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Change the "shell" in XP

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  • Change the "shell" in XP

    Hi all,

    I have a telemarketing stations and I need to restrict them to only one application, the telemarketing application which runs over IE.
    I know there is an option "-k" on the explorer, but there is a problem, the user can use Ctrl+O and open any URL. And if the user close the application screen by Alt+F4 he can have a "desktop"... and, the user can open 2 IE windows.

    My question is, is there a a way to set the "login shell" to be IE (in kiosk mode)?
    I tried to do this via the GPO ( User configuration-> Administration->System->custom user interface - and put a script that have 2 lines is it. one is "IEXPLORE.EXE -k http://mywebsite" and the second is logoff, Didn't work ) and to restrict the users to only one application window?

    I'm sure there is a clever way to do this...


  • #2
    Re: Change the "shell" in XP

    **Caution: I've never actually tried this myself and it might cause big trouble. This is just a registry setting which might allow the setting of the "shell".

    Have you a spare test machine?
    Do you take like to take risks?
    If so you might want to try setting
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell to "iexplorer"
    This is probably one of those thing I should test myself before posting but I haven't a machine I can afford to break atm.

    Edit: I've test this and it doesn't work. If you have tried this and are stuck ctrl-alt-del, task manager and new task. Run explorer.exe to restore/load the desktop and/oe regedit to reset the registry. Sorry for getting it very wrong. I knew I should have tested first.
    Last edited by Maebe; 7th August 2007, 13:13. Reason: Tested and it didn't work. Should have done that first.
    I don't know anything about (you or your) computers.
    Research/test for yourself when listening to free advice.


    • #3
      Re: Change the "shell" in XP

      Yes, you can create a GPO that makes Explorer the only app, and only goes to one page with no address bar, if that's what you want to do! Of course, you can alter this to be as strict (or not) as you like. So, here's how to do it:

      Download the Microsoft "Common Scenarios" GPOs which are a set of pre-built GPOs that provide for different levels of lockdown, some are very severe indeed. Instructions are here and the GPOs can be downloaded here and you have to install them by running the batch file "CreateCommonScenarios.cmd". This will create a tree of OUs with GPOs linked to those OUs. For example, the "Kiosk" scenario only allows one application to run - in this case it's Internet Explorer, but you can add to this by adding other applications or loosening the restrictions. It is a good starting point to have the pre-built scenarios to start from, then you can add or remove the settings to suit yourself rather than reinventing the whole thing from scratch.

      The OUs that are created allow you to drag a user/computer into the correct restircted OUs so that you can then login as that user and see the effects. Don't apply the GPOs to anyone until you have tested them harmlesssly!

      The KIOSK scenario is one you need - there are a couple of simple adjustments (detailed in the instructions) that you need to make and then it'll all work fine. It seems daunting at first but when I got down to it, it was fairly easy. Be sure to read those instructions.
      Best wishes,
      MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008


      • #4
        Re: Change the "shell" in XP

        That did the trick!