Monday, September 14, 2009

Group Policy Preferences

You may want to do these for all your corporate desktops: Want to modify the registry settings? Need to lock down all USB device storage? Want to copy or delete certain files? Want to do all these without writing logon scripts? All these are now possible with Group Policy Preferences. Preferences are new feature, along side, with policy settings on the Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Using Group Policy preferences comes at no added cost but provides several advantages. It improves IT productivity. It reduces deployment costs by helping organizations reduce image count and reduce the cost of maintaining images. It reduces configuration errors during and after deployment. It reduces, if not eliminates the need for complex logon scripts. It allows you to fine-tune settings for users and computers throughout your organization. Preferences are available since the release of the new Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) on Windows Server 2008. Note: you need not raise the domain functional level to Windows 2008. New Client Side Extensions (CSEs - the enforcers on the clients) have to be installed for clients, in order for the preferences to be effective.

1) Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions for Windows XP (KB943729)
2) Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions for Windows Vista (KB943729)

It is recommended that you modify or manage a GPO from a Windows 2008 or Vista SP1 with Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). If you try to modify the GPO from a Windows Server 2003 or XP workstation, you will not see the new Preference capability.


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