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Problem controlling Administrators group membership

Posted on 2014-08-15
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Last Modified: 2014-08-16
We are trying to make sure certain AD user accounts are a member of the built in Administrators group on our servers. But we're running into some oddities.

First we tried using the preferences section of the GPO (Computer Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Local Users and Groups).


I said NEW LOCAL GROUP (Action: Update).
Then I tried choosing from the drop down Administrators (built-in) as the group name.
I added an account and an AD group

I didn't change any other default setting in the new local group.

When I save this and go to the server and run gpupdate instead of adding these two to the built in administrators group it creates a new group called "Administrators (built-in)" and add those two to that group. Needless to say they don't get the permissions desired because this new local group has no rights.

Then I went back in and tried just type "Administrators" as the group name instead of choosing from the drop down. The same thing happened.

I also tried choosing it by searching for it in the browse "..." dialog. Same effect.

Next I removed this setting from the GPO and tried managing it via the restricted groups setting (Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Restricted Groups).

I chose to control the Administrators group and then set those two to be members.

However through testing this actually clears out any other members that someone might have added manually on a given server and sets the members to only those that appear in this group. I only saw this once I ran a "gpupdate /force". I tried adding a member manually and then ran that command and then rechecked and the member was removed whom I had manually added.

How do we make sure certain users or members exist in the built in administrators group without preventing other members being added manually?

This is Windows Server 2008 R2 AD and client system.
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Question by:DITGUY
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Groux
ID: 40263332
The preferred way of managing local users and groups is through Group Policy Preferences, this will allow you to do everything you need.

http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/01/how-to-use-group-policy-preferences-to-secure-local-administrator-groups/
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Author Comment

by:DITGUY
ID: 40263434
Brad, I've read that article. in my post I explained that doing that did not work. It created a new group not updating the actual built-in one.
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Steven Wells earned 2000 total points
ID: 40264450
I have also been confused by this policy.  From memory, the way to do it, is to Type the Group name , rather than use the Browse box. ie, Type the Administrators group out and choose members. Be careful as if you have the policy correct, it will remove everyone else out, so ensure you include Domain Admins in your policy
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Author Comment

by:DITGUY
ID: 40265746
Thanks Steven. That's what I ended up doing on a test system and it worked perfectly. It's very odd. It doesn't make sense that this is what we have to do but it does work if I just type it in.
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