So in my Windows class this week, I was asked if it is possible to disable the initial logon animation on Windows 8. You know, that one where you have to connect to the Windows App Store and then have to move the mouse around. By some strange coincidence, I actually hade the Windows 8.1 GPO Registry spreadsheet up. I did a quick internet search to find the correct registry setting, but did not find it as a GPO setting.
Next up GPO preferences. Normally I would throw PowerShell into the mix, but this is one of those cases where I feel that a GPO is the better choice. You see, with PowerShell, I would have to contact the computer when it is convenient for both of us. In other words, when I am running the script and the client is online. With a GPO Preference, I make this change and the domain tells the client what to do when the client comes online.
The registry setting is
The key is a DWORD of EnableFirstLogonAnimation. A value of zero (0) will disable it and a value of one (1) will enable it.
To set it up, make sure that your clients are in an OU instead of the default computer container. You can apply this GPO setting at the domain level as well. To start, create a GPO or use one that is already scoped to your needs.
Edit the GPO and navigate to Computer Configuration à Preferences à Windows Settings.
Right click Registry and then select New-Registry Item.
Match the settings below and click OK
The icon for this setting may appears as if it is an error or warning icon.
The yellow triangle actually means that this is an Update operation. An update will perform a Create operation if the key does not exists. Once this policy is applied, your users will not have to wait so long on their first log in.