How to enable Group Policy Preferences Logging via the Local Group Policy Editor

When opening the local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) you will notice that on a default Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise client there is no logging and tracing node for Group Policy Preferences logging underneath the Group Policy node. The reason for this is because Group Policy Preferences can only be managed within domain based Group Policy objects and therefore a Windows 7 SP1 client does not have the Group Policy Preferences related administrative template GroupPolicyPreferences.admx installed Read More …

How to reapply a Group Policy Preference that is configured to Apply Once

When creating a Group Policy Preference you can configure it to only apply once. The exact wording is “Apply once and do not reapply”. But when you are implementing such a GPP you most likely want to test the setting prior moving it into production. So here’s a brief explanation how to reapply a GPP when it’s configured to apply once. The below screen shot illustrates a GPP that is configured to write a registry Read More …

How to convert registry files (.reg) into XML for Group Policy Preferences import

Creating registry settings manually within the Group Policy Preferences editor can become a cumbersome task, especially when you need to create many of them. Although the Group Policy Management console allows you to import registry keys stored within an XML formatted file, unfortunately out of the box Microsoft doesn’t provide any tooling to export and convert registry settings into xml. A couple of days ago I found an online “FREE” Registry to Group Policy Preferences Read More …

ReadTip: PolicyPak Whitepapers

Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy MVP and founder of Policy Pak Software wrote up 3 Whitepapers I recommend reading. Why Group Policy Admins need PolicyPak Why SCCM Admins need PolicyPak 7 Dumb Things IT Pros do With Windows 7 & 8 Rollouts

Microsoft UE-V and PolicyPak – Better Together

In this video Group Policy MVP Jeremy Moskowitz demonstrates why customers planning using Microsoft User Environment Virtualization (UE’V) might also want to consider using PolicyPak. More details about PolicyPak and the video transcript can be found here

Taking Group Policy beyond what’s in the box – Part2

In my previous post I provided a brief overview of how PolicyPak can take you beyond default Group Policy management. In today’s post I am going to show you how easy it is to get PolicyPak up and running in your test environment. You can test PolicyPak on a local computer or within an Active Directory environment. Now beside the awesome things PolicyPak can do, what I really like about this solution is that it Read More …

Taking Group Policy beyond what’s in the box – Part1

Group Policy is a fundamental part of a managed Windows infrastructure. Using Group Policy Objects (GPO) allows IT administrators to configure and lock down clients and servers providing a standardized and secure environment. But despite the fact that Group Policy technology is around since the introduction of Windows 2000 its use seems to be limited to the Windows operating system and Microsoft Application product suite. Unfortunately not many 3rd party software vendors provide built-in Group Read More …

BGInfo Template for XenDesktop 5

During the past weeks I have spend a bit of time with Citrix XenDesktop 5 and while I was busy creating Desktop Groups, updating Master images, I thought i t could be helpful to see some information directly on the desktop. Show things on the desktop?, okay that’s a no-brainer, BGInfo from Sysinternals is what we need. So I created a template for BGInfo that just shows the information I need when using XenDesktop. The Read More …

Microsoft Open Specifications Documentation for Group Policy

If you want to learn more about Group Policies then I suggest that you download and read the following documents: MS-GPSOD]: Group Policy System Overview Document http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/6/C/C6C3C6F1-E84A-44EF-82A9-49BD3AAD8F58/%5bMS-GPSOD%5d.pdf MS-GPOL]: Group Policy: Core Protocol Specification http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232478(v=PROT.13).aspx MS-GPDPC]: Group Policy: Deployed Printer Connections Extension http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232156(v=PROT.13).aspx MS-GPEF]: Group Policy: Encrypting File System Extension http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232218(PROT.10).aspx MS-GPFR]: Group Policy: Folder Redirection Protocol Extension http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232290(v=PROT.13).aspx MS-GPIE]: Group Policy: Internet Explorer Maintenance Extension http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232356(v=PROT.13).aspx MS-GPIPSEC]: Group Policy: IP Security (IPsec) Protocol Extension http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232415(v=PROT.13).aspx Read More …

ReadTip: How to use Group Policy Preferences to Secure Local Administrator Groups

As we come to the year’s end I was doing some housekeeping in my home lab. Too many unused VMs, ad-hoc created Accounts etc. In the end I thought why not apply the same methods we apply within our enterprise environments and so I did. I was actually just about to blog how I solved the local Administrators group management through group policy preferences, but before I started writing that down I thought let’s see Read More …