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Group Policy - safest way to make changes

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am looking for a way to make Group Policy changes that will allow me to undo simply and quickly. For instance let us say I have a policy - either  a default or one I've created - and I want to modify it. I am looking for a way to 'add' a policy that will override the one I'm changing and all its settings but if it doesn't work I can simply remove the policy. I would mark all such policies with some kind of pre-fix so I instantly know they are modification policies.  What is the best way to do this?
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Question by:lineonecorp
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Accepted Solution

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Matt V earned 100 total points
ID: 33623387
The best you can do is a separate policy for testing which you would then have to create a reverse policy to undo.  Removing a group policy does not undo the changes it made, you have to manually undo the changes through a reverse of the policy.
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 100 total points
ID: 33623427
When you are working with GPO's it is a good idea to have a testing OU, testing user and computer in your environment. I would also use rsop.msc planning mode witch will simulate how it will effect the objects in your environment without actually applying the policy.

It is a good idea to always use a testing OU to test EVERYTHING! The worst thing is applying a policy and breaking all of the machines at once.

Group policies don't really have a "switch" like feature that you can just revert back. When you apply the policies it will work immediately on some machine and there is a 90-120 minute delay so that it does not effect network performance.

Hope this helps~!
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by:oztrodamus
oztrodamus earned 100 total points
ID: 33623488
To answer your question the safest way is to create a Test OU and place a test object in the OU that you want the GP to apply against.

It's not entirely correct to say that once a change is made that you need to apply a reverse policy to change it back. That is true for some Computer policy level changes, but not all. I would be careful of that when applying security settings changes. In regards to User level policies whatever is applied at the time of logon is what takes affect. If you remove those policies and relog the user the changes will revert to their default state.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33629324
Thanks for the input. I will process and work through mentally the implications and get back if I need clarification or else if I think I understand close the question.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33727856
I wanted to close as usual and give each of the Experts 100 points. It sounds like the system might be trying to close this in some other fashion.
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