Friday, June 22, 2012

Group Policy: Enable Globalization Themes and More

There are four additional globalization themes available besides the United States.

     United Kingdom
     South Africa

A client of mine had users who worked and traveled all over the world and thought it would be nice if we could allow access to these themes.  Our second goal was to take all of the images of landscapes from the 5 Countries and make one world landscape theme, then make it the default theme for Windows 7 (users can change the theme after deployment).  After a few steps we will have the five installed themes shown in the screen capture below (United States theme not shown as it is listed under Aero Themes).

1) Out first task is to move the four hidden globalization themes. If you unhide all explorer folders and navigate to C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT you can see the hidden themes which need to get moved to C:\Windows\Resouces\Themes.  In the screen capture below I create a Computer Group Policy Preference (GPP) to move files.  I create four preferences, one for each theme to be moved.  Also under the Common tab I selected Apply ones and do not reapply.  Once the files have been moved on the computers first boot there is no need to continue processing the preference in the future.

Below are the paths for the four file moves you need to create.  Also, just a personal best practice, I always capitalize my variables so I they stand out better.  Always use system variables to add another level of automation and self correction to your scripts or Group Policy. 





2)  We have given our users the ability to select from the new themes. You should be able to see the themes under the Windows 7 Personalization settings (after you update your Group Policy).  Next we will allow our users to select which landscape images they want so they could great there own theme.  This will require us to use GPP again to move wallpaper from one location to another.  Please reference the screen shot below and the file move paths.  Also note that under the Processing list in the middle you can see I went under the Common tab I selected Apply ones and do not reapply.



     %SYSTEMROOT%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\United Kingdom

     %SYSTEMROOT%\Globalization\MCT\MCT-US\Wallpaper\South Africa

3) Next we will create a unified World Landscape theme containing all the Landscapes from the five countries.  First you will need to do a Group Policy update to get the wallpaper in place.  Then go to Personalization under Control Panel and select the Windows 7 Aero theme.  Click Desktop background on the bottom of the Personalization page. You should now see all the wallpaper from the five world themes.  As you mouse over the images you can select the check box to include the wallpaper in the World Theme.  I unselected the default Windows 7 wallpaper and selected the wallpaper from the five country themes and the Landscape theme.  This is your chance to select options like shuffle and how often to change pictures.  Click Save Changes at the bottom of the window.

4) Back in Personalization Settings right click the untitled theme you just created and select Save theme.  Name the theme exactly what you want users to see such as World Landscape.  Next navigate to C:\Users\YourProfile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes and you will find your theme.

5)  Place this theme on the server you use to hold all of your SCCM packages.  I create a folder that contains all my files and folders that get copied by SCCM OSD or Group Policy.  For example: "\\MySCCMServer\Package\Windows Deployment Files". 

6) Use GPP to copy the new theme file in place.

     \\MySCCMServer\Packages\Windows Deployment Files\World Landscape.theme
      %SYSTEMROOT%\Resources\Themes\World Landscape.theme

7)  To set the default theme for your deployment set the USER Policy shown below with the path to the new theme file.  Note: This is a policy but users will be able to change and keep any theme.  If you use Roaming profile then the theme the user choose will follow them.  

     %SYSTEMROOT%\Resources\Themes\World Landscape.theme

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