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After I install Windows 7 on a computer/laptop I have many tweaks/changes I want to make, for example, "Use Small Icons" on the taskbar and "Do not highlight newly installed programs" on the Start Menu. Is is possible to script using local GPO changes? (like is done with Server 2008 AD GPOs, just on a smaller scale?)

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I saw unattended.sourceforge.net some time back but it doesn't look like it's been updated for Windows 7. –  Stephanie Jul 11 '11 at 16:46

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is a pretty broad and ambiguous question because it will depend on the specific customization that you want to do, but in general the answer is yes. I would suggest Powershell as the vehicle for the customization.

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Puppet or cfengine could be used to manage these sort of changes in a policy-driven manne. They are both a high level configuration management framework that can wrap around powershell, batch files, installers, and registry patch files, and other deployment techniques. It's a bear to set it up, but if you are going to be frequently deploying systems with similar changes, it's worth doing, since it helps you do these changes not just with the initial setup, but on an ongoing basis. I'd say it's overkill for under half a dozen systems (unless you are reinstalling them on a weekly basis), but starts to become absolutely necessary to have that sort of framework the more systems you add beyond that.

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