I have some scripts running on files located on a shared drive on a Win2003 Server.

I need to look at the images on any number of PC's in our network.. so every time I browse these folders, the clients create thumbs.db, which interferes with our scripts which move and delete folders, but usually cannot do so because of the "thumbs.db is in use".

This is true even when I close my folders/image preview on whatever client machine I am using.

So I'd like to disable thumbs.db altogether- but is there a way of doing it on the server, so I dont have to worry about the client machine registry settings etc?

  • This is probably more appropriate for SU unless you are administering client machines and setting group policy or something. – Sinan Ünür Jan 27 '10 at 21:49
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    @Sinan: he's asking if there's a way on the server to prevent this. – squillman Jan 27 '10 at 21:59
  • Similar question here: serverfault.com/questions/15102/… – Nic Jan 26 '12 at 18:53

There's not really a good way to control this "server side" with any mechanism other than Group Policy (which, ultimately, is just making a setting in the client computers' registries).

Have a look at the setting "Turn off caching of thumbnail pictures" under "Windows Explorer" under "Windows Components" under "Administrative Templates" under the "User Configuration" section of a Group Policy Object.

  • +1 Agreed. GPO is the best 'server side' solution for this – Nick Kavadias Jan 28 '10 at 0:22
  • Can I restrict this to just a set of folders on our shared drive? I dont want all of our users not to create or cache thumbs for all folders on this big shared drive. I want all users to not create or cache thumbs just for one small set (that is in use in these scripts) – steve Jan 28 '10 at 17:50
  • Microsoft only gives you the option to turn the behavior off-- not to control where it's applied. W/o getting somebody to make modifications to either Windows Explorer on the clients on the LanManServer service on the server computer you're outta luck. (Okay, okay-- I suppose you could do an ugly and awful hack like pre-creating a "thumbs.db" file in every folder on the server computer with permissions that prevent "normal user" from writing to it. It'd be interesting to see what the client's Windows Explorer failure mode would be in that case... heh heh...) – Evan Anderson Jan 28 '10 at 18:19
  • thanks to everyone for the advice.. that does sound like a terrible and ugly hack haha. I'm just gonna disable the thumbs across the board. Pretty sure our users will still live. – steve Jan 28 '10 at 20:22

With Windows Server 2003 and newer, the File Server Resource Manager can be used to enforce policy about the kind of files saved into a network share.

  1. Use the Server Manager to add the File Server Resource Manager, one of the role services available when File Services is installed.
  2. Open the File Server Resource Manager administrative tool.
  3. Define a new File Group that includes "Thumbs.db"
  4. Define a new custom File Screen to use active screening, and select your custom file group for Thumbs.db files. You may optionally choose to send a warning to the event log each time a file is blocked.
  5. Use a Windows client to browse some images on the share, and verify that Thumbs.db is no longer created.
  6. If you enabled event logging, it will show up as a warning event 8215 in the server's Application log from source "SRMSVC".

This feature should work on 'older' environments (XP, Server 2003) To turn this feature off, do the following:

1) Open My Computer 2) Click on Tools 3) Click on Folder Options 4) Click on the View Tab 5) Place a check in the option "Do not cache thumbnails" 6) Click Ok 7) Close My Computer

This should work in 'newer' environments (W7) gpedit.msc User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer Double Click “Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files” (3rd item on right) Source: http://www.technoleros.com/turn-off-caching-of-windows-7-thumbnails-in-hidden-thumbs-db-files/


There isn't a mechanism built into Win2003 to prevent clients from creating them so you'd have to get creative an put a hack together that would cause it to fail.

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