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Locking down desktops to prohibit changes to the environment

Expert Jeremy Moskowitz answers a reader's question on how to keep users from changing their desktop environments using Group Policy.

I am a Network Administrator at a college in Florida. We have numerous computer labs on campus, and my issue is locking down the desktop prohibiting students from making changes to the environment. Can you direct me to GPO information that can help me with this issue?

Domain environment - Windows Server 2003 and Server 2000
Desktops- XP Pro

Many thanks in advance

There is no "magic bullet" super-duper lockdown. There are incremental steps you can do to perform this magic. My first suggestion would be to check out Microsoft's very own Group Policy Scenarios lab kit. The idea is that you can check out what Microsoft suggests as some approaches to help get you closer toward a fully locked down desktop. You'll find the Group Policy Scenarios document and exercises here.

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