How to add a Shortcut for all users in a VDI environment via Group Policy Preferences

Jeff Miller was using VMware View 5 with Wyse p20’s and needed the ability for users to disconnect from their desktop rather than just locking their machine and turning off the monitor/device.   He was running into issues specifically with View 5 and the P20s reconnecting back to sessions that were already in a connected state.  (i.e. Users just left the session running and turned off the monitor and headed home hoping to reconnect remotely).

Typically the user would have to attempt several times before establishing a successful connection.  Jeff noticed solid black screens after logging in and quick disconnects from the p20 if it couldn’t display the windows desktop properly.

As a workaround/fix he decided to deploy a disconnect icon to all of his users through Active Directory Group Policy Preferences.  GPPs are pretty powerful and I’ve seen many clients not fully taking advantage of them.  Many of things that were historically placed in a login script can be accomplished elegantly via the GPP interface.

Check out the steps Jeff took to deploy his shortcut via AD GPP.

  1. First create a disconnect batch script in your netlogon share (or somewhere else all users can access)

a. The only line you need in the batch file is:  %SystemRoot%\system32\tsdiscon.exe

  1. Create a group policy object in AD and apply to your target users OU.

  2. Jeff selected icon 131 which was a red X, however feel free to select any icon of your choice.

  3. You can either run gpupdate /force to test or logoff and log back on.  You should see your shiny new icon on the desktop.  The Group Policy Preference also has the ability to place a shortcut on the Start Menu, Quick Launch or any number of other places.

  4. Inform your users that this is the best option to use when finished for the day or finished with their remote connection.  Also make them aware that this will not close anything on their desktop, it will keep all programs and documents open until they connect again.

Thanks go out to Jeff for the detailed instructions and the REDACTED screenshot! Smile