Group Policy Central Store (Windows 2008)

With the introduction of Windows 2008 Microsoft redefined the concept of Group Policy Central store. Group Policy central store is a simply a central storage place to keep the administrative templates. In windows 2003 and XP age we have received many Administrative templates from Microsoft and other vendors, but the key question is where to store them. If we keep them in one server then the other server won’t be able to retrieve them.

With windows 2008 Microsoft introduce the concept on central storage. Now you can keep all the administrative templates in a central place and replicate between windows 2008 domain controllers. Windows 2008 and Vista natively support this but Windows 2003 and Windows XP don’t support it out of the box.

How it works is simply by checking if the templates available in a central place or not. If the machine couldn’t find templates in a central place it will load the template from machine local template section. So as you can see the functionality is very simple but still brings great flexibility J

So how to configure this? In the windows 2008 domain controller go to %SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\domain\Policies Create a folder called “Policy definitions”. Leave it as it is and then move to c:\windows\Policy Definitions and copy the contents in that folder and paste them to %System Root%\SYSVOL\domain\Policies

Once contents copied to the relevant folder go to GPMC and try to open a GPO. Upon opening expand Administrative Template. When you click that in the right hand pane you’ll be able to see “Administrative Templates: Policy Definitions (ADMX files) retrieved from central stores.

As a practice whenever you modify the GPO’s keep an eye of the locations where the GPO’s administrative getting loaded from. As you can see, keeping group policy templates in a central location can be a significant administrative issue for companies. However, Windows Server 2008 ability to create a central store for Administrative Templates have simplified the process and monitoring of the templates.

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Group Policy Central Store (Windows 2008)

With the introduction of Windows 2008 Microsoft redefined the concept of Group Policy Central store. Group Policy central store is a simply a central storage place to keep the administrative templates. In windows 2003 and XP age we have received many Administrative templates from Microsoft and other vendors, but the key question is where to store them. If we keep them in one server then the other server won’t be able to retrieve them.
With windows 2008 Microsoft introduce the concept on central storage. Now you can keep all the administrative templates in a central place and replicate between windows 2008 domain controllers. Windows 2008 and Vista natively support this but Windows 2003 and Windows XP don’t support it out of the box.
How works is is simply by checking if the templates available in a central place or not. If the machine couldn’t find templates in a central place it will load the template from machine local template section. So as you can see the functionality is very simple but still brings great flexibility 
So how to configure this? In the windows 2008 domain controller go to %SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\domain\Policies Create a folder called “Policydefinitions”. Leave it as it is and then move to c:\windows\PolicyDefinitions and copy the contents in that folder and paste them to %SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\domain\Policies

Once contents copied to the relevant folder go to GPMC and try to open a GPO. Upon opening expand Administrative Template. When you click that in the right hand pane you’ll be able to see “Administrative Templates: Policy Definitions (ADMX files) retrieved from central stores.


As a practice whenever you modify the GPO’s keep an eye of the locations where the GPO’s administrative getting loaded from. As you can see, keeping group policy templates in a central location can be a significant administrative issue for companies. However, Windows Server 2008 ability to create a central store for Administrative Templates have simplified the process and monitoring of the templates.

Introducing Windows 2008 R2 E-book is available – free download

Well folks Microsoft did it again. This time the MS learning and Press book guys decide to give away the E-book free. This book is complete and comprehensive book which contains information about the latest information about the Windows 2008 R2.

As you all aware Windows 2008 R2 officially released on October 22nd. Now it is time for us to get our hands dirty as a early for a better preparation on this product along with Windows 7. You can get the E-book from here.

Microsoft Certifies REDHAT on HYPER-V

This has been long awaited expectation by many administrators. Many administrators kept away from HYPER-V  saying no compatibility with Open Source Operating systems despite Microsoft support for Suse Enterprise OS. Now that waiting is over since Microsoft and RedHat officially announce their compatibility for running their OS on HYPER-V. Info can be found over here

This agreement is very important for both giants in many ways and same goes for the customers. Let that to be discuss in another post. So go ahead and enjoy he benefit 🙂

Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 complete Group Policy reference sheet is out!

Microsoft finally released the complete set of information which contains the Group Policy settings contains for Windows 7 and the Windows 2008 R2. This is a very comprehensive excel sheet. If you want to find about the nifty features and new improvements this is one sheet you need to have. Apart from that they have also added the Windows Vista, Windows 2008 SP2 as well. Complete list can be downloaded from Microsoft web site.

You can click here to download.

Something interesting in Windows 7 and windows 2008 R2

Start setting up HYPER-V role in my desktop PC after installing Windows 2008 R2 (It’s a new rig 🙂 )
Tried to install windows 2008 R2 Ent and Windows 7 as guest OS in my HYPER-V environment. After installing went on usual method of installing the IC’s (integration services), but no need to do that anymore.

According to the given message ICS (Integration Component Services)has been installed already.

Wondering if this installed automatically during the setup I went to the control panel and found no evidence for that. So looks like Microsoft has integrated the ic’s into the OS itself!
Looks like MS expecting big change in future on virtualization and they have been ready for it with the launch of Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

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Microsoft DPM 2010 Beta is out!

Microsoft has announced they have released the beta version of the Data Protection Manager 2010 to the partners.

They released the DPM 2007 SP1 on This January and soon after that on the track with preparing to protect the Microsoft oncoming software on 2010. Some of the key features are,

· Seamless protection of Live Migrating VMs (For Windows Server 2008 R2) – This means even after moving the guest OS to different machine as long as it is in the CSV DPM will be able to backup them.

· Optimized backup methods for Laptop users – backup can be secluded to run even the laptop is online of offline on the cooperate network. This is a feature Symantec Backup Exec has been offering on Backup Exec 12. (but customer has t pay a good price tag for that for each agent)

Apart from that Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 will be supported. Microsoft expect to release this product on mid 2010. More information can be found over here.
Webcast can be found over here.