I'm putting shortcuts into the All User folder, and the Administrator of the PC can see it, but the AD user can't. Is there some setting I'm missing or what?
Using Server 2012 Datacenter R2 and Win 7 PCs.
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Please understand that
%CommonStartMenuDir% is not a regular environment variable, but only works in the context of applying Group Policy Preferences.
So the target computer cannot resolve this variable on its own, but relies on the Group Policy Preferences Client Side Extension for Windows.
According to the documentation, the GPP CSE is included with Windows 7 and up, but I've talked to multiple desktop professionals who reported that Windows 7 32-bit Edition did not have the GPP CSE by default, and required them to install at least Service Pack 1 for Windows 7.
This might be your problem