Experimenting with group policy - how long do you have to wait / how do you speed up the GPO taking effect

I want to learn more about group policy.  I create a GPO, assign it to an OU and then what?  Something like changning the amount of time till the screen saver kicks in.  The machine / user already logged in won't (ever?) get that new GPO if it never logs off / reboots?  or after X minutes (and what is X?). is there a way to reduce X so you can see the changes right away?

gpupdate / force?   On the server?  or on the desktop? or both? just log off / log on? Restart the PC?  Somewhere, in dealing with sbs 2011 and printer preferences and other GPO things I read that some things take 3!!!  reboots before they take effect?

Does any of the answer matter if it's sbs 2003 or 2011? or the desktop is xp or 7?



BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAsked:
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theSAPPHIRECommented:
based on your main question... "how long"... the GPUDATE /FORCE works most of the time, unless the change you make in the GP is related to a "service" function, that is "locked" by the "system", then you may need a reboot.

doesn't matter if it is 2003 or 2011, XP or Win7, the gpudate /force works fine to "reset" the GP policies.

-sapphire
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Please read what Microsoft says about GPO wait time:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc940027.aspx
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
The thing to remember is that if it is a COMPUTER policy then it will not come into effect until after AT LEAST one reboot, maybe two.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
My experience is similar to sapphire's (didnt't follow pony's link) - User settings usually become active immediately following a logoff/logon; Computer settings after a reboot.  I have seen some User settings not become active until after a reboot, and I have had to occasionally use the /force option - sometimes using it just for good measure so I don't have to reboot twice :).  This may all be dependent on what sapph said, that it depends on what the policy affects (services, locked, etc.).

I've also not noticed any difference with 2003/2008 domains or XP/7 OS's.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Actually it is a good thing you didn't follow my previous link.  That was referring to the GP taking too long to apply and not how often it applies.  The default every 90 minutes. If the computer looks for a gp at 1:15 PM then the next time it will check is 2:45 PM by default. The start time is based on the time the computer is powered on.

So if you create a policy at say 1:30 PM then the time before it would take effect  

Here is another link with a little better explanation:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa373481(v=vs.85).aspx
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Well I guess I should finish typing my thoughts.   :(

"So if you create a policy at say 1:30 PM then the time before it would take effect"
should be

"So if you create a policy at say 1:30 PM then the time before it would still take effect at 2:45 PM or 75 minutes"
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
pony - I don't want to wait the 75 min.  but sounds like there's no sure way to make sure it works early - /force, reboot, logoff / logon...   I think you guys all said they should work (/force is done at the desktop not server?  Then a reboot (cold or warm make a difference?) then do it again : )  then it should work!?

wow.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Yes, /force is done on the workstation ... it tells Windows to ask the server for an updated policy.

Reboot is usually sufficient (a shutdown and cold restart will not make a difference).

If you make a change to the User Configuration, just log off/on.
If you make a change to the Computer Configuration, reboot.
If your changes are not recognized, use /force, then log off/reboot.

Play with it a bit to see how it works ... open up gpedit.msc on your computer (Professional or higher) and try something trivial like an IE, Taskbar, or Control Panel option.

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theSAPPHIRECommented:
It's actually real easy..

just use the /force and test... if it works.. u are done.. if not... reboot....

-sapphire
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
saph - if it works you are done, if not... I am trying to learn GPO things so if it doesn't work, it may not be a reboot that's needed,but me to fix the incorrect GPO for what I am trying to do.  : ).

so when something doesn't work, I'm not really sure if the GPO didn't propogate / I didn't wait long enough, or the GPO I created i s wrong.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Glad we could be of assistance however it sounds like your concern is really to see if what you are creating will work.  If that is the case then it depends on what you are using to create the GPO.  For example, we use Active Administrator from Scriptlogic which permits us to create a GPO offline and see the effects prior to applying.  
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