Saturday 27 June 2009

SBS 2008 – Create the Group Policy Central Store

One of the steps to reduce the storage requirements for Group Policy content as well as provide a central location for editing and managing Group Policy ADMX and ADM files is by creating the Group Policy Central Store.

Pages 342 through 346 in Jeremy Moskowitz’s Group Policy: Fundamentals, Security, and Troubleshooting have an awesome discussion of the Central Store along with a how-to.

We have both of this books as they are invaluable Group Policy resources.

Creating the Central Store is actually quite a simple process (make sure to Continue through any UAC prompts):

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Navigate to the %windir%\sysvol\sysvol\mysbsdomain.local\Policies folder.
  3. Create a folder called PolicyDefinitions.
  4. Depending on the SBS 2008 server’s locale, create a subfolder for it. In our case that is en-US (not a necessary step due to the following copy process, but just in case).
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  5. Open another Windows Explorer window and navigate to one of the Windows Vista machines with the most current service pack: \\MI-MyMachine\C$\Windows\PolicyDefinitions
  6. Copy the contents of the Windows Vista folder into the PolicyDefinitions Folder on SBS 2008.
  7. Open the SBS Native Tools Management console.
  8. Open the GPMC snap-in.
  9. Click on any GPO that has settings in the Administrative Templates section.
  10. Click on the Settings tab in the centre pane.
  11. Click on Show All.
  12. Note the location of the ADMX files.
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Once the Central Store is in place, the only real maintenance is to make sure to copy the contents of a Windows Vista or Windows 7 PolicyDefinitions folder back onto the server to catch any new GPO content.

Please pick up Jeremy’s books to get further details on the Central Store and its benefits for the SBS 2008 domain.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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