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Layoutmodification.xml not applying in v1703

    Question

  • Hi,

    I have a new image built in Windows 10 v1703. LayoutModification.xml doesn't seem to be applying anymore. I've already removed TileDataLayer from C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local, which worked in the past and allowed our custom Start Menu to be applied, but now even with that folder gone the Start Menu is not applying.

    Is there another thing new in v1703 that I have to clear to get my LayoutModification.xml to be applied? 

    Friday, April 21, 2017 1:22 PM

Answers

  • I found the solution! There is indeed a cached version of the Start menu in the registry as of v1703. Removing the cache and the TileDataLayer folder will allow Windows to apply your Start menu modification if you're using manual user customizations in audit mode.

    The key is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore. For the default user in a clean WIM file from Microsoft, there are no subkeys here, so feel free to delete the "Store" key you see under CloudStore. 

    For me, since my image was already created, I had to mount the WIM file, load ntuser.dat from the Administrator user, remove this key, unload the hive (never forget to unload hives!), then commit the changes to the WIM. During deployment, the CopyProfile flag will copy the Administrator user to the Default user and all will be well! 😁

    • Marked as answer by EntegyMVP Friday, April 28, 2017 8:13 PM
    Friday, April 28, 2017 8:05 PM

All replies

  • Please try to Use classic Windows deployment method to add your LayoutModification.xml file to the mounted Windows image. You’ll need to put the file in the following location before first boot. If the file already exists in the image, you should replace the existing LayoutModification.xml file with the one that you wrote.

    C:\Mount\Windows\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\

    In fact, I suggest to use group policy to customize Start menu layout after deployment, it always works fine.

    Customize Windows 10 Start and taskbar with Group Policy

    https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/configure/customize-windows-10-start-screens-by-using-group-policy

    Regards


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    Monday, April 24, 2017 1:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Layoutmodification.xml is already in the correct place to be used. 

    I also cannot use GPO as I just want to set a default start menu that's our own, but allow our users to modify it afterwards and Microsoft hid the partial lockdown options for a start menu behind the Enterprise edition.

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:03 PM
  • Are you saying that .xml worked fine with 1607 but not with 1703?

    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:06 AM
  • The file is valid. I can manually recreate my layout and get an identical file when I export using Export-StartMenu.

    In previous builds, after doing user customisations and then sysprepping, you had to remove the TileDataLayer folder of the Default user so you'd have a clean start and layoutmodification.xml would apply. However, in v1703, removing that folder doesn't seem to be enough. Windows is remembering the start layout I had during user customisations, so it is very clearly stored elsewhere than TileDataLayer now. I'm trying to figure out where so I can clear that Start Menu data and have it fresh.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1:55 PM
  • In previous builds, after doing user customisations and then sysprepping, you had to remove the TileDataLayer folder of the Default user so you'd have a clean start and layoutmodification.xml would apply.


    I don´t know what are you talking about, but that is not how I do things with OS deployment. Any doc links to this? Maybe you miss-understood something at somepoint how this should be done. Or is this a behavior specifically in Partical start layout? What is your OS deployment method?

    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:40 PM
  • Do you do user customisation in audit mode, then sysprep before deploying?
    Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:41 PM
  • Do you do user customisation in audit mode, then sysprep before deploying?

    I don´t have to do that stuff at all. I use SCCM, so no sysprep phases for me :)

    My concern is around startlayout xml, do I have to re-create startout because of the build change.

    If you have weirdo issues with this, try this;

    1. Deploy reference, clean computer however you do it. Build your start screen. Export start layout to xml.
    2. Depoloy new computer using install.wim from DVD and import this start layout with MDT, SCCM or even GPO. (my point is - drop those customizations you now do).

     


    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!


    • Edited by yannara Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:38 PM
    Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:35 PM
  • Hi,

    I have a new image built in Windows 10 v1703. LayoutModification.xml doesn't seem to be applying anymore. I've already removed TileDataLayer from C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local, which worked in the past and allowed our custom Start Menu to be applied, but now even with that folder gone the Start Menu is not applying.

    Is there another thing new in v1703 that I have to clear to get my LayoutModification.xml to be applied? 

    Hi

    I got exactly the same problem worked well in 1607 with the procedure you described

    Doesn't work in 1703 , thing is event after deleting the TileDataLayer  folder int the default userprofile it retains the start menu layout so it should be stored somewhere else but where !!!


    BESACIER C

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:16 AM
  • Here the same problem as you. Always worked well untill this version.

    No idea on how to solve it.

    I hope microsoft resolves this soon, because else I can't install this version on our new pc's.

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:32 AM
  • Re:

    Ok so after further investigation I found a workaround
    I Created a new user based on my actual default profile
    I modified the start menu layout manually
    I copied the user hive  c:\newuser\ntuser.* to c:\users\default
    and from now all new users have the right start menu layout
    Conclusion the Start Menu Layout should now be stored in the user hive we just need to find where
    I'll certainly use procmon to see modifications in the registry when I modify the start menu layout and maybe this will give me the location

    Cheers

     


    BESACIER C

    • Proposed as answer by Besacier Christian Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:14 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by EntegyMVP Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:15 PM
    Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:14 PM
  • Glad to see others are having the same issue. I too have been trying to use Sysinternals Process Monitor to try and figure out if it was moved to the registry, but with other projects and millions of events to go through, it's been slow. I will share anything I find in this thread, I hope you will too!
    Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:16 PM

  • I Created a new user based on my actual default profile
    I modified the start menu layout manually
    I copied the user hive  c:\newuser\ntuser.* to c:\users\default
    and from now all new users have the right start menu layout
    Conclusion the Start Menu Layout should now be stored in the user hive we just need to find where

    Guys, I might be wrong ofcourse, but for me it seems that stuff you now do is legacy/obsolete. Forget copy profile and manually manupulating folders and files. I might misunderstood something here, but I don´t understand why you just don´t use export-startlayout and import-startlayout etc?

    Another approach is to wait until 1703 becomes CBB, currently it is CB. Me personaly have no rush anymore to deploy this kind of stuff during CB timeframe :)


    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Friday, April 28, 2017 7:32 AM
  • Hi Yannara 

    Maybe you should read before answering

    we would like to use export-startlayout and import-startlayout but it's apparently not working in windows 1703

    export-startlayout and import-startlayout commands are working 

    the layoutmodification.xml file is placed in the default user profile c:\users\default\appdata\local\Microsoft\Windows\shell

    but it is ignored by the system  or it's not applying 

    We've found a workaround by copying the hive  which is I agree an obsolete process   

    Cheers



    BESACIER C

    Friday, April 28, 2017 9:36 AM
  • Actually, this entire thread started with "tweaking", that´s why I´m confused.

    But, please someone provide feedback to MS about this, seems like a bug. I can´t use Feedback App myself.


    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Friday, April 28, 2017 10:25 AM
  • There is no "tweaking"

    Using audit mode to make customizations to the default user profile, then resealing the OS with sysprep and the CopyProfile flag is a valid and supported deployment scenario.

    The problem in Windows 10 is that technically, the Start menu configuration gets captured in copying the user profile, so Windows won't apply Layoutmodification.xml because the user account already has a start menu configuration. Prior to v1703, all data related to the Start menu was stored in a folder called TileDataLayer and by removing that folder from the Default user folder, Windows would apply Layoutmodification.xml when a new user logged in.

    I think Besacier is right in that there is some registry settings that need to be reset too in v1703. I can't replace the entire user hive because some of my user customizations end up stored in the registry.

    Friday, April 28, 2017 10:50 AM
  • There is no "tweaking"

    Using audit mode to make customizations to the default user profile, then resealing the OS with sysprep and the CopyProfile flag is a valid and supported deployment scenario.

    Yes, it might be supported, but I believe this is not the primary way how to do it. Copying profile was popular in Windows XP timeframe. Maybe the difference is, that I do all this stuff with SCCM/MDT, and everything is automated, so we do not tend to copy stuff. Last time I had to sysprep machine manually was Windows XP era. And I created images with Win7 all the time :) 

    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Friday, April 28, 2017 4:04 PM
  • I found the solution! There is indeed a cached version of the Start menu in the registry as of v1703. Removing the cache and the TileDataLayer folder will allow Windows to apply your Start menu modification if you're using manual user customizations in audit mode.

    The key is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore. For the default user in a clean WIM file from Microsoft, there are no subkeys here, so feel free to delete the "Store" key you see under CloudStore. 

    For me, since my image was already created, I had to mount the WIM file, load ntuser.dat from the Administrator user, remove this key, unload the hive (never forget to unload hives!), then commit the changes to the WIM. During deployment, the CopyProfile flag will copy the Administrator user to the Default user and all will be well! 😁

    • Marked as answer by EntegyMVP Friday, April 28, 2017 8:13 PM
    Friday, April 28, 2017 8:05 PM
  • Just adding my another 5 cent to this. I just deployed first 1703 wipe and load with using same startlayout.xml I had done in 1607 - no issues, applies with no problem. I also have IE icon made there manually, if makes any difference.

    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Friday, April 28, 2017 10:10 PM
  • Hi Entegy

    Happy you found it,  I did not have the time to do it

    I'll try on Monday, Glad if I helped you find the solution with my guess it was cached somewhere in the user hive

    You're not forced to modify your WIM image you can just do a post deployment job which

    1-load the default hive

    2-remove the key

    3-unload the default hive

    This is fairly easy to do which SCCM in a task sequence

    Cheers


    BESACIER C

    Saturday, April 29, 2017 11:32 PM
  • Yup, you can do this at any point in your deployment. I wanted it done in my WIM as I try to keep my MDT task sequence free of build-specific steps if I can.
    Sunday, April 30, 2017 1:25 AM
  • Can this be scripted automatically so that it can run during a MDT Capture sequence?
    Wednesday, May 03, 2017 8:02 AM
  • Just adding my another 5 cent to this. I just deployed first 1703 wipe and load with using same startlayout.xml I had done in 1607 - no issues, applies with no problem. I also have IE icon made there manually, if makes any difference.

    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!


    IE icon or Custom Edge tile? My Edge tile pointing to a URL is no longer displaying in 1703 via GPO.
    Wednesday, May 03, 2017 5:30 PM

  • IE icon or Custom Edge tile? My Edge tile pointing to a URL is no longer displaying in 1703 via GPO.

    http://ccmexec.com/2015/09/customizing-the-windows-10-start-menu-and-add-ie-shortcut-during-osd/

    IE icon without GPO, during OS deployment.


    Please remember to mark my post as an answer, if I really helped you out, or vote if usefull. Thank you!

    Thursday, May 04, 2017 6:18 AM
  • We have had the Start Menu layout in place since we first deployed Win10 1511, it worked flawlessly through 1607. It is deployed to everyone using GPO

    Now on our 1703 test machines (all test machines) the custom layout seems to be loading, but it's really wonky and screwed up.

    1. Since each user may use a different version of Office (we range from 2007 - 2016 in different offices) the custom layout has the appropriate links for all versions of Word, Outlook, and Excel. In 1511 an 1607, the layout only placed the tile for whatever version they had. Now, in 1703, it tries to make a "tile" for every version listed in the layout file ... just that some are blank. AND since the tiles for each version were located in the same place, instead of having a nice clean 4x4 layout section, it now is creating mini tiles and cramming 3 or 4 into the same space that usually would have been 1 tile.
         
    2. In 1703, it also does not seem to use the concept of "if it is already pinned, don't make another pin". I have a tile for Devices and Printers in the custom layout, and now there is another one in the user customizable section that shows (2) when you hover over it.
        
    3. In 1703, the link for the calendar app no longer appears in the Life At a Glance section, but the weather and news still do. These are setup in our custom layout file so we could remove some items from the Start Menu but leave the things that our staff may still use.
          
    4. Not necessarily linked to the custom menu layout file, but one thing that also happened on the Test machines, was the user-added tiles were all removed. The top part of our start menu was always the locked items that we needed them to always have, but the bottom area they could add whatever the required. The tiles for all those apps and programs are gone now and had to be re-added manually. All these machines had their menus setup through 1511 and 1607 updates with no issues, so not sure why 1703 is screwing things up so badly.

    So far, the issues found with 1703 seem to be cosmetic in nature, mostly noticeable in the menus, but this needs to get addressed before we will allow it to be deployed to everyone, otherwise I'm going to be spending many days on the phone and at user desks re-setting everyone's program tiles up.



    Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:24 PM
  • Worked on version 1703 with latest Aug 8 KB4034674 rollup

    Guys, I have worked on this all day and what Entegy had found (default user that you setup with all the settings gets put in the registry location    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore]Store\Cache\DefaultAccountI exported this and merged this with a profile that I have been testing with and everything loaded, tiles, taskbar settings and all settings that I had tweaked such as removing the action center for notifications, adding IE to the taskbar. In addition to this I exported the startlayout and Imported it for default users. 

    Hope it works for you

    John 



    Sr Network Admin

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017 8:56 PM