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[Resolved] Get rid of Start Menu items after install?


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#1
johnhc

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When I first install W7, I have several shortcuts in the Start Menu (eg Paint, Snipping Tool, Calculator, Sticky Notes, etc, etc). If I right click and select 'Remove from this list', they go away - one at a time. I am trying to find a way to get rid of most of them in a script run during install. I found a VBS script to pin/unpin and call it from a batch file to pin items. I tried changing 'Pin to Start Menu' to 'Remove from this list' but this did not work. I found an article via searching that explained why. I also found the files in '%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations' and 'CustomDestinations' that were these jumplists. I removed them all and items in my Explorer icon on the Taskbar disappeared but not the ones in the Start Menu. I have run out of places to look and hope someone can suggest a method to get rid of these items during installation. Thanks and enjoy, John.

Edited by johnhc, 27 October 2012 - 09:33 AM.



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#2
Tripredacus

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Look in Local Security Policy for this:

User Policy\Admin Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar - Clear the recent programs list for new users.


My test PC has Home Premium on it right now so I can't test it myself. :(
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#3
johnhc

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Tripredacus, thanks, I'll give it a try. Enjoy, John.

#4
johnhc

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On a VM running my same system, I created a new user and looked at the Start Menu (had the icons), then enabled "ClearRecentProgForNewUserInStartMenu", created another user and observed that there were no icons - success! I captured a Registry file using RegShot. I attach it so anyone interested can see it. I need to inject this into my install image, but am wondering about the size of it and if I really need all the keys. Anyone else should use with caution. Thanks Tripredacus. Enjoy, John.

EDIT: After some time trying to figure out what part of the .reg file is required I am at a loss. It contains HKEY_USERS keys which I assume cannot be injected into the wim file. I have tried stripping them out ad importing the reg file on my VM after disabling the Group Policy. The file imports OK but does not enable the policy. I hope someone will offer some help. Thanks and enjoy, John.

EDIT: I am removing the attached .reg file since it contains many unneeded keys. The solution is below.

Edited by johnhc, 27 October 2012 - 09:34 AM.


#5
maxXPsoft

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You are talking about the recent items then it is simply just add this
Number of Recent programs to display
Number of Recent items to display in jump lists
I set at 0

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"Start_MinMFU"=dword:00000000
"Start_JumpListItems"=dword:00000000

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#6
Tripredacus

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I ran into that information as well, but that pretty much disables the Recent Programs in the Start Menu altogether. I saw the question in this thread on being about how to clear those "default" but not disable the feature. :unsure:
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#7
johnhc

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Thanks maxXPsoft, interesting behavior and maybe useful but not really what I wanted. As Tripredacus just replied I was looking to eliminate the initial set of Jumplists from being put in place. On a VM I ran the .reg file (from maxXPsoft) and it wiped all my current set of Jumplists. I then created a new user and Switched User to it and it had all the initial Jumplists, so I ran the .reg file and it cleared it. I created and ran a .reg file that set the two values to 1. This created a Jumplist for 'Getting Started'. Running Paint replaced this one with one for Paint. Removing Paint brought back the 'Getting Started'' one. Truly weird behavior.
Can either of you or anyone suggest a way to implement the Group Policy change during W7 installation? Thanks maxXPsoft and Tripredacus for your time. Enjoy, John.

#8
Tripredacus

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I had already tested the "change to zero and then change back to ten" thing but it just hides those items. Would be too simple!

Anyways, I think mostly everything in Local Security Policy is actually stored in the registry, but that it is easier to set it using the snap-in.

HKEY_USERS should be able to be put in the WIM file but it isn't exact since Windows changes how the registry is used in online vs offline modes. There are two ideas I have just now:
1. Boot into a PE and look at the offline registry hives for these settings. Export those reg files and test import them into a mounted registry from the WiM and test.
2. This reg file you exported from the running OS, add FirstLogonCommands to merge the .reg file during OOBE.

:unsure:
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#9
johnhc

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Tripredacus, thanks but I do not understand what or how to do item 1. I searched the Internet and found that the HKEY_USERS keys are in the winnt folder. I could not find this folder on my running system or in my .wim file. I do know how to boot into WinPE (including under VM). So what do I look for? I guess if I could find the file that contained the HKEY_USERS keys, I could load the hive and export the keys. In the past I have used the unattended file to merge .reg files but they did not run, seemingly for the same reason this will not run on a live machine. I also think FirstLogonCommands time is too late. It seems once these items are generated, they cannot be removed except one at a time via "Remove from this list'. Using maxXPsoft's .reg file just hides the entries but prevents any new ones to be added later. Changing the settings for the values allows the hidden items to return. One solution would be to use the maxXPsoft file and then 'Pin to start menu' all the items I want. It seems strange that we cannot come up with a solution. Thanks and enjoy, John.

EDIT: Earlier today I injected one line of maxXPsoft's file into my .wim and installed it on VM. It had no effect on the the Start Menu.
"Start_JumpListItems"=dword:00000000

Edited by johnhc, 24 October 2012 - 05:20 PM.


#10
GrofLuigi

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I don't think you can empty the list before the first login, when it is pre-populated by Microsoft entries.My link

GL

#11
Tripredacus

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Look in here:

HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT: C:\Windows\system32\config\default

My idea is if you make the change in the Default, it should apply to all users. Otherwise, it looks like the regular HKEY_USERS is stored in NTUSER.DAT. I did a quite look and I'm not sure where that file is, then again I'm not even sure how to use it either.
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#12
maxXPsoft

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I don't think you can empty the list before the first login, when it is pre-populated by Microsoft entries.My link

GL

I agree. Think I tried this a long time ago and and never could beat it so went to 0 and 0 cause I pin a bunch of my common programs on Start so I have a clear desktop

Start_JumpListItems refers to recent items by a single program. Example I set at 2
Attached File  Start_JumpListItems.png   15.31KB   2 downloads
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#13
johnhc

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Thanks Tripredacus, I found that file last night. The .wim file does not have one of these. The file I use for injecting Registry changes into HKEY_CURRENT_USER is "%Mount%\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT". That code came from RickSteele. This effort has left the realm of practicality but is turning out to be a great fun learning experience. I will continue for a while (mainly learning something about the Registry and Group Policy) but the goal probably just does not justify the effort. I really appreciate your help.
Thanks also maxXPsoft. I may well end up as you and as I mentioned above.
Thanks and enjoy, John.

EDIT: Here are all the NTUSER.DAT files in the .wim file. There is one in the config folder:
C:\Fast\Mount\Users\Administrator\NTUSER.DAT
C:\Fast\Mount\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT
C:\Fast\Mount\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\NTUSER.DAT
C:\Fast\Mount\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\NTUSER.DAT
C:\Fast\Mount\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\ntuser.dat
I will investigate these on my VM.

Edited by johnhc, 25 October 2012 - 02:07 PM.


#14
maxXPsoft

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What he meant to say is MOUNT folder \Windows\system32\config\default << no extension here

That is default user and inside install.wim
You mount the image then Load the registry like this
reg load HKEY_USERS\WIM_Default "D:\zMountdir\Windows\system32\config\default"
reg unload HKEY_USERS\WIM_Default
Dismount Image saving it

Attached File  default.PNG   27.28KB   6 downloads
Attached File  loaded.PNG   11.51KB   6 downloads

Edited by maxXPsoft, 25 October 2012 - 03:30 PM.

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#15
johnhc

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maxXPsoft, I am not sure what you are telling me. I think I know how to load the hives from the install.wim as I use a similar process that I got from RickSteele (see above). Thanks and enjoy, John.

#16
Tripredacus

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Its the idea that you should look at the DEFAULT file to mount first, since all user accounts that get created use the settings in there as a template.
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#17
maxXPsoft

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I think what he looking at is this key that lists some of the things in Start list
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Classes\Local Settings\MuiCache\CD\52C64B7E
I removed both those in HKEY_USERS and rebooted and they reappear so they are populated from somewhere else
Also the listing in that Muicache is for an icon not a link @comres.dll,-2450

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT is the Default user in the registry and the Default file matches it closely, but as you can see there is not much you can change there

Edited by maxXPsoft, 26 October 2012 - 09:12 AM.

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#18
johnhc

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Thanks maxXPsoft and Tripredacus. I am going to do some more exploring and will edit this post if I learn anything worthy. I have used the DEFAULT file and will keep it in mind. Enjoy, John.

#19
Geej

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I modify from maxXPsoft's registry tweak in #5 and able to achieve Zero item in Start Menu.
I use Win Toolkit to slipstream below key as .WA addon.
This is what I have when I first get to the desktop. (on win7x86)
Posted Image

As my Autounattend.xml contains some existing link, just to let you know it has no affect and is unable to add new item even if you have entries to <StartPanelLinks>.

Also my Autounattend.xml creates 2 users. I check the second user start menu. No item is pinned too.

Currently. I'm exploring how to pin my own program to the start menu. If I find something, I let you know.

Hope this is useful,
Cheers

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"Start_MinMFU"=dword:00000000 
"Start_JumpListItems"=dword:00000000

Edited by Geej, 27 October 2012 - 03:27 AM.


#20
johnhc

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The solution was simpler than I imagined:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WIM_Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WIM_Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"ClearRecentProgForNewUserInStartMenu"=dword:00000001
I injected this code into the install.wim using:
reg.exe load HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WIM_Default "%Mount%\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT"
Ran the ISO on a VM and there is an empty Start Menu but if I run Paint (for example) it is placed in the menu. I have some exploring to do to fully understand what I have learned. I will remove the attached .reg file above since it contains many unneeded things. Where the HKEY_USERS keys came from I do not know. It may have been due to some other activity after shot one and before shot two of RegShot. I did several other RegShots and never saw the HKEY_USERS keys again. A red herring that really confused me (perhaps easy to do). The epiphany came from a search of MS TechNet for "Clear the recent programs list for new users" - here. Thank you Tripredacus and maxXPsoft for your help and time.
Geej, I ran the same test as you and got the same results. I have a command file and VBS file that will pin/unpin items for the Start Menu and Taskbar. Found the solution searching the Internet. If you cannot find it quickly, then please start another thread and I will post my files there.
Enjoy, John.

#21
maxXPsoft

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Good find johnhc
I think you could use and mount the Software file from Mountdir\Windows\system32\config\Software. That represents the HKLM\Software
I'll have to try it next time around.

This is how I do 'pinned to start menu' http://www.msfn.org/...620#entry938620
This did not work on Win 8 VM so far, I installed that Windows 7 explorer for Windows 8 and my items are not pinned. I'll be looking into that.
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#22
GrofLuigi

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Although it may be solved, I found an explanation of the mechanism.

*edit: oops, direct linking is blocked, sorry

GL

Edited by GrofLuigi, 27 October 2012 - 11:51 AM.


#23
johnhc

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GrofLuigi, in my searching in my quest, I found that site but since it was about XP, I paid little notice. Thanks and enjoy, John.

#24
Geej

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This is how I do 'pinned to start menu' http://www.msfn.org/...620#entry938620


Thanks for the insight,maxXPsoft. I managed to do it via inf

#25
DarkBringer

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This works for me in Windows XP but it should be the same for 7. Just put the name of the .exe file you don't want showing up in the Start Menu.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;I don't want these in my Start Menu!
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\Notepad.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\WinRAR.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\cmd.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\Wupdmgr.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\migwiz.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\regedit.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\msmsgs.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\wmplayer.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\calc.exe]
"NoStartPage"=""

Edited by DarkBringer, 30 January 2013 - 12:05 AM.

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