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Group policies missing elelments

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Today, we are working on a server and went into the Group Policy management editor and see that we are missing a number of keys.
We are running Windows 2003 SP2 and our workstations are a mixture of Windows 7 and XP SP3.
How do I get these keys back?

This is what I've tried so far
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555218
didn't fix

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=18664
downloaded the 2003admsetup.msi and XPadmsetup.msi and added them to the server - no success

do I need to go to one of my Windows 7 machines and copy over the adm files? what about the XP SP3 machines?
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Question by:johnbowden
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by:duffme
ID: 36569905
What elements are you missing?  If you add uplevel elements (eg, Win7 .adm to a 2003 domain) you need to do this from an uplevel workstation.  You can install the .adm files to the sysvol or something to use them from any uplevel client, but you need to use the uplevel client.
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by:johnbowden
ID: 36573737
not sure what you are saying?
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by:duffme
ID: 36575660
You say you are "missing a number of keys".  Please clarify.

Group Policy templates allow you to add and manage policy items.  When you use the Group Policy Management Console (or GP Editor or whatever tool you are using) it needs to reference these templates.  The templates change from XP to Win7 to Office.  Most of us prefer to store these templates centrally in the SYSVOL, so they are the same for all admins and such.  If you only have them on your workstation and make changes and then try to manage the Group Policy Object from another machine that does not have the templates you will not see the policy items; this is a reason to store the templates in SYSVOL.  Also if you add Win7 items to a GPO you will not see them when managing from a down-level client such as XP.  So it sounds like you have not added the client templates to an accessible location from your management location.  So use the below to get your templates in order.  Don't grab everything and add it; only add templates for Windows versions and applications you want to manage with a Group Policy Object.

The .adm (.admx, etc.) files should be stored with the policies in SYSVOL\Domain Name\Policies\ on the DCs.  If whoever configured these policies previously used a local store instead you may be using a different version or something from the server.  So make sure you templates are correct and then use the GPO editor from a Win7 machine when configuring Win7 specific policy entries, etc.  When you download the policy templates they should also give you some instructions on how to install and use.  Mind you that the templates and event their formats usually change from OS version to version.  Here's a quick look for Win7 templates.  You may need to check specifics for XP templates, Office, Server 2003, etc.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/johnbaker/archive/2010/02/03/windows-7-admx-templates.aspx

You can usually find templates at MS's downloads site.  Search for "Group Policy templates" or "administrative templates" and the application or OS version you are interested in.
http://www.microsoft.com/download
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Author Comment

by:johnbowden
ID: 36925263
Hi there, just getting back to this since it hasn't affected the users logging in.

when I open up the GPO Editor and select the Default Domain Policy, under the Computer and User Configuration / Administrative Templates, the only folder visable is the Windows Components and under that, it shows Netmeeting, Windows Media Player and Windows Update. Thats it

When I use GPEDIT.msc, it displays all the correct components but when I type in GPMC.msc, I am missing the keys.

I have about 5 GPO's that I use and all of them display the proper information when I select settings / show all but when I select edit, it brings up the GPO editor and that is where all of the tabs are missing for setting certain items. Can't figure that one out.
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by:duffme
ID: 36928732
Are you running these with a Domain Admin account?  Have you verified the templates?
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by:johnbowden
ID: 36934056
I have copied the template (adm) files from my server over their server
I am logged in as the administrator
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by:duffme
ID: 36934347
The GPMC really just launches the same GP Editor; GPMC is really for management of GP, not individual GPOs as much.  I'm still not completely clear: is it the NetMeeting, WMP, and WU keys you are expecting to see, or others?  Do you have other GPOs?  Default Domain GPO should generally be reserved only for password policy and such that you want to affect every user on every workstation and server.  What exactly are you looking for?  That is, what keys, at what level, and for what users or operating systems/applications?
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Author Comment

by:johnbowden
ID: 36951138
Here is a screen shot showing the correct listing of keys on my server and a screen shot of the customers server missing keys
 CorrectListing.pdf MissingKeys.pdf
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Accepted Solution

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duffme earned 300 total points
ID: 36952601
This definitely looks like the templates are not the same.  You say you've verified and compared the \SYSVOL\...\Policies directories of these servers?  If they are the same verify that you have NTFS rights to each of these templates, as unlikely as it is that rights are incorrect for only some files.  This certainly looks like an issue having to do with what I mentioned in my second comment.  Keep in mind that there are different sets of templates for each operating system, Office, etc.
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