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  • Blog Post: Adding shortcuts on desktop using Group Policy Preferences in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

    Hi All! My name is Saurabh Koshta and I am with the Core Team at Microsoft. Currently I work in the client space so supporting all aspects of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is my primary role. We very often get calls from customers who are evaluating Windows 8/Windows 8.1 for deployment, but are concerned...
  • Blog Post: Using Group Policy Preferences to Map Drives Based on Group Membership

    Hello AskDS Blog Readers, Mike here again! A common request we hear is how to automatically connect specific network shares to drive letters based on group membership. Mapping network drives based on group membership requires some programming knowledge-- either VBScript or command shell (batch files...
  • Blog Post: Forcing Afterhours User Logoffs

    Mike here and today I want to answer a common customer request—how to force users to logoff at the end of the day. The scenario requires a bit of an explanation, so let’s get started. Let’s recognize the value of forcing users to logoff at the end of their work day, rather than simply...
  • Blog Post: Windows Event Log Service is Not Starting… and my domain is down!

    Hi everybody, Scott Goad here to discuss an issue that I worked recently where the customer was unable to logon to the domain. The end result was a group policy preference setting, so enjoy the read. The issue occurred after a change was made to set a group policy preference item to change the clock...
  • Blog Post: Migrating from PolicyMaker to Group Policy Preferences with GPPMIG

    Mike here. PolicyMaker customers rejoice—Microsoft has a way for you to migrate from PolicyMaker 2.x to the new Group Policy preferences released with Windows Server 2008 and included in the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 or higher. Download GPPMIG: http...
  • Blog Post: Managing Power with Group Policy: Part 1 of 3

    Hi, Mike here again. This post was originally published in the Group Policy Team blog. Many of you probably know about the power management improvements included in Windows Vista and that you can manage power using Group Policy. However, did you know that you can manage power on Windows XP using Group...
  • Blog Post: Enabling Group Policy Preferences Debug Logging using the RSAT

    Mike here. Sometimes you need to enable additional logging when you are troubleshooting a particular component in Windows. Group Policy Preferences includes the ability to create verbose debug logging for each included client-side extensions. You activate Preference debug logging through Group Policy...
  • Blog Post: Group Policy Preferences Logging and Windows 7

    Hi all, Mike here again. Back in July of 2007, I posted a blog explaining how to enable Group Policy Preferences debug logging using RSAT. As a refresher, Group Policy Preferences debug logging is enabled through Group Policy administrative templates. Many customers experienced a problem when trying...
  • Blog Post: Improved Group Policy Preference Targeting by Computer Group Membership

    Hello AskDS readers, it's Mike again talking about Group Policy Preference targeting items. I posted an article in June entitled Targeting Group Policy Preferences by Container, not by Group . This post highlighted the common problems many people encounter when targeting preferences items based on a...
  • Blog Post: PolicyMaker stops working after installing Windows XP SP3

    Hi this is Rob again. We had a couple cases recently where PolicyMaker settings were not applying to computer and users after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3. We found that PolicyMaker client-side extensions (CSE) are not registered after installing Service Pack 3. Examine the following location...
  • Blog Post: Special Groups Auditing via Group Policy Preferences

    Ned here again. Today I’m going to talk about a new feature of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista called Special Groups auditing . While we’re in here, I’ll run through how we can use the new Group Policy Preferences (GPP) client-side extensions to make deploying this fast and easy...
  • Blog Post: Managing Power with Group Policy: Part 3 of 3

    Mike here. It’s time we wrap up our discussion on managing power using Group Policy. The previous blog posts discussed managing power on Windows Vista (and Windows Server 2008). Today, I’ll cover how we can achieve the equivalent for Windows XP. The key to managing power on Windows XP...
  • Blog Post: Introducing Group Policy Preferences

    Hi, Mike here. Have you ever wanted to map a drive for specific users at logon—without using a logon script? Have you ever wanted to change the local administrator’s password on all your client computers? Have you ever wanted to add items to a user’s Start menu? Now you can with Windows...
  • Blog Post: Target Group Policy Preferences by Container, not by Group

    Hello again AskDS readers, Mike here again. This post reflects on Group Policy Preference targeting items, specifically targeting by security groups. Targeting preference items by security groups is a bad idea. There is a better way that most environments can accomplish the same result, at a fraction...
  • Blog Post: New Slow Logon, Slow Boot Troubleshooting Content

    Hi all, Ned here again. We get emailed here all the time about issues involving delays in user logons. Often enough that, a few years back, Bob wrote a multi-part article on the subject. Taking it to the next level, some of my esteemed colleagues have created a multi-part TechNet Wiki series on understanding...
  • Blog Post: Managing Power with Group Policy: Part 2 of 3

    Mike here. Last time, I introduce new Power Management policy settings included in Windows Vista. In the first of a three parts, I wrote about Button , Hard Disk , and Notification policy settings. Today, I continue to review Power Management by writing about Sleep and Video and Display power management...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Mothers day pfffft… when is son’s day?

    Hi folks, Ned here again. It’s been a little while since the last sack, but I have a good excuse: I just finished writing a poop ton of Windows Server 2012 depth training that our support folks around the world will use to make your lives easier (someday). If I ever open MS Word again it will be...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack – Mogwai Edition

    Hi folks, Ned here again. This week we hunt down some documentation gremlins and give them a well-deserved smack. Also, things will be a bit slow next week as I will be out in Redmond teaching this rotation of Microsoft Certified Masters . Never heard of it? If you’re at the IT career tipping...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack – Very Late Edition

    Hi Folks. It’s been crazy busy here – sorry for the delay. Hopefully you weren’t sitting around refreshing the page all day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. RSAT and legacy policies Automating GPP creation Determining NT 4 to AD domain upgrades ...
  • Blog Post: Friday Mail Sack: Not Particularly Terrifying Edition

    Hiya folks, Ned here again. In today’s Mail Sack I discuss SP1, DFSR, GPP passwords, USMT, backups, AD disk configurations, and the importance of costumed pets. Boo. Win7/R2 SP1 RC in production USMT ramp up Daily DFSR health reports Recommendations for separating AD folders and...
  • Blog Post: Windows XP Power Management and Group Policy Preferences

    Hi everyone, Mike here again to discuss a common scenario that generates calls to Microsoft. The scenario covers managing power on Windows XP client computers using Group Policy Preferences. Let’s cover how Windows XP manages power before we cover Group Policy Preferences Power Management. Windows...
  • Blog Post: DS Restore Mode Password Maintenance

    Ned here again. There comes a day in nearly every administrator’s life where they will need to boot a domain controller into DS Restore Mode. Whether it’s to perform an authoritative restore or fix database issues , you will need the local administrator password. Too often, we work with customers...