I posted a quick video on polviewer.exe. The tool called ‘Registry.pol Reader’ is a free tool Darren Mar-Elia built to solve a pretty important issue. And because he’s a great guy, there is that!
The need for the tool is pretty obvious to those of us who have been managing and troubleshooting Group Policy for many years. If you are new to Group Policy you are likely aware of the need but may not even know this is an option.
Imagine this, I have 20 domain Controllers in my environment. Mixed OSs, and older DCs are being upgraded or deprecated and maintenance is being performed. For some reason sysvol replication may be impacted and you may not even realize it. The scenario where you begin to sense a problem is you begin to hear that a server is misconfigured. This seems strange as you have many, many servers all being configured via the same Group Policy Objects and it is only a problem on one or a few. Well it could happen that the information in Registry.pol is not synchronized correctly across Domain Controllers. Or possibly Registry.pol or an instance of the file has become corrupt.
That is where this tool comes into play, at least one area (there are many more). You can look at the registry.pol file on one DC (known good) and dump results to a CSV, then you can take a look at the registry.pol file on another DC (suspected problem child!). Then you can simply compare the two and see what you find.
I posted a very simple video walking through the tool and demonstrating how it can be useful.
Check it out and enjoy!