Creating a professional looking “Legal Text”

So a few years ago, our Security group asked us to implement a Legal warning on all Windows clients.

The simple way of doing ths is to just add the Title and Text to the following GPO settings:

Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Local Policies/Security Options –

  • Interactive logon: Message title for users attempting to log on
  • Interactive logon: Message text for users attempting to log on

However, these settings provide no layout options whatsoever. To try to force some semblance of a layout, you need to introduce a character (we used *) at the beginning of each line then add spaces to get an indent. Adding carriage returns in the GPO has no effect! You could just plop the text in as one long line…. Either way it looks crap!

We also have some display screens scattered about that auto-logon. These machines has to be excluded from getting the legal notice, otherwise they would not auto-logon. The initial solution was to just create another OU for these machines to exclude them from receiving the policy settings. This is simple but messy, you forget to put them (pre-staged) in the right place before they are added to the domain, so you then need to trawl through the registry removing the settings….

I was looking for an alternative and found this article on the scripting guys website:

I used this as the basis for the script below. My version is applied at the root of the domain as a computer start-up script in a “Base” GPO. This way every client gets the legal text (except DC’s – the script is also applied to the DC’s separately).

Those auto-logon machines are handled automatically. A security group in the domain contains the computer accounts for those machines that you don’t want to get the legal text. If the computer account is in that group, the script ensures that the legal text is not set, if the machine already has the legal text and is then added to the group, the legal text is removed automagically!

Here is the script: