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Understanding Group Policy ADMX files

Posted on 2011-09-15
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I have just embraced the world of ADMX, having used Group Policy with ADM files for years and being comfortable with it.

So, I created a "PolicyDefinitions" folder in \\(dc)\sysvol\(domain)\Policies\

I added the ADMX files (for Office 2010 as it happens) into this folder, and added the ADML files to a folder called 'en-us' within.

I noticed the change immediately in GPMC, i.e. now, inside a policy editor, it says:

"Administrator Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX files) retrieved from the central store."

Which is good - but underneath it there is nothing more than what is in the ADMX files, i.e. the usual builtin settings (such as Control Panel, Network, Printers, System, Windows Components) no longer show!

Do you know why?

I have had to remove the PolicyDefiniteions folder from Sysvol for now - I'm too worried it's gonna screw up my old ADM policies.

Is a GPO able to look for and use both the ADM files from it own folder and also the ADMX files in the central store, at the same time?  If not, what extra do I need to put in the sysvol PolicyDefinitions folder to make the old ADM option appear again in gpedit?

Thanks.
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Question by:meirionwyllt
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Lester_Clayton earned 125 total points
ID: 36542438
Yes, it's possible to mix and match ADM and ADMX files.  Windows 7 and Windows 2008 use ADMX files by default, and they are installed in the C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions of servers and workstations.

GPMC (Group Policy Management Console) should automatically load all the ones available in both the Domain AND the local drive from where it is running.  If it does not, just check in C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions that the files are there.

You can always copy these from your Windows 7 workstation to the central PolicyDefinitions too if you find this necessary.  Just remember to copy the corresponding language files (ADML).
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by:Run5k
Run5k earned 375 total points
ID: 36542472
Is should be working for you.  Here is the Microsoft article I used as a baseline when I first started working with ADMX files:

Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step-by-Step Guide
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by:meirionwyllt
ID: 36543037
Thanks for your info.

In the Managing Group Policy link there was a guy who had the same query as me.  It said there that I should also download ADMX files for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 (msi file).  My first question is what to do with the MSI file.  I don't particularly want to run the installer on a domain controller.  Can I just use 7-zip to get at the files within and just drop them in the PolicyDefinitions.

Secondly, what about controlling WinXP?  Will the ADMX files for Win7 work for WinXP if the XP machines have GP client-side extension installed?

Lastly, our domain is still controlled by Server 2003 - but we have Server 2008 servers and Windows 7/XP desktops.  Will I be able to fully control ADMX functionality from a Server 2003 machine - should I want to some day,  Or will I have to do it from a Windows 7/2008 machine?

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:meirionwyllt
ID: 36543058
Right, I've just tried to unpack the MSI file and it doesn't work as I expected - it just extracts loads of fuiles without extension
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Author Comment

by:meirionwyllt
ID: 36543158
I have now run the MSI on a local Win7 PC, found tha ADMX files in Program Files, and then copied them up to Sysvol.  It looks OK - I get more items in the GP editor now.  But, if I can just get answers to the rest of my questions above then I'll be happy.

Thanks.
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by:Run5k
Run5k earned 375 total points
ID: 36543585
Personally, I prefer to install the Remote Server Administration Tools on my primary Windows 7 workstation.  Amongst other things, you can use it to work with utilities such as Active Directory Users and Computers and Group Policy Management Console from the comfort of your own desk.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958830/

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=7887

Installing Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7
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by:Run5k
Run5k earned 375 total points
ID: 36543707
As for your question regarding WinXP machines, to the best of my knowledge you should still be fine managing them.  It has been a while since we had any XP machines in a mixed environment on our domain, but I'm sure that someone else within the EE community will jump in to confirm/deny.
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