The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Windows 7 Customizations

Over the last few years as a consultant I’ve had numerous engagements where clients wanted to customize the look/feel/settings in Windows 7. Different clients had different requirements around which customizations, whether it was permanent or a preference, etc. Below is a list of several customizations that I have helped clients perform. Many of these are found at various locations in forums, blog posts and Microsoft documentation. My goal is to gather these into one location so that it is easier for some of the more common (and for that matter some of the more obscure) customizations to be found. These are in no particular order. I will update this list from time to time. If you have any favorite customizations that you’d like to pass on, email me on my contact form and I’ll add them in. This post is REALLY long, so click the “Read More” link if you want to see the customizations.

1. Remove Games from Windows 7. This can be handled via PkgMgr.exe. The command lines for this include the following. Note that these package names are case sensitive. See this page for more info.

Game to remove Command
All Games pkgmgr.exe /uu:InboxGames
Chess Titans pkgmgr.exe /uu:Chess
FreeCell pkgmgr.exe /uu:FreeCell
Hearts pkgmgr.exe /uu:Hearts
Internet Games pkgmgr.exe /uu:”Internet Games”
Internet Backgammon pkgmgr.exe /uu:”Internet Backgammon”
Internet Checkers pkgmgr.exe /uu:”Internet Checkers”
Internet Spades pkgmgr.exe /uu:”Internet Spades”
Minesweeper pkgmgr.exe /uu:Minesweeper
Purble Place pkgmgr.exe /uu:PurblePlace
Mahjong Titans pkgmgr.exe /uu:Shanghai
Solitaire pkgmgr.exe /uu:Solitaire
Spider Solitaire pkgmgr.exe /uu:SpiderSolitaire
2. Remove Windows Gadget Platform. This can be done two ways:
  • pkgmgr.exe /uu:WindowsGadgetPlatform /quiet
  • AD Group Policy:
    • User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Desktop Gadgets | Turn off desktop gadgets | Enable

3. Remove Windows DVD Maker

  • pkgmgr.exe /uu:OpticalMediaDisc /quiet

4. Remove Windows Media Center. This can be done two ways depending on needs. One removes it…the other simply doesn’t allow it to be executed.

  • pkgmgr.exe /uu:MediaCenter /quiet
  • AD Group Policy:
    • User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Media Center | Do not allow Windows Media Center to run | Enable

5. Windows Media Player – Disable the first run wizard. This can be done two ways:

  • AD Group Policy:
    • User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Media Player| Do not show first use dialog boxes | Enable
  • Set three registry keys. This does more than just the “first use” stuff. This script was written using info from a blog post by Chris Nackers.

6. Configure NIC settings such as disabling QoS or IPv6. Use nvspbind.exe.

7. Add an AD Group to the local administrator group. Do this with Group Policy. A long time back the only option was to overwrite the admin group with Group Policy. This was changed (a LONG time ago) to allow for either the overwriting or the appending to a group. Follow the screenshots below to see how…should be self explanatory. The last screenshot is an example of what this should produce on a system with this policy.





8. Set a particular color as the Background Color on the desktop. Normally this is desired as an initial preference with users allowed to change it afterwards. Do this via Group Policy Preferences. The following screenshots will show you how to do this…

First, create a new Registry Item in Group Policy Preferences:


Second, give it the following settings:


Third, set the numbers in the “Value data” field to the RGB numbers of the color you wish. To obtain the RGB numbers, open up any color dialog (font color for example), then choose custom which should open up something that looks like the screenshot below. Choose the Red/Green/Blue numbers from the bottom right corner.



9. Set a Windows 7 theme as the default theme upon startup after installation. Modify either the oobeSystem or Specialize pass of the unattend.xml file to include the following lines. More info can be found here. Change “aero.theme” to whichever them you wish.

<Themes> <CustomDefaultThemeFile>C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\aero.theme</CustomDefaultThemeFile> <DefaultThemesOff>false</DefaultThemesOff> </Themes>

10. Internet Explorer – get rid of the first run wizard. Use the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to create a customization file. IEAK can be used to either re-package IE (create an MSI that you can deploy) or to create a customization file that you can apply to an existing IE installation.

April 1, 2012 - Posted by | ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr 2012, MDT 2010, Windows 7

1 Comment »

  1. Nice, Jarvis.
    I’m keeping this post handy for future reference.

    Comment by jasonthebucknerfamilyorg | April 9, 2012

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