windows 7 GPO - preferences not applying

Hi Gurus,

Please help me out on this one.
I'm having a few problems applying some group policies on windows 7 machines.
Let me explain my scenario:
I have currently upgraded my Domain Controllers from windows server 2003 to 2008.
One of the DC's I have made an in-place upgrade because of some services i could not just reinstall. The other DC, as a redundant DC + DNS I have just removed the old 2003 DC, created a new machine with windows server 2008, promoted as a DC. All my DC's are VMs.
After that, I enable the new group policy object management console to both machines.
I create a new OU with test user to test my new policies for future windows7 deployment on the network.
I edit my policy: user settings / preferences / control panel settings / start menu - I disable everything.. remove my computer, my documents, profile, search, network, control panel, etc.
I check that the policy has successfuly replicated between the two domain controllers and logon to the new account in a windows 7 professional machine.
I run gpresult /R and check that the GPO was applied. However, when I open the start menu, all items that I disabled are currently enabled.
I tried recreating this policy over and over again on different OUs and users and just keep getting the same result.
Tried to do some more testing: on a new domain, created from scratch with windows server 2008 DC's, created the policy and tested - still no result.
Is there something I'm missing?

Thank you in advance for you wise replies :)

Regards,
Andrey
godinhadasIT ManagerAsked:
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footechCommented:
Just to verify - the OU where you are linking this GPO contains the user you are logging on with, correct?  This seems to often trip people up, the matching up of the type of GP setting with the type of account (user or computer) targeted.
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godinhadasIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Yes, I edited user configuration and applied the GPO to an OU that contains an user object - the same user I'm currently testing.
FYI - If I apply some other policy or preference like shortcut or prohibit access to the control panel, it is being applied sucessfuly.

Andrey
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footechCommented:
Well, if any other preference or policy you set in this GPO is applied, the only thing that comes to mind for the Start Menu setting is that you can create it for XP computers or for Vista and later computers, so make sure you created the preference for Vista and later.  When I set this in a test it had no problem applying, and I tried it with the Security Filtering set to "Authenticated Users", and then to just the individual users I was testing with - both worked.  You might also check your event logs to see if anything was recorded in relation to the GPO not applying.
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godinhadasIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I am aware that you have vista and xp settings. I tested both - the xp start menu settings work just fine. I find it weird that in two different scenarios i get the same results. I'll search the event log tomorrow morning and post the details as soon as I find them.

Thanks,
Andrey
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godinhadasIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Hi.

I just got through testing the group policy on my windows server 2008 domain that was created from scratch. I had some replication problems, hence the policy not being applied.
After solving all the replication problems, I can check that the policy was sucessfully replicated with all DC's, I can open the policy on the sysvol and see the details..

\\mydomain.int\SYSVOL\mydomain.int\Policies\{C88748BC-77DB-478A-A380-1B64D45D049B}\User\Preferences\StartMenuTaskbar\StartMenuTaskbar.xml

Contents of the XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
- <StartMenuTaskbar clsid="{4C4059E4-2F6E-4630-9CB8-5D9A89252C3B}">
- <StartMenuVista clsid="{8B03851A-1210-4621-80B6-C334A4F1C941}" name="Start Menu (Windows Vista)" userContext="1" changed="2011-12-06 10:55:18" uid="{04D5B801-2903-40C4-A3D4-F9138FC7B66E}">
- <Filters>
  <FilterOs hidden="1" not="0" bool="AND" class="NT" version="VISTA" type="NE" edition="NE" sp="NE" />
  <FilterOs hidden="1" not="0" bool="OR" class="NT" version="2K8" type="NE" edition="NE" sp="NE" />
  </Filters>
  <Properties showMyComputer="HIDE" connectTo="0" showControlPanel="HIDE" defaultPrograms="0" showMyDocs="LINK" enableContextMenu="1" showFavorites="0" showGames="HIDE" showHelp="0" highlightNew="1" showMyMusic="HIDE" showNetPlaces="0" openSubMenus="1" personalFolders="HIDE" showMyPics="HIDE" showPrinters="0" runCommand="0" showSearch="0" searchCommunications="0" searchFavorites="0" searchFiles="NOSEARCH" searchPrograms="0" sortAllPrograms="0" systemAdmin="NONE" useLargeIcons="0" minMFU="9" showRecentDocs="HIDE" clearStartDocsList="0" />
  </StartMenuVista>
  </StartMenuTaskbar>

I run gpupdate and gpresult, I see that the policy was sucessfully applied, but no result :(

I still need to run the tests on the 1st domain where I really need to get this working, but the results must be the same.
Any ideas?
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footechCommented:
Hmmm...  Well, don't know exactly what the differences are due to, but I suspect they're due to me having a W2K8R2 domain.  Anyway, here's what I have.

<StartMenuTaskbar clsid="{4C4059E4-2F6E-4630-9CB8-5D9A89252C3B}">
<StartMenuVista clsid="{8B03851A-1210-4621-80B6-C334A4F1C941}" name="Start Menu (Windows Vista and later)" userContext="1" changed="2011-12-06 16:10:44" uid="{7F23DB47-18B1-42DC-B0F6-BDCA09387DC3}">
<Filters>
<FilterCollection hidden="1" bool="AND" not="0">
 <FilterOs hidden="1" not="1" bool="AND" class="NT" version="XP" type="NE" edition="NE" sp="NE"/>
 <FilterOs hidden="1" not="1" bool="AND" class="NT" version="2K3" type="NE" edition="NE" sp="NE"/>
 <FilterOs hidden="1" not="1" bool="AND" class="NT" version="2K3R2" type="NE" edition="NE" sp="NE"/>
 </FilterCollection>
 </Filters>
 <Properties showMyComputer="HIDE" connectTo="0" showControlPanel="HIDE" defaultPrograms="0" showMyDocs="HIDE" enableContextMenu="0" showFavorites="0" showGames="HIDE" showHelp="0" highlightNew="0" showMyMusic="HIDE" showNetPlaces="0" openSubMenus="0" personalFolders="HIDE" showMyPics="HIDE" showPrinters="0" runCommand="0" showSearch="0" searchCommunications="0" searchFavorites="0" searchFiles="USER" searchPrograms="0" sortAllPrograms="0" systemAdmin="NONE" useLargeIcons="1" minMFU="9" showRecentDocs="MENU" clearStartDocsList="0" trackProgs="1"/>
 </StartMenuVista>
 </StartMenuTaskbar>

The only difference I see is in the filters section.

I get the same result when creating the preference either from a W2K8R2 DC, or from a Win7 box running RSAT.  Where type of system are you creating your policies on?  If you're running W2K8 DC's and are creating the policies there, it might be worth trying to create it from a Win7 box.  Also, at one time I saw some issue with W2k8, GP Preferences, and setting the locale, though I don't know if that would apply to you.
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godinhadasIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
footech,

Hi.
Looks like ur right - all my dc's are W2K8 SP1.
Coincidently, I had downloaded RSAT and was planning to install it yesterday on my machine, but had no time.
Installed it today, tested and it works. So, now I'm going to test this in the 1st place I had to get the job done, and hopefully will get no more errors. I'll update as soon as I have new results.

Thanks,
Andrey
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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