5

I'm looking for a way to standardize the default wallpaper on all PCs that get imaged and deployed to employees. We want to set a company wallpaper as part of the imaging process but we do not want to prevent the end user from being able to change the wallpaper later on if they want to do so. We use KACE as our imaging tool so we can run any standard batch file/vbscript/wscript or an application. The key thing is that when the PC gets imaged the end user's profile is not yet present on the PC (all the imaging tasks use local administrator account) so we need something that will set the default wallpaper for any domain user that logs on in the future.

I have thought about using a GPO, but the two reasons I don't want to are 1) that would apply to all users, I only want the default wallpaper to apply to users when they get a new PC and 2) I don't think the user can change their wallpaper if it is set via GPO.

Ideally, this is how we want it to work:

  1. PC gets imaged
  2. End user logs onto PC via AD for the first time and their local profile gets created
  3. The first time the user logs on, their wallpaper is preset to a standard company wallpaper
  4. If the end user wants to change their wallpaper, they can do so
7

The group policy preferences may have what you need.

The wallpaper setting, like many other things is set in the registry. The Group Policy Preferences has the ability to set registry items like the standard GP templates.

  • Wallpaper: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper

Preferences are different from the standard Group policy template items, with a preference you can check the box apply once and do not reapply. If you use this option you can set the wallpaper registry value a single time, and users can change it.

2
  • I guess hkey_current_user would work only for the current user, and not for all existing or as a default for users to be created. I think Group Policy is a more proper way to do it but I want to do it automatically, is there group policy scripts to automate it, or GP works directly through registry keys? I'd like to have some information regarding my points :)
    – user246890
    Oct 7 '16 at 19:21
  • GP works directly through registry keys? - Kinda wonder if you actually read my answer? With preferences you can set arbitrary registry values.
    – Zoredache
    Oct 7 '16 at 20:55
3

Just use group policy.

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\Desktop\Desktop Wallpaper

Specifies the desktop background ("wallpaper") displayed on all users' desktops.

This setting lets you specify the wallpaper on users' desktops and prevents users from changing the image or its presentation. The wallpaper you specify can be stored in a bitmap (.bmp) or JPEG (.jpg) file.

To use this setting, type the fully qualified path and name of the file that stores the wallpaper image. You can type a local path, such as C:\Windows\web\wallpaper\home.jpg or a UNC path, such as \Server\Share\Corp.jpg. If the specified file is not available when the user logs on, no wallpaper is displayed. Users cannot specify alternative wallpaper. You can also use this setting to specify that the wallpaper image be centered, tiled, or stretched. Users cannot change this specification.

Source: http://gpsearch.azurewebsites.net/#141

As well you can check nice guide which covers couple scenarios at: http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2011/03/best-practice-using-group-policy-to-configure-desktop-wallpaper-background/

2
  • Welcome to Server Fault. Sometimes quoting the right section of the documentation is the best way to answer a question. However when answering a question with a quote, we prefer that you include a reference to the source.
    – kasperd
    Nov 11 '15 at 14:19
  • This fails item 4 of the original question.
    – Joel Coel
    Nov 9 '20 at 21:01
1

The simple solution is to replace the default windows background, in case when Themes service is running and Aero is enabled it's located here: C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg

What I've been doing for a VDI project a while back was to enable the Themes service and Aero in VM image and then add the following registry to the default user (note that I'm using a custom image as a background). Certainly recommend to test it in a lab first:

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Cursors]
@="Windows Aero"
"Scheme Source"=dword:00000002

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
"UserPreferencesMask"=hex:90,12,03,80,10,00,00,00
"WallPaper"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,55,00,73,00,65,00,72,00,73,00,5c,00,25,00,\
  55,00,53,00,45,00,52,00,4e,00,41,00,4d,00,45,00,25,00,5c,00,41,00,70,00,70,\
  00,44,00,61,00,74,00,61,00,5c,00,52,00,6f,00,61,00,6d,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,\
  5c,00,4d,00,69,00,63,00,72,00,6f,00,73,00,6f,00,66,00,74,00,5c,00,57,00,69,\
  00,6e,00,64,00,6f,00,77,00,73,00,5c,00,54,00,68,00,65,00,6d,00,65,00,73,00,\
  5c,00,54,00,72,00,61,00,6e,00,73,00,63,00,6f,00,64,00,65,00,64,00,57,00,61,\
  00,6c,00,6c,00,70,00,61,00,70,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,6a,00,70,00,67,00,00,00

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
"BorderWidth"="-15"
"CaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
  00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"CaptionHeight"="-315"
"CaptionWidth"="-315"
"IconFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
  00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"IconTitleWrap"="1"
"MenuFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
  00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"MenuHeight"="-285"
"MenuWidth"="-285"
"MessageFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
  00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"ScrollHeight"="-255"
"ScrollWidth"="-255"
"SmCaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,\
  00,00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"SmCaptionHeight"="-255"
"SmCaptionWidth"="-255"
"StatusFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
  00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
  00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"Shell Icon Size"="32"
"AppliedDPI"=dword:00000060
"PaddedBorderWidth"="-60"
"IconSpacing"="-1125"
"IconVerticalSpacing"="-1125"
"MinAnimate"="0"

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\General]
"WallpaperSource"="C:\\WINDOWS\\web\\wallpaper\\Windows\\img0-win7.jpg"

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers\Images]
"ID-1"="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"
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ThemeManager]
"ThemeActive"="1"
"LoadedBefore"="1"
"LastUserLangID"="1033"
"LastLoadedDPI"="96"
"DllName"=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,\
  74,00,25,00,5c,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,6f,00,75,00,72,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,5c,\
  00,54,00,68,00,65,00,6d,00,65,00,73,00,5c,00,41,00,65,00,72,00,6f,00,5c,00,\
  41,00,65,00,72,00,6f,00,2e,00,6d,00,73,00,73,00,74,00,79,00,6c,00,65,00,73,\
  00,00,00
"ColorName"="NormalColor"
"SizeName"="NormalSize"

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes]
"CurrentTheme"="C:\\WINDOWS\\resources\\Themes\\aero.theme"

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM]
"Composition"=dword:00000001
"ColorizationOpaqueBlend"=dword:00000000
"EnableAeroPeek"=dword:00000000
"AlwaysHibernateThumbnails"=dword:00000000
"CompositionPolicy"=dword:00000002
"ColorizationColor"=dword:6b74b8fc
"ColorizationColorBalance"=dword:00000008
"ColorizationAfterglow"=dword:6b74b8fc
"ColorizationAfterglowBalance"=dword:0000002b
"ColorizationBlurBalance"=dword:00000031
"ColorizationGlassReflectionIntensity"=dword:00000000
1
  • This worked pre-Windows 10, but in the new "Windows-as-a-service" era the twice-yearly feature updates will overwrite this change.
    – Joel Coel
    Nov 9 '20 at 21:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.