Implement Group Policy Preferences in Windows 2003 environment.

by Sitaram Pamarthi on December 6, 2009

It’s a four step process!. You can refer to my previous article if you want to understand about GPPs. In this post, I will take through the practical steps required for implementing Group Policy Preferences in a Windows 2003 Domain based environment. I am not going to talk about configuring any granular settings in GPPs but I will give you idea about introducing GPP infrastructure into your environment.
Step-1 : Install Group Policy Preference client side extensions(CSE) & XMLLite
GPP CSE: You need to deploy the GPP CSE package to all computers which are running with alteast Windows XP SP2/Windows 2003 SP1. This is to make your legacy operating systems understand the new GPP settings. Below are the download locations for GPP CSEs for different OS versions. 
Similarly you need to install XMLLite Low lever parser on computers which are running with atleast Windows XP SP2 or Windows 2003 SP1. Download location is available here.
Step-2: Install a Windows Vista/Windows 7 Computer into your domain.
            Configuration of GPPs is only possible through GPMC installed on Windows Vista/Windows 7 computer. Install one of these operating system on one computer in your network and add it to your domain.
Step-3: Install Remote Server Administration Tool kit
            Based on the OS version(vista/Windows 7) your have installed, download appropriate RSAT and install it. After the installation, you need to enable the GPMC feature.
RSAT download links:
Follow the below steps for enabling GPMC..
a)      Go to Control Panel
b)      Switch the view to “small icons” and select the “program and features” option from control panel. This opens below windows.
c)      Select “Turn Features On or Off” option from above screen and you will ne presented to with a window to select the features.
d)      Navigate to “Remote Server Administration Tools” node and select “Group Policy Management Tools” check box like shown below and click on OK.
e)      This completes configuring the features
Step-4: Start Configuring GPPs
            Now we are done with setup. Go Start-> Run -> type “gpmc.msc” on Windows 7/vista machine to bring up the GPMC management console. Now create a new GPO for desired OU and click on Edit. Now the GPO editor will contain two sections, “Policies” and “Preferences” under User and Computer settings. And need less to say that GPP settings can be configured from “Preferences” section.

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Sitaram Pamarthi is a windows administrators with 9+ years of experience.read more

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