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Windows7 Explorer.exe generates "Unspecified error" when trying to access "Personalize" in display properties

    Question

  • When applying a GP to a client, I get a error message window, "Explorer.exe: Unspecified error" anytime I try to access the "Personalize" in display properties on the client pc.

    Monday, February 22, 2010 7:07 PM

Answers

  • Well, after much searching I found out waht the problem was. I'll post it incase another has the same problem with Server 2008 GPO applied to Windows 7 client (the error does not crop up with Windows XP client).

    I had a policy to only show certain items in Control Panel. I've been testing my GPO that I've used with XP clients to use with Windows 7. What I didn't realize was that in WIndows 7 (and vista), you also need to display the "Personalization".
    User Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates->Control Panel\Show only specified Control Panel items.

    Problem:
    With XP, it did not have "Personalization". When I applied the same GPO to Windows 7, I got a very undescrip error message, "Explorer.exe: Unspecified error" when I clicked on "Personalize" (right-clicking on the desktop)
     
    The "Personalization" link did not show up in the Control Panel, but right clicking on the desktop showed "Personalize". Clicking this would give me the message above. It didn't even occur to me that I needed to display the "Personalization" item in control panel.

    FIX: 
    What I had to do was enter the CANONICAL name, Microsoft.Personalization in the "List of allowed Control Panel items"

    That fixed the problem. Right-clicking on the desktop, choosing "Personalize" gets me into the personalization window to change the desktop wallpaper, screensavers, etc in Windows 7.
    Monday, February 22, 2010 11:26 PM

All replies

  • Well, after much searching I found out waht the problem was. I'll post it incase another has the same problem with Server 2008 GPO applied to Windows 7 client (the error does not crop up with Windows XP client).

    I had a policy to only show certain items in Control Panel. I've been testing my GPO that I've used with XP clients to use with Windows 7. What I didn't realize was that in WIndows 7 (and vista), you also need to display the "Personalization".
    User Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates->Control Panel\Show only specified Control Panel items.

    Problem:
    With XP, it did not have "Personalization". When I applied the same GPO to Windows 7, I got a very undescrip error message, "Explorer.exe: Unspecified error" when I clicked on "Personalize" (right-clicking on the desktop)
     
    The "Personalization" link did not show up in the Control Panel, but right clicking on the desktop showed "Personalize". Clicking this would give me the message above. It didn't even occur to me that I needed to display the "Personalization" item in control panel.

    FIX: 
    What I had to do was enter the CANONICAL name, Microsoft.Personalization in the "List of allowed Control Panel items"

    That fixed the problem. Right-clicking on the desktop, choosing "Personalize" gets me into the personalization window to change the desktop wallpaper, screensavers, etc in Windows 7.
    Monday, February 22, 2010 11:26 PM
  • Hi Tuksonrider,

    Thanks for your post, I was worried it was just me.

    I get the same error when I disable the Personalize control panel item. If a user right clicks on the desktop and selects Personalize they receive a message box "Restrictions - The operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer", Okay to click away that message and a box "Explorer.exe" - Unspecified Error appears.

    This is a Windows Server 2008 R2 Terminal Server, locked down with GP.

    My problem is that I want to leave the control panel item disabled so that users cannot access these settings. How do I get rid of the Explorer.exe error?

    Does anyone know if this a bug in 2008 R2 Group Policy, or just a new implementation?

    Cheers,

    Anthony

    Thursday, April 08, 2010 10:05 PM
  • How are you disabling it?

    Are you hiding just certain control panel itmes:

    Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Hide Specified Control Panel Items

    -or-

    Are you just showing certain Control Pabel Items?

    Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Show only specified Control Panel Items

    Either way, are you using the canonical name forhiding or showing personalization?

    Friday, April 09, 2010 2:47 AM
  • I am having the same problem as Anthonynz. I am using the "Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Show only specified Control Panel Items" setting. Microsoft.Personalization is not one of the control panel items I want to show. It is correctly hidden from the Control Panel but still exists in the menu I get when I right-click the desktop. When a user clicks "Personalize", they get a "Explorer.exe: Unspecified error" error. I also disable the ability for the user to change the screen resolution. I get the same "Explorer.exe: Unspecified error" error when someone click the "Screen resolution" option. Any ideas how to hide these options from the desktop right-click menu?
    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:17 PM
  • Thank you so much for this, I've been trying to fix this problems for a few days now, very useful.
    Monday, May 31, 2010 9:34 AM
  • Thanks for this post.  It solved a nagging little problem for me with Terminal Services for Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:46 PM
  • Hi

    how do i add that CANONICAL name?

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:28 AM
  • Thanks for posting this.. I was also getting same "explorer.exe"  when trying to access screen resolution.  Fixed by adding the Canonical name microsoft.diplay to the list of allowed control panel items.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 4:47 PM
  • Check out KB982405 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982405
    Friday, April 15, 2011 6:28 PM
  • Usually one starts out at the control panel, it's like the path you suggest is backwards. How do you get to "user configuration"?
    Wednesday, December 28, 2011 6:54 AM
  • HI KAHNMAN!!! I AM HAVING THE SAME EXACT PROBLEM AS YOUURS!!! PLEASE TELL MEE TOO IF YOU HAVE FIXED IT!!! PLEASE HELP!!
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 4:19 AM