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Group Policy Editor "Error:54 Unspecified Error"

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07

I have a particularly vexing problem with the Group Policy Editor on our domain controller running Windows 2003 Server.

When trying to edit a group policy object (any and all policies have this problem, making me think it's a systemic problem), I get the error message I've included in the screen shot below.  An Internet Explorer Scripting Error box shows up with all fields blank, and another very cryptic "Error: 54 Unspecified Error" box shows up.  Quite a few instances will launch in series each time a different item is selected for editing within the policy.  As far as I can tell, there's nothing in the event logs to give me any clues (Granted, I don't know what I'm looking for), the error message itself is useless, and I'm not having much luck finding information on this problem.

What's going on here and how do I fix it?
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It looks like there is a problem with the group policy object editor on the server.

Try installing the Admin pack for your server onto a P.C. and and run an mmc, add the appropriate snap in and try edditing a policy from there.

If it's Windows 2003 you are using you can get it here.

If you find this works, update your group policy management console. with the SP1 version

That should hopefully sort it for you.


Thanks for the quick response, Barry.

The Admin Pack works like a charm on my desktop.  I'll check out that other link and let you know how it goes fixing the editor on the server.


Well, a quick uninstall and reinstall went off without a hitch.  The problem seems to persist however.  I can do the GPO editing on my workstation, and assignments on the server for now.  The base error still remains however.
o.k. dokey...

I've done a bit of digging....

Are you per chance using Internet Explorer version 8 on your server?
Actually, I'm betting you are using I.E 8....

If you ditch it I'll put money on your problem going away...

It's quite compatible with everything and the "error 54" seem to be a bit of a recurring theme..

Microsofts advice is... If it's not working remove it...


Not yet.  We have IE 7 on it right now.  I did however run into something VERY interesting.  

When I went to Help->About to verify the version number, I got the exact same "Internet Explorer Scripting Error" dialog box, with none of the fields filled in, and a nested "Error: 54 Unspecified Error" box.  And the version, cypher strength and product ID fields were blank.

It appears that this is more of an internet explorer problem that presented while I was trying to edit some group policies.

It deffinetly sounds like an Internet Explorere issue, just check on one of my 2003 servers with I.E 7 that's running Enhanced Security configuration and it seems to be working ok (showing the content in the help about box etc).

You could try playing around with the Javascript settings and clearing your temporary Internet Files. But the fact that the Help about box isnt showing up properly is a bad sign...

To completly contradict my last post... emm, you could try upgrading to Internet Explorer 8


I recently did some updates on this machine, and it's under such heavy usage that I haven't had a chance to reboot it yet.  I wonder if something is sitting in the registry waiting to complete an update and the transient state is causing the problem.

Everything else is working fine.  I'm working on finding a service window to restart the server just to eliminate that possibility.  I'm kind of in a bit of a holding pattern until I can do that.
Could very well be that,

And if that doesnt fail you can always use uninstalling the updates (one at a time) as staring point.


Turning to focus on IE as the source of the errors lead me down the right path.  Once I had a chance to restart the server all the errors went away.


Yeah, restarting the server did the trick.  It took a while to get the service window but all errors are resolved now.