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I have a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit machine that will be hosting three Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VMware Player 7 virtual machines. I have the first VM completed and am about to create the first standard user on that VM. Standard users will only have access to a single Excel 2007 workbook application (I've worked through all of the Excel non-multi-user and licensing issues already), the Recycle Bin, and a single folder set up for them to use as file storage for new workbooks that they create from the Excel 2007 workbook application - everything else will be locked down, especially file transfer.

I need to create up to five standard user accounts on each VM with this configuration. I'd like to be able to use the first, fully-configured, standard user as the default for all other standard users on all three VMs. Each VM will be dedicated to a single application development partner organization for their use of the Excel application. I'm under the impression that when I clone the VM that I've currently completed to create the next two VMs, that all three VMs will be identical in terms of user accounts, etc. Only the Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, Office 2007, and other application license information will need to be updated. That means that the five standard users that I create on the VM that I've already completed will also be present in the two new VMs that I will clone in the future. Is this correct?

If this is correct, then what is the recommended best approach to lock down the standard user? I'm operating in a workgroup environment - there's no domain controller or Active Directory. From extensive reading it appears that there are two methods I could use - Multiple Local Group Policy Objects (MLGPO) or Sysprep and the default user profile.

I really don't want to create an administrative workstation just to create and manage the lock-down configuration for a total of 1 user (assuming that the original standard user configuration can somehow be applied to 4 additional standard users on the VM that I've already created, then cloned with the creation of the next two new VMs). To summarize, here's what I need to be able to do:

  1. Apply the lock-down configuration from the first standard user to 4 additional standard users on the VM that I've already created.
  2. All 5 standard users present on my first VM (the one I've already created) will be replicated without change when two new VMs are cloned from my existing VM in the future.

Given my situation, what do you recommend as the most efficient and reliable approach to deal with this challenge?

Thanks In Advance For Your Help!

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