Posts tagged: gpmc

Aug 23 2011

GPO: Loopback processing and Group Policy Preferences

In this post we talk about loopback processing of group policy and what interesting new feature is available when combining with Group Policy Preferences.

If you need a detailed explanation on how loopback processing of group policy works I suggest you read this 4sysops two part blog post (part 1, part 2).

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Jul 28 2011

MMC tales…

In this post we will discuss some issues we had when using Microsoft Management Consoles to manage DNS (dnsmgmt.msc), Group Policy Objects (rsop.msc, gpmc.msc) and AD accounts (dsa.msc). No, we don’t use just powershell or command line tools to manage a Microsoft infrastructure: We click a lot 🙂
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Mar 30 2011

Powershell: Use GPO to configure firewall settings

In this post we will set up firewall rules using Group Policy Objects under Windows 2008 Server. When you install a windows role or feature the installer will configure firewall rules automatically upon installation. Some third party installers reconfigure the default Windows Firewall port settings and no further configuration is needed (e.g. Xenapp 5.0 for Windows 2008 to allow incoming connections, such as those from ICA traffic and the IMA service), some others don’t… For those applications we will configure the firewall rules and import those settings into an existing GPO with the netsh advfirewall command.
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Jan 06 2011

Powershell: Edit GPO security settings

In order to edit GPO permissions with Powershell you can use the Set-GPPermissions CmdLet shipped with the RSAT (import-module grouppolicy). This Cmdlet does not have a replace permission option, nor does it let you set up a deny ACE on a GPO. In this post we will explain how to replace permissions on a GPO object thanks to the Security Descriptor Definition Language. This language is used to edit permissions in string format on all kind of objects (file system, registry, AD objects…). For a better understanding of the SDDL and a tool that translates a SDDL string you can read this post.

When do you need to replace permissions on a GPO? When an “OU administrator” account which is a member of the “OU administrators” group creates a GPO (and links it to an OU of his site), he is the owner of this object, members of the “domain admins” group can edit this GPO, but members of  the“OU administrators” group cannot. So you might want to edit your GPO’s security settings by replacing the “OU administrator” account which created the GPO with the group that includes all the “OU administrators”. In our example, the domain has two sites, each one represented by an OU, we have two types of GPOs: Read more »

Sep 17 2010

Powershell: Search setting in GPOs

In this article we will describe how to search for a GPO matching several settings with Powershell. In this post and this one Lindsay Harris describes how to achieve this by exporting GPO reports in XML format and parsing the output. The principal advantage of her method is that you can input very precise search critera, but the disadvantage is that the script time processing can be very long because you need to export XML reports for every GPO in your domain. The method I will describe is more efficient in terms of script time processing but your search critera will be limited.

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Aug 07 2010

GPO WMI filtering: KB2286198 workaround

You might already know that Windows 2000 and XP SP2 are not supported by MS since the 13th of july 2010. As a consequence you cannot install new security patches released by MS on these platforms. A critical security vulnerability MS10-46 is corrected by the KB2286198 patch which was released the 3rd of august. This patch applies at least to Windows XP SP3 (for workstation versions) and Windows 2003 SP2 (for server versions). The KB article explains a workaround for the security patch, you need to edit two registry keys and disable a service.

You can apply this workaround on earlier version of Windows, if all your computers are not up to date. The disavdantage of this method is that icon images will disappear on some of your *.lnk files. So my advice is to upgrade as soon as possible your computers to a version which is supported by MS and apply the official security patch. Use the workaround only as last resort, the purpose of this post is to show you how to deploy this workaround with a GPO and play with WMI filtering. The Group Policy Center already wrote an article on how to deploy this workaround with GPO. We will just show you in this post how to target more precisely your computers which need the workaround by using WMI filers. We will achieve this under Windows 2008 by using Group Policy Preferences and activate the GPO workaround on the computers which have not the KB2286198 security patch installed. And we will show you how to achieve the same thing under AD 2003, without using Group Policy Preferences.
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Jul 26 2010

GPMC hangs connected to one domain controller

I will describe in this post an incident we had in our production environment and the different troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue. When we launched a GPMC, the console froze when we clicked on an OU in order to display the Policy Objects linked to it. The problem occurred only when the GPMC was connected to a particular Domain Controller (PDC emulator in our case), if we switched to another DC the GPMC was OK.

There was no problem with GPOs in our domain: Replication was ok and GPOs were applied correctly on our computers/users objects. But we could not edit anymore GPOs connected to this DC. While the GPMC was hanging there was a lsass.exe CPU overload on the DC until the console was killed. Therefore we had to edit GPOs connected to any other DC, so the production environment was working near normal during the resolution of the incident.

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