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GPO for enabling the 'My Computer' icon on Win 7 desktops, and renaming it with the machine's hostname? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is there a GPO that can allow me to enable the My Computer icon on my Windows 7 SP1 Pro clients, as well as automatically renaming it from 'My Computer' to the actual hostname of the machine?

    Sunday, April 1, 2012 6:40 PM

Answers

  • Even in Windows 7, there still isn’t a Group Policy setting that will let you add the ‘My Computer’ icon to the desktop (unless you forcibly change the Start Menu to Classic) and then change the name from My Computer to anything else. I am very surprised this isn’t a setting but we can still modify the registry to achieve this (either inside a GPO or with a script):

    To show the ‘My Computer’ icon on the desk"text-decoration:underline;">

    [HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
    Name = {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
    Type =REG_DWORD

    Value = 0

    To change the ‘My Computer’ icon to computer or user name:
    [HKCR\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}]
    Name = LocalizedString
    Type = REG_EXPAND_SZ

    Data value = %computername% or any combination you like – eg %username% %computername%

    Don’t forget you will need to change the permissions / ownership on this registry key so that you can change it – by default even Administrators cannot modify it.

    These both apply to Windows XP and 7 and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

    source: http://blog.danovich.com.au/2010/02/18/add-my-computer-to-desktop-and-change-to-computer-name/

    BR
    Mads


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.





    Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:49 PM
  •  
    > Don’t forget you will need to change the permissions / ownership on
    > this registry key so that you can change it – by default even
    > Administrators cannot modify it.
     That's only partially right.
     
    HKCR is a shortcut. It refers to both (!!!) HKLM\Software\Classes and
    HKCU\Software\Classes in a "layered" manner. The latter one (HKCU) is
    the "top" layer. So, if a value exists in HKCU, it is the active one. If
    it does not exist in HKCU, then the one in HKLM is active.
     
    The goal is most easily shot if you deploy
    HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\LocalizedString
    through Group Policy Preferences to every user.
     
    sincerely, Martin
     

    NO THEY ARE NOT EVIL, if you know what you are doing: Good or bad GPOs?
    Wenn meine Antwort hilfreich war, freue ich mich über eine Bewertung! If my answer was helpful, I'm glad about a rating!
    Monday, April 2, 2012 11:35 AM

All replies

  • Even in Windows 7, there still isn’t a Group Policy setting that will let you add the ‘My Computer’ icon to the desktop (unless you forcibly change the Start Menu to Classic) and then change the name from My Computer to anything else. I am very surprised this isn’t a setting but we can still modify the registry to achieve this (either inside a GPO or with a script):

    To show the ‘My Computer’ icon on the desk"text-decoration:underline;">

    [HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
    Name = {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
    Type =REG_DWORD

    Value = 0

    To change the ‘My Computer’ icon to computer or user name:
    [HKCR\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}]
    Name = LocalizedString
    Type = REG_EXPAND_SZ

    Data value = %computername% or any combination you like – eg %username% %computername%

    Don’t forget you will need to change the permissions / ownership on this registry key so that you can change it – by default even Administrators cannot modify it.

    These both apply to Windows XP and 7 and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

    source: http://blog.danovich.com.au/2010/02/18/add-my-computer-to-desktop-and-change-to-computer-name/

    BR
    Mads


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.





    Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:49 PM
  •  
    > Don’t forget you will need to change the permissions / ownership on
    > this registry key so that you can change it – by default even
    > Administrators cannot modify it.
     That's only partially right.
     
    HKCR is a shortcut. It refers to both (!!!) HKLM\Software\Classes and
    HKCU\Software\Classes in a "layered" manner. The latter one (HKCU) is
    the "top" layer. So, if a value exists in HKCU, it is the active one. If
    it does not exist in HKCU, then the one in HKLM is active.
     
    The goal is most easily shot if you deploy
    HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\LocalizedString
    through Group Policy Preferences to every user.
     
    sincerely, Martin
     

    NO THEY ARE NOT EVIL, if you know what you are doing: Good or bad GPOs?
    Wenn meine Antwort hilfreich war, freue ich mich über eine Bewertung! If my answer was helpful, I'm glad about a rating!
    Monday, April 2, 2012 11:35 AM
  • This works great, especially that it is per-user, thanks Martin.

    The only thing to add is that I had to use an expanded string, otherwise it literally labelled the icon as %COMPUTERNAME% instead of expanding it!

    Here's the GP Preference setting I deployed

    Hive
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    
    Key path
    Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
    
    Value name
    LocalizedString
    
    Value type
    REG_EXPAND_SZ
    
    Value data
    Computer: %COMPUTERNAME%


    Thom McKiernan (UK) @thommck | thommck.wordpress.com | MCSA | MCTS

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:32 PM
  • Thanks, was looking around for a enterprise type solution. Didn't realise that the keys were shortcuts like you say. 

    Tested and works like a charm. 

    Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:19 PM
  • Am 30.09.2016 um 00:19 schrieb nebule-nz:
    > Thanks, was looking around for a enterprise type solution.
     
    Create an ADM Template for the RegKEy or simply use GPP Registry.
     
    Mark
     
    --
    Mark Heitbrink - MVP Group Policy - Cloud and Datacenter Management
     
    Homepage:  http://www.gruppenrichtlinien.de - deutsch
     
    Friday, September 30, 2016 9:58 AM