Windows 7x64 Clients GPO on 2003 Domain

beargonefishing used Ask the Experts™
We have recently begun deploying Windows 7 x64 PCs on our 2003 x86 domain, but due to budgeting constraints we have not been able to update the domain controllers accordingly.

My question is, can a Windows 2003 x86 domain still manage the Windows 7 x64 PCs through GPOs or does a DC need to be installed at the 2008 R2 level to administer the Windows 7 clients. Reason being, we are seeing some discrepancies between the 2003 GPOs and the Windows 7 clients.  

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No, GPO configurations for W2K3 and W2K8 are the same regarding Windows Updates. You can use a W2K3 DC to configure your WSUS policy without having to upgrade your DC to 2008.
beargonefishingDirector of Network Infrastructure


Thanks for the response, but my concern is with the 2003 DC applying group policies to the Windows 7 64 bit PCs (Proxy settings, etc). Not necessarily concerned with windows updates since all that is handled through Vmare Protect.
You want to download the Remote administration tools for windows 7

If you manage Group Policy from windows 7, you will get all the windows 7 GPO option that would otherwise not be available in server 2003.
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beargonefishingDirector of Network Infrastructure


Is there any difference between the GPOs between x86 and x64 PCs.
No, GPOs apply to both architectures.
Top Expert 2013
try and stick to using Windows 7 as your GP Management console until you get 2008 servers.

 Darren Mar-Elia's  GP mailing list had a good discussion on this too

This is what Darren said on the subject ***not trying to take credit for his work this is Darren's outstanding quote"

"Best practice is that, once you introduce the up-level servers (i.e. 2K8, R2) you should manage all GP-related tasks from those up-level systems (or equivalent, like Win7). The newer platform’s GP tools are a superset of the downlevel stuff, which means that you can manage 2003 and 2008-R2 from 2008-R2, but not vice-versa."

...once you create a GPO using 2008/R2/Vista/Win7, your best bet is to stick to those versions for editing/reporting ,even if the policies are being *processed* by XP and 2003."



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