Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Windows (WSH) Shell Login scripts won't run after allowing specified programs

In an attempt to lock down some workstations that were having spyware trouble, I made use of the Windows 2000 "Run only allowed windows applications" option in the Group Policy Object. [Note: this feature is expanded in Windows Server 2003 as "Software Restrictions Policies" in the GPO editor, but the idea is the same]. Since the network users only use a handful of applications ( MS Word, Internet Explorer, etc ), I was able to specify these as allowed programs, disallowing everything else. However, even if I specified my login scripts in the "allowed programs" list as my_script.vbs, they still weren't running. On a hunch, I added wscript.exe, the interpreter for VBS scripts, to the allowed program list, and everything ran fine after that. I also allowed sndvol32.exe (which will allow users to access the sound mixer to change their volume), calc.exe, notepad.exe, mspaint.exe, and a few other various windows "accessories" that everyone should have access to.

Bottom line:
Can't get VBS scripts to run due to having specified an allowed list of windows applications? Try adding wscript.exe to the list.

Users restricted from changing their volume settings for the same reason? Try adding sndvol32.exe.

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