Restricting user access in Windows XP Home

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Stephen Williams, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. A few days ago I asked about making it impossible for a user to shut down a
    computer.

    Well that is all sorted, but there is one last thing I would like to do and
    I can't seem to find the answer.

    I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all. All
    it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.

    Any ideas?

    Steve
    Stephen Williams, Jul 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. Stephen Williams

    Joy Guest

    "Stephen Williams" <> wrote in message
    news:%WoHc.7021$...
    > A few days ago I asked about making it impossible for a user to shut down

    a
    > computer.
    >
    > Well that is all sorted, but there is one last thing I would like to do

    and
    > I can't seem to find the answer.
    >
    > I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all. All
    > it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Steve


    It is my understanding that only programs listed under all users are
    available to users other than the administrator.
    Joy
    Joy, Jul 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. In article <%WoHc.7021$>,
    says...
    > A few days ago I asked about making it impossible for a user to shut down a
    > computer.
    >
    > Well that is all sorted, but there is one last thing I would like to do and
    > I can't seem to find the answer.
    >
    > I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all. All
    > it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.


    Certainly possible in XP, I've seen desktops like this in NT. System
    policies I thin
    Patrick Dunford, Jul 9, 2004
    #3
  4. Stephen Williams

    a Guest

    In article <%WoHc.7021$>,
    says...
    > A few days ago I asked about making it impossible for a user to shut down a
    > computer.
    >
    > Well that is all sorted, but there is one last thing I would like to do and
    > I can't seem to find the answer.
    >
    > I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all. All
    > it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Steve
    >
    >
    >

    I guess you could have fun with Group Policies (Start Menu->Run->
    gpedit.msc) Don't know if Home lets you do that though.

    Or google search for: desktop lockdown windows xp utilities
    a, Jul 9, 2004
    #4

  5. > >
    > >

    > I guess you could have fun with Group Policies (Start Menu->Run->
    > gpedit.msc) Don't know if Home lets you do that though.
    >
    > Or google search for: desktop lockdown windows xp utilities


    Yeah Home doesn't have gpedit.msc, you can't even copy it from a Pro
    install.

    The systems are fairly locked down now, I'll see how it goes.


    Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

    Steve
    Stephen Williams, Jul 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Stephen Williams

    frederick Guest

    "Stephen Williams" <> wrote in message
    news:%WoHc.7021$...
    <snip>
    > I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all.
    >All it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.

    <snip>

    So you want to do this:

    In the registry there is a key to start the window desktop manager
    "explorer.exe" which is in the key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows
    NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell
    with a value "explorer.exe".

    BUT mucking around with this key value will change the setting for all
    users - which is not what you want at all.

    So...
    This lead me to try adding a new key to the following:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    such as:
    Shell Red_SZ C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

    And it works...even thought it seemed too obvious to be true.
    You can use any valid program file path as this key value.

    Now what you really want is either to find out if there is a registry
    key that can be changed to force IE to start up again if the user closes
    IE. That is what Explorer does - which you will see on the occasion
    that Explorer crashes - it starts up again automatically.

    I believe that this is set by the registry value:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows
    NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    AutoRestartShell Reg_DWord 1

    But annoyingly, that key does not seem to work in HKEY_CURRENT_USER

    Maybe what is needed is a small program that you run with the "shell"
    registry
    key instead of iexplore.exe. That program would run internet explorer
    on login, check to see if it is running every few seconds - and restart
    it if it isn't. If there isn't such a program already made, I could
    perhaps make one and include the change to the registry in it so that
    all you would need to do is run the program from a limited user account,
    log out, and it's done. Maybe also include a key combination that could
    be typed in to reset back to a normal account, otherwise if task manager
    is disabled, then you would have to edit the user's NTuser.dat by
    loading the hive from an admin account, and manually edit the
    registry.

    regards
    frederick, Jul 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Stephen Williams

    frederick Guest

    Re: Restricting user access in Windows XP Home - my typo

    Shell Reg_SZ C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

    Not Red_SZ !
    frederick, Jul 10, 2004
    #7
  8. Joy wrote:
    > It is my understanding that only programs listed under all users are
    > available to users other than the administrator.


    your understanding is slightly wrong.
    policies(both network and local) can be made to restrict the programs
    that appear(and what can be accessed) in the start menu...
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jul 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Stephen Williams

    frederick Guest

    "Stephen Williams" <> wrote in message
    news:%WoHc.7021$...

    > I want to make it impossible for a user to change the desktop at all.
    >All it has is Internet Explorer, and I want it to stay that way.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Steve
    >

    I have made a simple program that will do what you need.
    To use it in XP, create a user account, copy the program to
    the new user account's desktop, log in to the account, run the
    program, then log out.
    When logging in again, there will be no task bar, no icons,
    ctrl/alt/del is disabled, the only "visible" program running is IE.
    If the user shuts down IE, then it will start again.
    To kill it, just delete or move the program from the user's a/c,
    or delete the registry keys via regedit "Load Hive".
    You can download from:
    http://www.geocities.com/ctysnz/IEonly.zip
    Instructions and source code are in the
    zip file "Readme IEOnly.txt". Do NOT run the
    program when logged in to your main admin
    account! If you do accidentally, then use IE file
    menu to browse to regedit (in the Windows
    directory) open it, and delete the registry keys.
    frederick, Jul 11, 2004
    #9

  10. > >

    > I have made a simple program that will do what you need.
    > To use it in XP, create a user account, copy the program to
    > the new user account's desktop, log in to the account, run the
    > program, then log out.
    > When logging in again, there will be no task bar, no icons,
    > ctrl/alt/del is disabled, the only "visible" program running is IE.
    > If the user shuts down IE, then it will start again.
    > To kill it, just delete or move the program from the user's a/c,
    > or delete the registry keys via regedit "Load Hive".
    > You can download from:
    > http://www.geocities.com/ctysnz/IEonly.zip
    > Instructions and source code are in the
    > zip file "Readme IEOnly.txt". Do NOT run the
    > program when logged in to your main admin
    > account! If you do accidentally, then use IE file
    > menu to browse to regedit (in the Windows
    > directory) open it, and delete the registry keys.
    >


    Well that certainly is far beyond the level of help I was expecting, thank
    you very much.

    If you don't mind, I may modify yours to include some of the registry keys
    I've found, such as the ones that prevent altering of tool bars, remove the
    "Save As" and "Set as background" and any other downloading feature.

    Thanks again,
    Steve
    Stephen Williams, Jul 12, 2004
    #10
  11. Stephen Williams

    frederick Guest

    "Stephen Williams" <> wrote in message
    news:8HqIc.7540$...
    >
    > > >

    > > I have made a simple program that will do what you need.
    > > To use it in XP, create a user account, copy the program to
    > > the new user account's desktop, log in to the account, run the
    > > program, then log out.
    > > When logging in again, there will be no task bar, no icons,
    > > ctrl/alt/del is disabled, the only "visible" program running is IE.
    > > If the user shuts down IE, then it will start again.
    > > To kill it, just delete or move the program from the user's a/c,
    > > or delete the registry keys via regedit "Load Hive".
    > > You can download from:
    > > http://www.geocities.com/ctysnz/IEonly.zip
    > > Instructions and source code are in the
    > > zip file "Readme IEOnly.txt". Do NOT run the
    > > program when logged in to your main admin
    > > account! If you do accidentally, then use IE file
    > > menu to browse to regedit (in the Windows
    > > directory) open it, and delete the registry keys.
    > >

    >
    > Well that certainly is far beyond the level of help I was expecting,

    thank
    > you very much.
    >
    > If you don't mind, I may modify yours to include some of the registry

    keys
    > I've found, such as the ones that prevent altering of tool bars,

    remove the
    > "Save As" and "Set as background" and any other downloading feature.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    > Steve
    >

    No problem. I just did it very rough to see - but it works quite well.

    I was thinking of making something, but extending it to modify the
    registry keys for IE using a simple form with checkboxes - such as "Hide
    File Open menu" etc.

    There is a registry key that is "supposed to" stop IE from being closed.
    If that works, then the timer / shellexecute function isn't even
    needed - only the registry keys need changing. If you wanted to use a
    browser set to other than IE, then the default browser could be launched
    by shellexecute() to an HTML file to save having to enter/browse to the
    executable, but you would need a timer and to enumeratewindows (or
    whatever the API call is) to count windows and reopen if the window
    count was 0.

    If you are including more registry keys on my crude example, then you
    might want to include some better error-checking / try/except
    statements, as if it is run on an LUA then not all registry keys in HKCU
    are writable.

    regards
    frederick, Jul 12, 2004
    #11
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