that i just couldnt understand, and i did find a piece of software that used to do it for free, until microsoft bought the company, stole its code for server 2008 and stopped people using or downloading the application. nice one microsoft…

I have attached the policy settings and ADM files for reference on how to lock down internet explorer 6 completely, hopefully i will save somebody else 7 hours of their time.

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