Can I create a Desktop with Group Policy from my sever to go out to my client machines? In other words, just tell it what icons I want on the actual desktop and on the Start Menu?
At the moment I have loads of useless ones on the desktop that I don't want users to access but it would take far to long to go to each machine and remove them manually.
I did a little testing to try to emulate your situation. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer (or, if there is, it's eluding me.) I know one product, which can help you laserbeam add, remove or change icons in both the Desktop and Start Menu – that's DesktopStandard's PolicyMaker Professional. (You can read about it here on GPanswers.com)
Other than that – I don't know of any easy-breezy way to do this. You could, I suppose, have a logon script which wipes out people's desktop icons, as they are stored in a specific location, and then add them back in. However, you'd have a hard time keeping on top of that with lots of changes.
This was first published in November 2005