GPanswers.com: It’s fun to steal (or… The art of search.)

Sep
15
2010

I really can’t take credit for this one. I’m going to just give the shout outs “in advance” to my friends who made this blog entry possible: Alex Verboon, Alan Burchill GP MVP, Darren Mar-Elia GP MVP, Mark Heitbrink GP MVP and the Group Policy Team itself.

Okay, with that out of the way, here’s “Jeremy’s 100% ripped-off guide to searching for stuff in Group Policy.”

Item 1: Online Group Policy Search
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There’s a new “online” ability to search for Group Policy settings and items. It’s DUN-DUN-DUN… “In the cloud!” Aiighh.. Run for your life !! Okay, not really. It’s just a web page. Go to this address, and start searching for new Group Policy settings you didn’t know existed:

http://gps.cloudapp.net/

Item 1B: Online Group Policy Search, now inside Explorer
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I first came across this tip in a post from Alex Verboon. I’m not sure if Alan Burchill, Group Policy MVP had the same idea at the same time, or what, but they both discovered how you can link that “cloud app” to Windows 7 Explorer’s search. So, you can search for Group Policy settings, right from Windows Explorer.

Weird. Geeky. Neat.

The writeup is here:

http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/06/msdn-group-policy-search-out-now/

Item 2A:  Searching for GPOs… with comments.. Using Powershell
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The Group Policy team has a new blog entry which talks about the first two items I’ve listed. –And-  that blog entry continues to talk about Group Policy cmdlets in PowerShell.

The idea is that you can use the Group Policy cmdlets to search for attributes about GPOs themselves. Neat.

They’ve got a big ol’ PowerShell script you can use if you like right there.

However, my pal Jeff Hicks, PowerShell MVP helped me get it down to one quick line if you want to try it out. (Actually, it’s two lines.) Remember, you need a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 machine with PowerShell installed to try this out.

Line 1: Import-Module GroupPolicy
Line 2:  get-gpo -all | where {$_.description} | Select Displayname,Description

When I run this command, I get the following output.. Neat !

DisplayName                      Description
———–                     ———–
OU 1                           Yep. Here’s a comment.

Item 2B: Searching for GPOs.. with comments .. No PowerShell
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PowerShell isn’t for everyone; thought it is becoming the “de facto” way of doing lots of scripting. Mark Heitbrink, Group Policy MVP supplied this little nugget of goodness.

Note that this requires that you’ve got the Group Policy Scripts installed from here.

After that, you can use these canned VB scripts to run a command like…

cscript getreportforallgpos /c:gpo-report | find /i “something” c:gpo-report*.html

Final thoughts…
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That’s it. That’s all the stealing I’m doing for one day. Thanks to all my helpers.

PS: The inspiration of the title of this blog entry is from a song on of my favorite albums that no one ever heard of. Track 2; there’s a preview if you want to listen.
http://www.amazon.com/Its-Fun-Steal-Mono-Puff/dp/B0000069SW

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