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SBS 2003 SP1, what is the difference between these two folders (screen shot included)?

Posted on 2009-04-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
i am attempting to clean up my SBS 2003 SP1.  I ran into a question.  What is the difference in the two folders labeled computers.  under "westover-cal.local" there are two folders one named computers and the otehr one that is in "my business" folder labeled SBSComputers?
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Question by:khalex22
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by:khalex22
ID: 24262759
forgot to add screenshot
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 2000 total points
ID: 24262806
The Computers folder under the main domain name is a default container that is automatically created on any Windows 2003 server.  The SBS Computers folder under the "My Business" organization unit is created especially for the Small Business Server environment.  Any computer account that you add to your SBS network using the connectcomputer wizard process will be automatically placed in this folder.  There are a number of SBS group policies that are automatically applied to the computers in the SBS Computers folder, so it's important to use it if you want those policies to be effective.
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by:DrDave242
ID: 24262820
There's still no screenshot, but I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about.  The Computers folder is the default location where machine accounts go when new machines are added to the domain the old-fashioned way - via System Properties > Computer Name, etc.  It's just a container.  The SBSComputers folder is where client machine accounts get placed if you add them to the domain the SBS way - by browsing to the ConnectComputer page.  The main difference between the two is that SBSComputers is an OU and not just a container.  Therefore it can (and does) have Group Policies applied to it.
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by:khalex22
ID: 24262896
(you have helped me alot by the way Hypercat thank you, not sure if you know my situation or not.  In short i have a server that got dumped on me to manage and i have no idea how it was previously set up or managed if at all so these are all my attempts to try and streamline it)
ok so knowing what you just said above, i have a set of laptops that i would like to manage through my SBS 2003, they are all laptops that come in and out of the office and only really access shared folders on the server (i am attempting to get the server set up to do antivirus, wsus, etc but i believe i should set up computers first).  Half of them are located in one folder and the other half in the other folder and it does not look like there is any reason for them to be in one or the other?? . Will moving these laptops to one folder mess with my permissions for folder access? or can i just remove from one and add them all to SBSComputers or should they all be in both what would you do?
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by:khalex22
ID: 24262908
when i add computers to the network i use the server managment tool and use the add user wizard (hope that helps)
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by:khalex22
ID: 24262929
Noob question: what are group policies and how do i configure/use them with my situation explained above?
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by:khalex22
ID: 24263050
is there anything i can do to clean up the location of where the computers go weather it be OU in SBSComputers or just computers container.  Can i relocate them once they are in the computers container or will this also remove the pc itself from user computers?
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 24263263
You can safely move the computers from one location to the other; it won't do anything except change the way the group policies are (or aren't) applied to those computers.  If they are in the SBS Computers container, they have already had the SBS group policies applied to them. If you move them out of this container, those policies will still be in effect and can be changed either manually or by applying different group policies. They cannot (and should not) be in both folders at once - you have to choose one location or the other.  At this point, I would recommend moving all of them into the SBS Computers folder and leaving them there.  If you learn more about group policies and want to change the way the policies are applied at a later date, you can easily do that.
Group policies can be rather complex so if you haven't worked with them before, you will need to do some reading on the subject. Basically, what group policy management does is allow you to set a whole slew of registry entries on the local machine remotely through group policy management, and apply those settings across the network to various groups of computer and/or user accounts.  Here's some reading if you want to delve into this:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7821C32F-DA15-438D-8E48-45915CD2BC14&displaylang=en
Here's a whole website devoted to group policies:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/grouppolicy/default.aspx
The Group Policy Management Console is already installed on your server.  Go to Administrative Tools/Group Policy Management to take a look. Be very careful, however, about changing anything until you understand the ramifications.  If you look at the SBS policies that are displayed in the console, you may start to have an idea of what GP's can be used to do.
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by:khalex22
ID: 24263307
thanks again hypercat
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 24263616
You're welcome!
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