Windows Server Group Policy Management Pack // IT Management Solutions

Windows Server Group Policy Management Pack

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

In this article we will discuss “Starter GPOs”. With Starter GPOs you get the ability to save baseline templates to use when creating new Group Policy Objects (GPO). These templates can actually be exported to other domain environments, giving you enhanced flexibility.

The next articles in this series will deal with the new features of Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) version 2.0, new policy settings for Windows Server 2008, Group Policy Preferences Extensions and much more…

Please note that some of the information in this article series is based on information from the Beta versions of Windows Server 2008 (Beta 3, RC0 and RC1). So, some features and dialog boxes may change a bit before the final release.

GPMC – in and out?

Built into Windows Server 2008 is the new and shiny Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) version 2.0. The look and feel is pretty much like the older versions, but some nice features have been added.

As you probably know, Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista will uninstall the version of GPMC that comes as part of the operating system – leaving you without a tool to manage you domain GPOs… But don’t get too disappointed now: around the release of SP1 for Vista GPMC version 2.0 will be available as a separate download from the Microsoft website.

So, to use GPMC version 2 you need one of the following:

  1. Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 with the GPMC 2.0 download, or
  2. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with the Group Policy Management feature added.

Source Starter GPOs

When opening GPMC 2.0 you will probably notice a new (empty) container called "Starter GPOs". This new container can hold what I would call "templates" for creating new GPOs - with the limitation that only “Administrative Templates” settings are available – from both ‘Computer Configuration’ and ‘User Configuration’. Settings like “Software Settings” (software installation) and “Windows Settings” (scripts, account policies, user rights, software restriction policies, etc.) are NOT available in Starter GPOs, see Figure 1.

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