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 …

How to disable Office Ribbon Items using Group Policy

Today I am going to show you how to disable a Ribbon Item using Group Policy, Okay, what’s the deal you might think, simply find the item within the Office GPO settings and enable it. Right,almost, it’s just that Microsoft didn’t list all possible settings within the Office ADMX/ADML file, probably because there are too many of them. But there is a setting called “Disable command bar buttons and menu items” that you can enable Read More …

All you need to know about Group Policy versioning

Ever wondered how the Group Policy versioning works? Below you find a number of articles and resources that provide a good insight how GPO versioning works. Group Policy Team Blog – Understanding the Domain based GPO version number TechNet – Displaying Version Properties of a Group Policy Object MSDN – Group Policy: Core Protocol Specification (Details in section 3.3.5)

Get the latest version of the GPOTool.exe

The latest version of the GPOtool is the one that is included within the Microsoft Windows 2003 Resource kit. That’s what we all used to know. BUT hey I just figured out a few days ago that there is actually an official newer version around it’s included within the Microsoft Product Reports Utility. Here’s how to get it. When launching the mpsreports_x86.exe or mpsreports_x64.exe the utility extracts the files into the temp folder. when completed, Read More …

Have you checked your Group Policy Health lately?

Group Policies are an essential part of every Windows Client infrastructure and it’s therefore critical to regularly spend some effort to ensure that things are in a healthy state. I would define a healthy Group Policy infrastructure as following: All Group Policies are correctly synched across all domain controllers There are no unlinked Group Policies (unless it’s by purpose because we use them only ad-hoc for testing purposes) There are no Group Policies that are Read More …

Group Policy Settings for Silverlight 4 – FIXED

On the Microsoft Silverlight website you will find a page that describes the available Group Policy Settings for Silverlight as well as the content for the ADMX and ADML file. But… it doesn’t work because the code on the web contains a bug and a section is missing. Within the silverlight.admx there is an unnecessary space and within the silverlight.amdl the section for SET_ALLOW_MAXIMUM_ISOLATED_STORAGE and ALLOW_MAXIMUM_ISOLATED_STORAGE_HELP is completely missing.  To get the Silverlight GPO working 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 …

Group Policy Settings to control BITS Bandwidth usage

I just read the article BITS – More Flexible Bandwidth Limit Policies on the Windows Management Infrastructure Blog which describes how BITS bandwidth usage can be configured through Group Policy settings. For Windows 7 (or computers with BITS 3.5 installed) there are 2 Group Policies that provide more granular control of BITS bandwidth usage during working / non-working days/hours and during scheduled maintenance days/hours. The 2 GPOs can be found under Computer Configuration -> Administrative Read More …

ReadTip: Group Policy for Beginners

Microsoft has released a document called Group Policy for Beginners which provides an overview of what you can do with Group Policies, the essential concepts and some step by step instructions to get you going. If you haven’t done anything with GPOs before and are just about to learn how this all works, this document is for you. I also recommend this document for project managers that haven’t done anything with GPOs in the past. Read More …