Category

Group Policy

SDM Software and the “GPOGUY” at Microsoft Ignite

Hi Folks-

Just a quick heads up–there’s a lot going on in the next two weeks in Microsoft-land. This week is the developer-oriented Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco, where a lot of new announcements are expected. Following close on the heels of that, is the re-jiggered TechEd conference–now called Ignite – the IT Pro-oriented conference that now combines Windows, Exchange,…

Understanding the JASBUG Vulnerability and Group Policy

Netlogon and SYSVOL hardening for JASBUG

Earlier this week, Microsoft released a couple of patches that addressed vulnerabilities in our good friend Group Policy. First, I will say that it’s relatively rare to see such vulnerabilities directly effect Group Policy function, like this one does. That’s a good thing. That said, this one, while not trivial to exploit, is relatively serious and should be addressed. I’ve spent a lot of this…

Group Policy Loopback Everywhere?

Enabling loopback processing on a computer

Just the other day I was talking to a customer about Group Policy loopback. If you’ll recall, loopback is that feature in Group Policy processing that allows you to override a user’s *normal* user policy settings when they log into specific machines–such as kiosks or Remote Desktop Services/Citix XenApp servers or VDI systems, where it’s mostly commonly used. When a Windows computer has been…

Controlling Windows Search in Windows 10 (and Windows 8)

Setting Windows 8/10 Search behavior to exclude web results

Recently I’ve been testing Windows 10 Preview Enterprise. It’s always good to see how new features in new versions of Windows will behave in a typical enterprise environment. One feature that carries forward from Windows 8.x into Windows 10 is the Start Menu/Screen search feature, which lets you search for apps, or just about anything. For example, in Windows 8 or Windows 10, if I search for…

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…

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