Microsoft Resources

Here are some resources on the Microsoft web site to get you off and running with Group Policy. Most of these links are found on the Microsoft Group Policy management page.

Microsoft Office 2010 Group Policy

This book contains information about how to use Group Policy to deploy and configure an installation of Microsoft Office 2010. The audience for this book includes IT generalists, IT operations, help desk and deployment staff, IT messaging administrators, consultants, and other IT professionals. Check it out here.

Group Policy Documentation “Survival Guide”

This is a “document of documents” which explain most of the GP technologies most admins need to use. It’s a Microsoft doc, and a little kitchy with the “Army Font” and all that. Fun and informative. Check it out here.

Windows Server 2008 and Vista / SP1 GP Settings Spreadsheet

Windows Server 2008 and Vista / SP1 have LOTS of Policy Settings. Check ‘em all out in this handy, dandy spreadsheet.

It’s available here.

Group Policy Preference Extensions

Here’s a set of links to documentation on Microsoft’s site for the Group Policy Preference Extensions:

Group Policy Preferences Overview White Paper
Group Policy Preferences: Getting Started

An extensive section on Preferences in the Group Policy Management
Console (GPMC) Help for Windows Server 2008 (which is also available on

Group Policy Preferences Frequently Asked Questions
A Guide to Group Policy Preferences for Users of PolicyMaker
Standard Edition

How to get the GPPEs for each Operating System

Remember: these install as “patches” not MSI files. Check out Newsletter #27 for more information.

GPP CSEs for Windows Vista (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Vista x64 Edition (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Server 2003 (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows XP (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB943729)

Internet Explorer 8 and Group Policy

IE 8 has been released, and there are a few new policy settings to go along with it.  More than 1300 settings!!!!  Take a look at this Microsoft site for more details.

(FINAL) A Complete List of All the New GP Settings in Vista

Similar to the previous spreadsheet file for all the settings in the MS-provided ADM files, here’s a complete list of all 2450 settings which are available in the new ADMX files. Yes, that’s nearly 800 more than the 2003 SP1 ADM files! These settings can only be accessed using the GPMC on Vista and Longhorn, but policies created with them will apply to the appropriate OS. There’s a filter in the list for the minimum required OS for each setting, as before, but watch out for some variations such as “At least Windows Vista” vs “At least Microsoft Windows Vista” so you don’t miss any.

Highlights which only apply to Vista/Longhorn include settings for tablet PCs, device and removeable storage control, and power management.

Get the whole list of ADMX file Group Policy settings for Vista here.

The GPMC The Group Policy Management Console

The GPMC is a tool you can download for free from Microsoft that can be loaded on Windows XP or Windows 2003 client machines. Then, once loaded, the GPMC provides a “one stop shop” for managing nearly all aspects of Group Policy in your Active Directory. Again, it doesn’t matter if your Active Directory or domains are Windows 2000 or Windows 2003-it just matters that you have Active Directory.
Check it out here.

GPOAccelerator (inside the Security Compliance Management Toolkit)

A tool that you can use to create all the Group Policy objects (GPOs) you need to deploy your chosen security configuration. This release also supports Windows Server 2003, and creating security configurations on machines not joined to a domain.
Check it out here.

Deploying XP/Service Pack 2 in an Enterprise Environment

Here, you’ll find recommendations on how to deploy XP/SP2 via Group Policy. Jeremy wrote the Group Policy and SUS parts of this Microsoft document.
Check it out here.

Group Policy Settings Reference in an Excel XLS Spreadsheet (newer still! 3/31/05)

To see all of the Group Policy settings, see “Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1″ on the Microsoft Download Center at this link.
Check it out here.

Troubleshooting Group Policy (Newer)

Another Microsoft whitepaper on Group Policy Troubleshooting. Jeremy was one of the technical reviewers of this document for Microsoft.
Check it out here.

Group Policy “Common Scenarios”

The “Common Scenarios” is a combination white-paper and GPO example set. This combo will help you learn how to design a security policy. They have scenarios which include Lightly Managed, Mobile, Kiosk, and others. Once you play with each scenario, you can decide which features you want to keep in your own production environment. Note: These GPOs aren’t really meant to be deployed as-is (you should modify them to suit your own business), but you’ll get a better handle on what some security design options are.
Check it out here.

Account Policy Best Practices

Microsoft has a new whitepaper on Account Lockout recomendations.
Check it out here.

Group Policy Chat from Microsoft (June, 2004)

This was a little MS Technet Chat with “Group Policy” as the subject matter. Very nice! They even mentioned! Thanks!
Check it out here.