Group Policy

A Peek Inside Registry.pol

Hello everyone!

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 awar…

Troubleshooting GP Processing tip

Troubleshooting is a bit of an art form. It requires creativity but that creativity needs to be expressed inside certain parameters. Those parameters depend on what is being troubleshot. (Is that really a word?)

There is a TechNet article that has been around for quite a while called Troubleshooting Group Policy Using Event Logs and you must take a look. Understanding these Events and their…

Spiceworld 2015 – Austin, TX!

Hi everyone! I hope you are well and you all had a great summer. I have to admit I’m torn, not quite enough Summer for me (or my kids) but I’m extremely excited to get back into a rhythm and get cranking on some great work this year. We have an amazing year planned at SDM.

I wanted to bring up Spiceworld 2015 in Austin, TX from September 23rd – 25th. (Spiceworld Austin 2015). I’ll be doing a…

Group Policy Comment

Do you place ‘comments’ on your GPOs? Did you ever wonder how to manage these, or how they may be useful. I put up a quick post on my blog ( that walks through GP Comments and how to manage them.

It points back to SDM Software for deeper solutions with Group Policy Compliance Manager and Group Policy Auditing and Attestation but the walk through if focused on…

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…

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