Jeff Alexander's Weblog

Technical Evangelist - Windows Infrastructure

TechNet Update Event: More Resources Available

TechNet Update Event: More Resources Available

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Hi folks,

Well I've finished my TechNet Update events for this round and thought I would post additional information that was requested by many of you.  First of all please let me know what you thought of the event.

Many of you were after the slides from the event so I'm making them available here.  Click on the links below for the relevant decks

Group Policy Deep Dive Session
Longhorn Server Top 10 Session

A lot of you were interested in more information on Windows Deployment Services.  Well I managed to find some good information which I have linked below.

Deploying and Managing the Windows Deployment Services Update on Windows Server 2003
Windows Deployment Services Update Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Server 2003

And finally while I was doing the session in Canberra I didn't explain the one of the demo's I did very well and I wanted to clear up any confusion that might have been caused.  The demo was in my Group Policy session and it was after I created the Central Store on my domain controller and then created a policy with the Windows Vista version of the Group Policy Management Console.  So what I wanted to do is list the steps here and explain exactly what is happening.

Group Policy Demo's

Creating the central Store

  1. By default Windows Vista comes with the Group Policy Management Console inbuilt and will use the local policies on the machine.  You can now centralize this by creating a "central store" on your PDC emulator that gets replicated out to all domain controllers so that policies are managed centrally.
  2. So the first step is to copy the PolicyDefinitions folder from your Windows Vista machine to the SYSVOL folder on your PDC emulator.  You can do this using the following commands:
  • Create a root folder: 

%systemroot\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions

  • Create a subfolder for each language your administrators will use:

%systemroot%\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions\EN-US

  • Populate the central store with ADMX files

copy %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\* %logonserver%\sysvol\%userdnsdomain%\policies\PolicyDefinitions\

  • Copy all language specific ADML files to the central store.  In this case English US.

copy %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\EN-US\* %logonserver%\sysvol\%userdnsdomain%\policies\PolicyDefinitions\EN-US\

Now once this is done Windows Vista will now read from the central store instead of the local policy folder.  There are some gotchas when using different versions of the Group Policy Management Console.  One of those is using different versions of the GPMC and it's effect on the policy objects.

In my demo I showed using Windows Vista's GPMC to create a new Workstation policy and linked my workstation OU to that GPO.  Now when this is done you will still see the folder created in the \sysvol\%userdomain%\policies folder but what I neglected to show is inside that folder there is no ADM folder created when you use the Windows Vista version of the GPMC.  I forgot to show that in my demo. This means that we don't get 4MB of ADM files for every GPO we create.  This greatly reduces the size of the SYSVOL folder and replication traffic.

The next demo I did was to show using the older version of the GPMC which is a free download.  I installed this on my domain controller and made a change to my Workstation GPO to see what the effect would be.  What is does is it creates the ADM folder inside the folder for that GPO which in turn causes SYSVOL bloat.  I didn't show that clearly in the demo so hopefully this clears things up a bit.

In order to maintain consistency when migrating to Windows Vista make sure you have one Windows Vista administrative workstation to manage Group Policy and use a Central Store on your domain controllers.

For more information about Group Policy on Windows Vista go to the Management and Operations section of the Windows Vista TechCenter

Till next time...

Cheers, Jeffa

Comments
  • Jeff actually blogged his slides awhile ago. So Im going to just link to him. If you want the slides

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