The Internet Explorer 7 first-run dialog is used to set some preliminary settings after a clean install of Windows or IE7 itself. This is great for configuring these settings for your individual computer, but in a large network environment these are things you probably want to control with group policy. In this case, you will not even want people seeing the first-run dialog, and we can do this through group policy.
Begin by creating a new GPO with your preferred Group Policy editing application. Make sure the name of this GPO is clear and descriptive. Edit the GPO you just created, and browse to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer. Select the policy setting “Prevent performance of First Run Customize settings”, enable it, and choose the “Go directly to home page” option.
Once you have created this GPO, apply it to an Organization Unit, and you are set!
Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several articles. His personal website at www.chrissanders.org contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.