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cardguy1000

Auto Arrange Desktop Icons Setting?

35 posts in this topic

Does anyone know how the option to auto arrange desktop icons is set? I used regshot to monitor the registry and it noticed no changes. Anyone know how this can be done so that it can be added into a script? Thanks

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I would also like to know about this. The behavior is copied over when one copies a profile, so it has to be stored somewhere.

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hmm if I recall its stored in the NTUSER.DAT thats located in your user folder....this also applys to Quick Launch if I recall also....but its been a while since I read the topic so I could be wrong.

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ntuser.dat is a registry hive that is mounted in HKEY_CURRENT_USER when the user logs on, which means it is stored somewhere in the registry. But where? I've also used regshot and it shows no changes being made to the registry.

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Auto Arrange is stored in [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]

Example:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]
"FFlags"=dword:00000225

I narrowed it down to the FFlags Value.

I didn't test this with an unattended install. Here's what I did as far as testing:

I checked Auto Arrange, logged off and logged back on. I exported the key. I then turned Auto Arrange back off, logged out and logged back in again. I then killed explorer from Task Manager, launched a command prompt, then imported the reg file. When I launched Explorer, my Icons were arranged and auto arrange was enabled in the context menu. I went through this process three times just to make sure.

I'd recommend postitioning your icons the way you want, log out and log back in to insure those settings are written to the registry. Then export the entire key. During the unattended installation, import it before first logon.

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After some more testing, I found out some values to use with FFlags and Sort:

Auto Arrange off, Align to Grid off:
"FFlags"=dword:00000220

Auto Arrange on:
"FFlags"=dword:00000221

Auto Arrange off - align to Grid On:
"FFlags"=dword:00000224

Auto Arange on, Align to Grid on:
"FFlags"=dword:00000225

Hide Desktop Icons:
"FFlags"=dword:00001220

Sort by name:
"Sort"=dword:00000000

Sort by size:
"Sort"=dword:00000001

Sort by type:
"Sort"=dword:00000002

Sort by Modified:
"Sort"=dword:00000003

For example, if you wanted to enable auto arrange and sort by type:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]
"FFlags"=dword:00000221
"Sort"=dword:00000002

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Awww, shucks. :)

Like I said, I haven't tested these during an unattended install but I think they will work if you import these settings before the first logon.

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i have posted 3 times with the same question :rolleyes: good work man thanks :)

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Somewhat related question...

In my unattended setup, certain customized shortcuts get placed on my Desktop.

However, I would like to arrange some on the left side of the screen, and some on the right... For example, it could be my games on the right side. And, I am not interested in having them displayed in alphabetical order, or any other sorting routine, other than my owm customized placements.

Is there a way to automate the placement of these shortcuts? I tried the method of taking a snapshot of the registry, but it didn't work for me...

Thanks...! :)

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After arranging your icons like you want them, log off and then log back on, open Regedit and export this key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]

You'll need to import this before the first logon.

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jrzycrim,

Very Useful! Thanks for your help!

Can't wait to try it...! :)

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I'm using Layout.zip from the MS Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit to save the icons layout in the registry.

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After some more testing, I found out some values to use with FFlags and Sort.......

A very good find indeed!

So, now we know where the **** thing was hiding.

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I was hoping to report back with positive results as far as icon positioning goes but alas, due to unrelated problems with my latest unattended CD, I never made it to first logon. *shrug*. Not sure where the problem lies but I suspect the ISO I was testing was corrupted in some way. Didn't get any errors, just hung during the reboot after setup. :)

I sure hope these tweaks work or there are going to be some people p***ed off at me. :rolleyes:

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Just what I need. Thanks...

So if I put this in my regTweaks.reg file

;Auto Arrange off, Align to Grid off:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]

"FFlags"=dword:00000220

Then my icons will not align to grid. Am I right?

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;Auto Arrange off, Align to Grid off:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop]

"FFlags"=dword:00000220

it doesn't work on my pc.

The icons are still align to grid????

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At the time I hadn't tested these settings. I finally got finished with my latest unattended CD but my desktop icon settings didn't work either. I imported mine from cmdlines text (t-13) but I have a sneaking suspicion that these settings are being overwritten sometime between t-9 and t-2; when Setup is 'Saving settings'.

I've been fooling around with a RunOnce entry in HKLM that imports the icon settings into the registry. A basic test from within windows worked. It seems that the HKLM RunOnce is a good time to 'sneak' these settings in before explorer fully loads. However, it didn't work during first logon of my unattended CD. I'm going to try it during the second logon and see what happens. I've got a couple of other untested approaches to try as well.

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Importing my Icon arrangement settings from [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]

on the second logon worked in case anyone is interested.

I placed a self-deleting batch file in my startup folder which set a value in RunOnce at first logon. The runonce entry imported my icon.reg at second logon. It just wouldn't work during first logon. *shrug*

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Good tip, good work thanks man this saves me 20 minutes per pc. Great...

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You might also be interested in this thread:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=23512&st=0

I've switched to using a customized ntuser.dat file which is much easier when it comes to custom desktop/explorer settings.

I used a different method than what is outlined in that thread however. Once I installed my unattended installation into vmware (or virtual pc), I set all of my icons, taskbar, explorer settings (basically any HKCU settings), and then logged out and back in as a different administrative *user. I then copied the ntuser.dat file in Documents and settings\user name to $OEM$\$Docs\Default User\ for my CD.

* you have to be logged in as another user because windows won't allow you to copy ntuser.dat for the currently logged in user since it is in use.

Windows will use the Default User\NTUSER.DAT for all new accounts so your settings will be in place at first logon.

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jrzycrim,

Your last solution, dated Aug 8, 2004, really rocks...!

I had been trying for ages to get my icons and other settings customized, and had even been using the Files and Settings transfer Wizard to accomplish this, but it wasn't as beautiful and simple a solution as yours.

I am very grateful... Thanks again!

:thumbup

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Importing my Icon arrangement settings from [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]

on the second logon worked in case anyone is interested.

I placed a self-deleting batch file in my startup folder which set a value in RunOnce at first logon. The runonce entry imported my icon.reg at second logon. It just wouldn't work during first logon. *shrug*

Any chance of a sample of your batch & where you placed it to allow the startup to execute for second logon? :thumbup

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