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Office Domain Policy ADM & ADMX files, Outlook Policy

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-02-11
Thanks for all your help in advance.

I am working in a windows server 2008R2 environment with Ms office 2003 and 2007 on windows XP clients.

I have inherited the domain, group policy is configured and particurlarly Outlook policy in 2003 and 2007 which I need to reverse. Primarily outlook 2003 and 2007 clients have the outlook anywhere settings enforced, for example the "connect to microsoft exchange using HTTP" is ticked and cant be unticked, and the exchange proxy settings are filled in and cant be changed.

I would like some help and clarification with this. I have searched for settings using GP management on the primary domain controller. And cant find this enforced policy.

Firstly I assume these settings must be coming from group policy?

Secondly I assume that this configuration must be changed using the office toolkit, with the ADM and ADMX files?

thirdly, I assume that because all my clients are XP (for the moment) that I dont need to use the ADMX files and therefore cannot use the central configuration to resolve this?

so... assuming everything above is correct, is it correct that I must install the ADM files for outlook 2007 and seperately for outlook 2003 within the group policy management editor?

AND... that this will not show me the settings? that I will need to enforce new settings over the top?

I browsed through the ADM files for Outlook 2007 and could not find the outlook anywhere settings... can someone tell me the path I'm looking for?

How shouldi overwrite the settings? or is there anyway to reset ALL outlook policy to default?

Thanks again for any help. I have done very little with group policy and never used the office toolkit so am looking for reassurance before i start playing with things!
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Question by:sfabs
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Expert Comment

by:Coralon
ID: 38812851
It sounds like your copies of outlook were installed with either Transforms (Office 2003) or an admin file (Office 2007).  You may or may be able to undo specific settings by adding GPO's.  Your best bet is to maintain separate GPO's, one for each version.  (The reason being is that some of the settings are shared and most of them are version specific.  

However, based on your description, I would do a quick test.  Take a test user, and delete their Outlook profile.  Then restart Outlook, and see if it autogenerates a new profile.  If it does, then it's coming from the transform/admin file.  In that case, your best bet is to just reinstall office with a new transform/admin file.  You can *try* deleting the .prf files in the root of the office installs, and that *may* prevent the the Outlook profile from being autogenerated, but I've never tried it.

Coralon
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Author Comment

by:sfabs
ID: 38828903
Hello there, sorry about the delay I have been doing tests.
I created some test users in different OU's in the active directory. I found that all the test accounts had the same problem.
Their outlook account is not automatically created, but when configure outlook the outlook anywhere settings are created and cant be removed.
I thought if  these settings were part of the admin file install I could remove and reinstall office. which I did. I found that this stopped the outlook anywhere settings being filled in automatically. BUT some other settings are still being applied as outlook seems to behave strangely. Is there anyway to find/ reset these settings? if I reinstalled office does this suggest the settings are within a GPO?
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Coralon earned 500 total points
ID: 38829280
Yes.. if you reinstalled it cleanly without an admin file, and you are still having the issue, then it seems likely it is a GPO problem.

You should be able to manually wipe out the profile by either going through the control panel, or browsing to the CPL file (default for Office 2010 is c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft office\office14\mlcfg32.cpl).  You cannot easily wipe it out within Outlook itself.

Did you check for the double profiles?


Coralon
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Author Comment

by:sfabs
ID: 38832767
Hi

How can i check for double profiles?

what I did do, was rename the users local profile. log in as the user so a new profile is created.

would running a remove and clean reinstall of office not over write the cpl or prf files?
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Expert Comment

by:Coralon
ID: 38833653
Reinstalling office will absolutely overwrite the cpl file (control panel applet) and if you configure Outlook in the admin file, it will overwrite the prf files.

The way to check is to use the mail configuration (cpl file) and use the show profiles button. the dialog hasn't changed in forever.  

Coralon
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Author Closing Comment

by:sfabs
ID: 38876149
Reinstalling clean has resolved all the problems I identified. I believe the admin file was responsible for the configuration and not GPO settings. Thank you, sorry about delay.
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