upgrade my Group Policies from 2008 to 2012R2

Hi Experts,

I have a windows 2008 domain.
Some servers now on 2012R2 and also one DC in my domain is a WIN2012R2 server.
The DC has not the FSMO roles.
The FSMO roles are installed on 2 DC´s with WIN2008.

I want to upgrade my GPO´s to the new version of WIN2012R2.
Because I have a new Remote Desktop Farm and here I need the the same GPO´s like on the WIN2008 terminal servers.
How can I do this ?
Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAsked:
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McKnifeCommented:
The policies are shares with xml files. Those get not even touched, when you rename the templates folder - they will 100% continue to be read and work.
The templates are - like the name suggests - templates. Templates for new policies which will no longer be needed since you will use RSAT in the future. RSAT uses the templates of the system it is installed on (the admin's workstation) automatically. So when you would like to create a policy for office 2010, then your admin's workstation must have these templates installed (or office installed).

Clearer now?
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McKnifeCommented:
Use the GPMC on 2012 and all is well. You don't need to do anything else.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
I have 2012 R2 , not 2012 !
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McKnifeCommented:
So what? Take 2012 R2.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
What about new ADMX files ?
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Ok let me explain the situation.
Without changing anything, when I open the GPMC on 2008 server, I can edit my policies, no errors.

When I open the GPMC on my 2012R2 server and I edit a policy then I have always errors.
Something is wrong here.
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McKnifeCommented:
They are being pulled from your 2012R2 and the new GPOs are distributed by all DCs, no matter if 2008 or 2012 R2 or whatever (even win2k server would work here). The GPOs are xml files on a share and that share gets replicated to all DCs.
So as long as you have one DC that has the new GPOs (and that is your 2012 R2 DC), all DCs will be able to distribute the new GPOs :)
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McKnifeCommented:
Ah, now I see your edit.
Please tell us what errors you are talking about.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
When I open a GPO from 2012R2 server I get nearly 30 errors.
See the pictures...
admx-error-1.GIF
admx-error-2.GIF
admx-error-3.GIF
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Is it a problem, my 2008 server is installed in german...
...and my 2012R2 server is installed in english ?
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McKnifeCommented:
Ok, I see - you are working with a central store. I never liked the central store idea and have always used RSAT to overcome this "problem". Install win8.1, install RSAT on 8.1 and connect to your DC (no matter which version) and then you have no longer any worries with a central store, it just works and the latest policies are available.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
yes we use a central store.
But when I don´t use a central store, where to put my policies ?
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McKnifeCommented:
It works like this: you start the GPMC on your own client and the ADMX files of the client (best would be 8.1!) are used and copied right to the sysvol share to the policies. That's the way Microsoft recommends. No language problems here, either. We run DCs/RSAT-PCs with different languages, by the way.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
OK, I need a WIN8.1 machine with RSAT tools installed.
I have to install a new VM with 8.1

Then I start GPMC and connect to my DC, doesn´t matter which one.

The latest policies are installed on my 8.1 machine , right ?
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McKnifeCommented:
Right.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok thanks, I will give it a try.
Can you show me the recommendation from Microsoft, so I can also study this ?
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McKnifeCommented:
I can't locate them now. http://windows.microsoft.com/is-is/windows7/group-policy-management-for-it-pros#BKMK_GroupPolicyManagementConsole is for win7 but no real recommendation. But you would see that it's better than RDPing into your servers for many reasons, security, multi-user-access and so on.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok nice.

last question, when I use RSAT tools on 8.1 machine to connect to my DC and GPMC,
do I have to change something on my POLICYDEFINITION folder on the SYSVOL ?
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McKnifeCommented:
I always circumvented the central store with RSAT. Sorry, You will have to wait for someone else's answer on that or ask another separate question.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
do you have the folder Policydefinitions on your sysvol or not ?
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McKnifeCommented:
No
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
ok I see, but what happens when I rename the folder PolicyDefinitions ?
What happens to all my GPO´s  in my network ?
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McKnifeCommented:
It works like this (I am quite sure): when you create a new GPO, the DC will copy the edited policy definitions to the folder of the GPO (the folder with the long ID). The definitions folder is not used by the clients, nor by the server after you created a policy. So I say, it won't be needed anymore after you use RSAT and can be deleted/renamed.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
so, when I now rename my folder PolicyDefinitions, my policies are still active ?
Or do I loose all my policy settings ?
Because we use a lot of policies.
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Now is clear I think.
First I install all admx files to my workstation with RSAT.
When I rename my PolicyDefinition folder all the rest should work fine. Then Central Store is off.
And with RSAT I can make all changes to existing policies and new policies, right ?
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McKnifeCommented:
Right.
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