Group policy for multiple standalone Windows 7 Pro PCs

Hi all,

We have about 50 standalone Windows 7 Pro PCs in various locations.  For whatever reason, they are not on a domain, and won't be any time soon.  The PCs need IE to be configured in a certain way for a particular application to work, and also for Adobe Reader to be a certain version.

I have been told that group policy for individual PCs is no problem.  I have Googled this but I can't find a 'for dummies' guide anywhere.

Could someone please point me in the right direction or explain from the first step, what I need to do to be able to create and deploy a group policy to each PC?


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Jeremy WeisingerSenior Network Consultant / EngineerCommented:
There is no group policy for non domain joined computers. There is a local policy but you need to edit it on each machine.
For IE i think it is possible to export registry settings.  On the target you could import these settings to have a good configuration.  (i didn't test it :) )
check these keys to find out what you need to export on the working computer:
Raheman M. AbdulSenior Infrastructure Support Analyst & Systems DeveloperCommented:
Alternatively you can edit the registry on one PC for the setting you required and export that registry key and save it to a file  (eg. IEConfig.reg)
 Copy IEConfig.reg on a CD and run the IEConfig.reg file on the local PC individually visiting the PC.
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Benjamin VoglarIT ProCommented:
Adobe Reader can be updated with Ninite PRO

IE - export Local IE policy and Import them to another PC.
Gabriel CliftonNet AdminCommented:
Instead of group policy, you can set local policy and copy it to other computers.

1.) Open Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) and set your policies.
2.) Open %systemroot%\system32\grouppolicy\ Within this folder, there are two folders - “machine” and “user”. Copy these to folders to the “%systemroot%\system32\grouppolicy - folder on the target machine. Restart the machine or run GPUPDATE /force

Note :- %systemroot%\system32\grouppolicy is a hidden folder. You need to set an option to view hidden folder in explorer.

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@Gabriel Clifton
All group policies will be copied this way from one machine to the other, not only IE settings..
Gabriel CliftonNet AdminCommented:
Exactly, those are not on the domain, will not get domain policies, so you can set local policies any way you want as far as restrictions, programs, etc and just copy to the other computers. As effective as domain group policy, now more convenient.
paulc2000Author Commented:
Thanks all for your comments.

I read elsewhere that MS Security Compliance Manager can be used for this purpose.  I think I can see how I would export the IE settings, but I don't know how I would import them to the next PC, without having to install SCM on that PC also.

Is there no way to just cleanly export IE settings (all of them, but not other Windows settings), then import them on the next PC?

Or if someone knows the steps to follow in SCM, that would be great too.  


Raheman M. AbdulSenior Infrastructure Support Analyst & Systems DeveloperCommented:
You can use scripting (Powershell script) to configure IE settings based on your requirement and run it on the PCs.
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