I have a Windows 7 PC that I want to use a strict thin client.

It should boot and:

  1. A RDP dialog pops up stating which PC I want to remotely connect to
  2. A mail program (Outlook most likely) should open

That is it. No other services (unless strictly needed like TCP/IP and DHCP client) should open, no other programs, etc.

Also, I want to keep the Windows 7 installation it current has. I dont want to format it and change it to a Linux distro or get a Windows 7 ISO and strip it out.

  • 2
    Win7 is not the right choice for a thin client by definition. you might look into Kiosk mode to suit your restrictions, but you cannot strip win7 down that much. all you can do is make most of the features unavailable. – Frank Thomas Jun 30 '15 at 13:41
  • Kiosk mode sounds intresting but still... – riahc3 Jun 30 '15 at 13:48
  • Super User is a place to get help when you are stuck while attempting to resolve an issue. This sounds like you have not even started. Please share with us what you have researched and attempted on you own so far and where you got stuck. – CharlieRB Jun 30 '15 at 14:26
  • Microsoft Enterprise had a version of Windows 7 called Thin PC, which was for this purpose, would be hard to find a legit key for the copies floating out there on the internet though. – Moab Jun 30 '15 at 17:18
  • @moab i asked called Microsoft about that and they actually told me that product doesn't exist.... – riahc3 Jun 30 '15 at 18:13

When I had to do something similar, I used Group policy and the Custom UI setting.

Write a small 2 button Windows Frorms Application - one to shell Outlook, one to shell mstsc.exe (RDP).

Distribute this to your machines in the same location (C:\MyApp\launcher.exe) and then setup either kiosk mode or a windows Custom UI to launch this application only on login.

The Custom UI registry key can be found at (on 2012R2 DCs anyway...) User Settings\Policies\Admin Templates\System\Custom User Interface

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Personally I would just uninstall anything you don't want then go into msconfig (you can just type it into the windows search bar and press enter/return) in here you can choose which programs and processes run at startup etc.

This will enable you to make just Outlook and RDP launch at startup.

for uninstalling multiple programs at once use something like http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

I would post screenshots but I'm currently on a W10 build sorry.

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  • I'd like to point out Bulk Crap Uninstaller which I found quite useful (and it's FLOSS). But it's not what the inquirer asked about. – 0xC0000022L Sep 21 '19 at 19:31

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