Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Adding custom entries to Windows 7 start menu with Group PolicyPreferences

Been bit quiet lately. I might as well document another hack to entertain my very small audience. This time post is about how to add custom entries to Windows 7 start menu. Not under all programs, but directly to same level as other options such as Control Panel, My Computer etc.



What we do is change by default hidden "Recorded TV" to more useful "Business apps" menu. Sounds scary and it is. Might also stop working after some hotfix or service pack so be aware of downsides.

To do this we need both per-computer and per-user policies. We also create new shortcuts to different folder and then copy them to Business apps menu using Group Policy Preferences. Actual shortcuts can be published using various methods. So far we've successfully used App-V (aka SoftGrid), Citrix (Presentation Server or whatever it's called these days), locally installed applications and GPP delivered shortcuts to Intranet pages.

Computers-StartMenu > Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Folders

  • Order: 1

  • Action: Create

  • Source file(s): \\example.com\dfs\IT\Common\Icons\*.ico

  • Destination folder: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Icons\

  • Attributes: Archive

Computers-StartMenu > Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Folders

  • Order: 1

  • Action: Create

  • Path: C:\Windows\ExampleCo

  • Attributes: Archive

  • Order: 2

  • Action: Create

  • Path: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Icons

  • Attributes: Archive

  • Order: 3

  • Action: Create

  • Path: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Business apps

  • Attributes: Archive

Computers-StartMenu > Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry


  • Order: 1

  • Action: Replace

  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}

  • Value name: Category

  • Value type: REG_DWORD

  • Value data: 00000004

  • Base: Hexadecimal

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied

  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack



  • Order: 2


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: Stream


  • Value type: REG_DWORD


  • Value data: 00000001


  • Base: Hexadecimal


  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack



  • Order: 3


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: PreCreate


  • Value type: REG_DWORD


  • Value data: 00000001


  • Base: Hexadecimal


  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack



  • Order: 4


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: StreamResourceType


  • Value type: REG_SZ


  • Value data: LIBRARY

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack




  • Order: 5


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: ParsingName


  • Value type: REG_EXPAND_SZ


  • Value data: ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\%<USERPROFILE>%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Business apps

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack


  • Order: 6


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: ParentFolder


  • Value type: REG_SZ


  • Value data: {1B3EA5DC-B587-4786-B4EF-BD1DC332AEAE}

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied

  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack


  • Order: 7


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: Name


  • Value type: REG_SZ


  • Value data: Business apps


  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack


  • Order: 8


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: StreamResource


  • Value type: REG_EXPAND_SZ


  • Value data: %SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-8

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied

  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack


  • Order: 9


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: RelativePath


  • Value type: REG_SZ


  • Value data: Business apps.library-ms


  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack

  • Order: 10


  • Action: Replace


  • Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE


  • Key Path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{1A6FDBA2-F42D-4358-A798-B74D745926C5}


  • Value name: LocalizedName


  • Value type: REG_EXPAND_SZ


  • Value data: Business apps

  • Common > Options: Remove this item when it is no longer applied

  • Common > Description: Part of Business apps registry hack

Computers-StartMenu > Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Shortcuts

  • Order: 1

  • Action: Replace

  • Name: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Business apps\Some Program

  • Target: File System Object

  • Location: <Specify full path>

  • Target path: C:\Windows\Explorer.exe

  • Arguments: shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

  • Start in: C:\

  • Shortcut key: None

  • Run: Normal Window

  • Icon file path: %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll

  • Icon index: 236

  • Common > Remove this item when it is no longer applied


  • Order: 2

  • Action: Replace

  • Name: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Business apps\Some Webpage

  • Target: URL

  • Location: <Specify full path>

  • Target URL: http://www.maddox.com

  • Shortcut key: None

  • Icon file path: %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll

  • Icon index: 265

  • Common > Remove this item when it is no longer applied

Users-StartMenu > User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Files

  • Order: 1

  • Action: Update

  • Source file(s): %WindowsDir%\ExampleCo\Business apps\*.lnk

  • Destination folder: %ProgramsDir%\Business apps

  • Suppress errors on individual file actions

  • Attributes: Read-only, Archive


  • Order: 2

  • Action: Update

  • Source file(s): %WindowsDir%\ExampleCo\Business apps\*.url

  • Destination folder: %ProgramsDir%\Business apps

  • Suppress errors on individual file actions

  • Attributes: Read-only, Archive


  • Order: 3

  • Action: Delete

  • Delete file(s): %ProgramsDir%\Business apps\Outdated Shortcut Example.lnk

  • Suppress errors on individual file actions


  • Order: 4

  • Action: Delete

  • Delete file(s): %AppDataDir%\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\Business apps.library-ms

  • Suppress errors on individual file actions

Users-StartMenu > User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Folders

  • Order:1

  • Action: Create

  • Path: %ProgramsDir%\Business apps

  • Attributes: Archive


  • Order: 2

  • Action: Replace

  • Path: %AppDataDir%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\Business apps.library-ms

  • Attributes: Hidden, Archive

  • Delete this folder

  • Recursively delete all subfolders

  • Delete all files in the folder

  • Allow deletion of read-only files/folders

  • Ignore errors for files/folders that cannot be deleted

Users-StartMenu > User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry

  • Order:1

  • Action: Update

  • Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER

  • Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

  • Value name: Start_MinMFU

  • Value type: REG_DWORD

  • Value data: 0000000F

  • Base: Hexadecimal


  • Order: 2

  • Action: Replace

  • Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER

  • Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

  • Value name: Start_ShowRecordedTV

  • Value type: REG_DOWRD

  • Value data: 00000002

  • Base: Hexadecimal

  • Common > Remove this item when it is no longer applied

Users-StartMenu > User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Shortcuts

  • Order: 1

  • Action: Replace

  • Name: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Business apps\Example Shortcut

  • Target type: URL

  • Location: <Specify full path>

  • Target URL: http://www.exampleco.com/

  • Shortcut key: none

  • Icon file path: C:\Windows\ExampleCo\Icons\Example.ico

  • Icon index: 0

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