Why don’t I have a PolicyPak Start Screen and Taskbar Manager License in my bundle?

If you’re already using it, and it’s working great for you: Great.

But, if you’ve not used it yet, then we’re going to recommend holding off until we release an update/ fix for it.

What’s happening, and why now?

Well, we’ve gotten a handful of customer reports about unusual Start Screen behavior after PPSSM directives have been deployed. Unusual behavior might be:

  1. Missing icons.
  2. Multiple groups of the same name.
  3. Missing groups.

Note this is NOT related to build 1988, and all existing builds with PPSSM in it can possibly exhibit the behavior.

We acknowledge that this can happen under some weird circumstances and have been able to reproduce the behavior. and are working on a fix. For clarity, this isn’t a PolicyPak bug. If it was, the fix would be in by now. The problem is something with Microsoft’s Start Screen flipping out after we “feed” it properly formed data. As such, we’re working around a bug that ISN’T OURS… (at least two bugs actually)… which makes it that much harder.

The ETA for the fix is “End of March, 2019.”

If you feel you are severely impacted by us recommending to “hold off” on your PPSSM & Taskbar deployment plans until we have a fix, please email [email protected] so we can work on your concerns.

Meanwhile, again, the problem affects SOME customers at SOME time. Also, this is not a security concern, but it may cause unintended end-user disruption when their start menu looks weird.

To work around the problem, you essentially need to un-license PPSSM (which will also stop PP Taskbar as well). Then users should have control again of their Start Menus. There are a few ways to UNLICENSE a component. Here’s the KB on that .. which is valid for PP GP and PP Cloud customers (which shows a different component): https://www.policypak.com/knowledge-base/licensing/what-if-i-want-to-unlicense-one-component-on-prem-like-pppreferences.html

Then, as a further workaround, you may use PP Scripts (yes, PP Scripts) in this video which will perform a “best effort” cleanup and/or a specific Start Menu “Forced replacement.” Video here (older way video here)