[Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 Enterprise] Group Policy Setting desktop configuration client side


  • Hello:

    I am running windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise and I have a desktop image I want to force on both the user (after login to AD) and on the computer (on the login screen).  To make matters worse, I want to force a plain black background color behind it since it has a transparent background in the areas mentioned previously.  Is there a group policy to force this exact configuration:


    • What: Desktop Background (image, color, and positioning)
    • When: before and after login for all users on all workstations
    • Where: \\xds-dc\corp\corp.png
    Monday, January 11, 2016 10:49 PM


All replies

  • Here are a few guides:

    Basically, you specify a specific image file to use (and it has to conform to requirements regarding format, colour-depth/bitsperpixel, etc).
    The size/resolution, positioning, etc, can be fiddly, especially if you have a variety of machines with differing display resolutions.

    The background for a user account, vs the background for the logon screen (default when nobody is logged on), are two separate things, because wallpaper/background is a per-user personalisation setting.

    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Monday, January 11, 2016 11:50 PM
  • Hi,

    I agree with Don, you could have a try following his reference.

    Besides, please note that Microsoft has ended support for Windows Server 2003, it is recommended to upgrade to a newer version of Windows Server for better user experience.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016 6:50 AM
  • thanks all:

    I've gotten the user desktops to take the corporate wallpaper just fine, now how to get the logon desktop to pull that same image.  I am fully aware that MS has ended support for windows server 2003, office, exchange, windows xp, etc.  However I am working with organizations which do not have sufficient resources to upgrade their hardware to support the newer (supported) microsoft products.  As such google and the forums here are my only hope for salvation.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 4:17 AM
  • thanks for that:

    those above articles describe how to accomplish it on windows server 2008 (group policy preferences) and for clients running windows 7 or vista.  My particular organizations are running server 2003 (they got the servers "hand-me-down") and windows XP client side (picked up the workstations for less money than a good night at the mexican restaurant for the executives)

    Friday, January 15, 2016 5:35 AM
  • wow, XP, ok, something like this:

    For WinXP, the Group Policy Preferences extensions were available as an installable update, from memory they needed you to also install MSXMLlite.

    You could use any "modern" workstation, domain-joined, with the RSAT installed, to create/manage the Domain GPOs for this.

    The Windows Server version of the domain controllers isn't important (we used to use WS2003 with GP-Preferences just fine, but I managed the GPOs from a Win7+RSAT pc.

    Or, you could use a startup script which deploys the registry keys. Or write your own ADM (in case there isn't one floating around the webfor this already)

    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Friday, January 15, 2016 9:29 AM
  • thanks!  That fixed me.  Here's the original JPG just for kicks and giggles. 

    NOTE: I don't own the copyright for the giant "Winx Club" logo, Iginio Straffi does.  Mr. Straffi is the Creator of Winx Club, a company favorite cartoon it's a symbol of company culture or some such... I don't know, it was here before I took over this case to design and deploy this.

    OK I stand corrected: that didn't fix me.  I created a reg file to make the appropriate changes using the image from a UNC path then created a bat to apply that reg as a startup script.  still the blue windows xp background.  I ram the bat from the network (failed), ran just the reg file from the network got a success that it merged and rebooted each workstation where applied and no go.  is the login background restricted to being a local image stored on each workstation?  If so I'll throw together a quick setup program to automate it (drop the bmp somewhere, merge the reg file, clean up any temp things it used in the process). 

    Update: After just automating the dropping of the bmp file and setting the registry information this fixed it.  So We've got a working solution and for all who helped

    Winx Corporate Deskop 2.3.x JPEG file for reference more than anything else

    • Edited by SDNSupportServ._Alanis Sunday, January 17, 2016 6:12 AM providig a final update on it and now makig the post that lead me in right direction as answer
    Sunday, January 17, 2016 12:59 AM