Group Policy

Folder Redirection–To the Cloud (Storage)!

Using Item-level targeting to test for the correct cloud storage folder

There’s no question that traditional file services (e.g. Windows file servers, NAS filers, etc.) are slowly being usurped in the enterprise, by cloud storage vendors such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and Citrix Sharefile. And while some organizations justifiably still have concerns about putting their corporate documents and data in the cloud, I think the trend will only…

Deploying Desired State Configuration through Group Policy

Adding a DSC script to a GPO

For those of you who read my blog, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Desired State Configuration feature Microsoft introduced in PowerShell v4. For more information, you can see my early walkthrough of DSC and a comparison of Group Policy vs. DSC. And while I think DSC adoption is still pretty “early-days”, I do think this technology presents a lot of important capabilities for the future of…

SDM Software Group Policy Products Now Available to Government GSA Customers

SDM Software Group Policy products now available to GSA customers

We just wanted to make a quick announcement for our US government customers that SDM Software is now an approved GSA contractor, and all of our products are available via GSA Schedule. That includes our powerful Group Policy products such as GPO Compare, GPO Exporter (and the combined GPO Reporting Pak), GP Automation Engine and GP Auditing & Attestation.  You can get mor…

Anything New in Group Policy for Windows 8.1 Update One?

New Group Policy settings in Windows 8.1 Update 1

Last week, Microsoft shipped to MSDN subscribers, the bits for the first update to Windows 8.1. Regular users of 8.1 will get the update starting today, through Windows Update. A natural question would be, did Microsoft make any outwardly visible improvements or changes to Group Policy in this new release? The answer is, surprisingly (or not surprisingly :-)) little seems to have changed. A…

Circumventing IE Proxy Policy with…Charms!

Changing Proxy Settings through the Charms Menu

An astute reader of this blog brought an interesting scenario to my attention, and I spent some time confirming it. For those of you running Windows 8 (or 8.1) there’s a neat “feature” that allows your users to circumvent controls you put in place for controlling proxy server settings in Internet Explorer.

Here’s the scenario. I use GP Preferences to configure a proxy address for my Windows…

Override the Group Policy ADMX Central Store

Overriding the Central Store

Ever since Microsoft introduced the Central Store — a folder in SYSVOL where you can centrally keep all of your ADMX and ADML template files for Group Policy management — you’ve had to make all or nothing decisions about which ADMX files you could use for GP editing within your domain. If the Central Store existed, all GP editor clients would look for and find ADMX files there, without…

Script Group Policy Changes With The New Version of Group Policy Automation Engine!

Script Group Policy Changes with GPAE

Hey PowerShell and Group Policy Fans!

If you want to script group policy changes, life just got easier! I’m pleased to announce that today we shipped a major upgrade to our GP Automation Engine product–version 3.0. For those of you who don’t know what the GPAE is all about, a little background:

Back in 2007, the GPAE was the 2nd product SDM Software shipped. It was and still is the only…

Warning!!!–Group Policy Logon Scripts Delays in Windows 8.1

Configuring Logon Script Delay Behavior

Last month, I wrote an article on the website, reviewing the new features around Group Policy in Windows 8.1. Buried in that list of new stuff was a feature that was perhaps a little unheralded and under-advertised, but one that may cause administrators a world of hurt if they are not expecting it. Specifically, I’m referring to the change in Group Policy-based logon script behavior…

GP Preferences for Internet Explorer 11

With IE 11 now generally available for Windows 7 and newer versions, the obvious question is, how do I manage IE 11 configuration using Group Policy? Of course, now that IE Maintenance Policy has been deprecated, your choices for managing IE using GP include either the Admin Template settings (inetres.admx) that come with the version of IE you need to manage, or GP Preferences Internet…

Renaming GPOs with PowerShell

Commenting a GPO

Recently, as part of one of our Group Policy consulting engagements, we recommended to a customer to adopt a consistent GPO naming standard. This kind of standard makes the function and purpose of a GPO more clear and eases discovery of a Group Policy environment. As a result of this recommendation, we needed to rename a fairly large number of GPOs. Doing it by hand, in GPMC, of course, is on…

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