Do I need to install RSAT client-side extensions to get Windows Server 2008 R2 GPOs to be processed on Vista clients?

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I am trying to globally disable Adobe Flash updates on 24 Vista computers who are joined to the domain.  The servers are Windows 2003 SP2 (not R2) and I am integrating a Windows Server 2008 R2 server to replace th 2003 server.  Flash can be updated by copying a mms.cfg file to the client computer. The GPO was developed on the Windows 2008 R2 computer.

The gpsvc.log debug log indicates the GPO is version 0 and is being skipped.  As well, the log indicates that client-side extensions arenot present.

1. What is the significance of a GPO being version 0? And  how I do I make it non zero?
2. Do I need to download and install RSAT to every Vista client to get this GPO and future GPOs to work? Seems that deploying RSAT is just as big a pain as trying  tp get the GPO to  function?

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Ayman BakrSenior Consultant

The version of the GPO is to control GPO application when more than one DC exist in the domain and thus control the way of the replication among them. With such an issue you might have version mismatches between your DCs for several reasons - check the following thread:

As for your second question- RSAT is the windows server 2008 equivalent of the admin pack of windows server 2003 - that is you install it on client PC to gain administrative control of the roles of your 2008 server REMOTELY. RSAT is not needed to have your GPOs applied on your Vista machines - it must be the GPO mismatch between the DCs and replication between them which is causing the issue.  Therefore you don't have to install the RSAT on all your Vista machines. You only install it on the machine which you want to use to remotely manage your server from. The following KB has all the information:


While waiting for possible solutions, I tried the following:

Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions for Windows Vista (KB943729)

I downloaded and installed Client Side Extensions for Vista, not RSAT and determined that these "Client Side Extensions"  are required to correctly apply the GPOs.  This worked for  me but it  seems to be cumbersome to have to do this on every machine to resolve the problem.  It's like chicken-and-egg. The whole point of GPO is to make and manage changes centrally but without "Client Side Extensions" the GPOs did not work.

I guess I don't understand why it's not obvious (at least to me) that the CSEs are required.  I have not seen any Microsoft KB that explicity spells this out.

It's not a GPO version mismatch problem.

Thanks  for the response.
Senior Consultant
Glad that you found the resolution.

If you have a software delivery solution like CA software delivery or Numara's Precision, you can utilize it to centrally push the CSE to all the vista machines.

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