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Blog of Microsoft Premier Field Engineer Ashley McGlone featuring PowerShell scripts for Active Directory.

Everything you need to get started with Group Policy

Everything you need to get started with Group Policy

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My last post on getting started with Active Directory was so popular that I thought I would do one for getting started with Group Policy.  Once again this link list will satisfy everyone from beginner to advanced.  I know there are many other third party resources and books, but I want to surface Microsoft white papers and articles that may not always be obvious.  Enjoy!

 

Group Policy – Beginners

Group Policy for Beginners

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=20092

This new white paper covers the basic concepts and procedures.  Start here.

 

Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=25250

Have you ever wanted a spreadsheet that lists all of the possible policy settings?  You’re in luck!  This page has four spreadsheets covering policies for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2.

 

Planning and Deploying Group Policy

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=22478

Customers sometimes ask me, “What settings should we put in our GPOs?”  I cannot tell you what you should put in your policies, but this document helps you figure out what is best for your environment.  Typically settings are driven by your organizational objectives and compliance directives.

 

Troubleshooting Group Policy in Microsoft Windows Server

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=23086

While this white paper was written for 2000 and 2003 it is still the best place to start for learning how to troubleshoot GPOs.

 

Your Guide to Group Policy Troubleshooting

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.02.troubleshooting.aspx

This TechNet article provides a great troubleshooting checklist.

 

Group Policy Preferences Overview

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=24449

GP Preferences can help you eliminate login scripts, including features like mapping drives and printers.  I wish we had these back when I started on Windows 2000.

 

Information about new Group Policy preferences in Windows Server 2008

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943729

This KB contains download links for GP preferences client side extensions. You will need these if you wish to use preferences with an OS prior to Windows 7.

 

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displayLang=en&id=7887

Before you can work with Group Policies from a Windows 7 GUI you’ll need to download the RSAT and enable the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).  Note: This is a 230MB download.

 

 

Group Policy – Advanced

How to enable user environment debug logging in retail builds of Windows

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/221833

 

How to create a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Window Vista

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929841

 

Administrative Templates (ADMX) for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=6243

 

SYSVOL Replication Migration Guide: FRS to DFS Replication

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=4843

 

Advanced Group Policy Management 4.0 Documents

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=13975

From the documentation: “By providing change control, offline editing, and role-based delegation, Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) can help you better manage Group Policy objects (GPOs) in your environment. AGPM is a key component of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).”

 

 

Group Policy – PowerShell

Group Policy Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee461027.aspx

Start here to find out what cmdlets are available for Group Policy and how to use them.

 

Group Policy Team Blog

http://blogs.technet.com/b/grouppolicy/archive/tags/powershell/

The GP team blog has some powerful examples of managing policies from PowerShell.

 

 

Group Policy – More Information

Each of these pages provide a treasure chest of links for any other GPO details you may need.

 

Group Policy Search Service - Find those settings in any OS version with this web-based search tool.

http://gpsearch.azurewebsites.net/default.aspx?ref=1

 

Group Policy Product Page

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb310732.aspx

 

Group Policy Management for IT Pros

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Group-Policy-management-for-IT-pros

 

Group Policy Documentation Survival Guide

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754151(WS.10).aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=4950

 

Group Policy Team Blog

http://blogs.technet.com/b/grouppolicy/

Can you help me?  Yes!

If you would like to have me or another Microsoft PFE visit your company and assist with the ideas presented in this blog post, then contact your Microsoft Premier Technical Account Manager (TAM) for booking information.

For more information about becoming a Microsoft Premier customer email PremSale@microsoft.com.  Tell them GoateePFE sent you.

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  • If you are a Microsoft Premier customer ask your TAM about the new Group Policy Health Check offering.  We can come to your company, analyze your policies, and give you guidance customized for your environment.  We will also spend a good amount of time reviewing best practices, teaching about group policy, and answering your questions.  This could be the best three days of your year.  If you are not a Microsoft Premier customer, then you can find more information here:

    www.microsoft.com/.../support_premier.aspx

  • Nice post Ashley, I had some non-Microsoft ideas here  

    adisfun.blogspot.com/.../group-policy-recomendations.html

    ...includes Jeremy's book.

    So the Group Policy Health check is sort of like an ADRAP but laser focused on GP?

    Thanks

    Mike

  • Thanks, Mike.  Yes, the GPOHC (Group Policy Health Check) is similar to an ADRAP but focused entirely on Group Policy.  Your TAM can get you more detailed information.

  • Very nice Ashley.. I am impressed.. Every information that we wants to have about GPO !! 5*****

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