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February 2005 Reader Challenge

January 2005 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our January Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Google Hacks, Second Edition" (O' Reilly Associates Publishing) goes to Chad R. Dean of Waverly, Iowa. Second prize, a copy of "Securing Windows Server 2003" (O' Reilly Associates Publishing) goes to Shawn Cannon of Alpharetta, Georgia. Visit to read the answer to the January Reader Challenge.

February 2005 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Windows Client challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by February 16, 2005. You must include your full name and street mailing address (without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win).

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for a receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at on February 17, 2005.

The February 2005 Challenge:
Group Policy provides a terrific way to impose controls on users and computers without having to change each computer's registry settings or run scripts at logon. This "click and control" power is a wonderful boon to administrators, but if you don't apply policies knowledgeably, you'll end up with more problems than solutions. This month's Reader Challenge tests your knowledge of Group Policy basics. It's important to note that I' m assuming your enterprise is running Windows 2000 or later on every computer.

True or false: You can't impose any Group Policy Objects (GPOs) unless you're running Active Directory (AD).

You set a GPO at the domain level, then set a conflicting (reversed) GPO at the organizational unit (OU) level. For the computers in the OU, which GPO takes precedence?

You set a GPO at the domain level, then set a conflicting (reversed) GPO in a local computer's policy settings. For that computer, which GPO wins?

The February 2005 Challenge Answers:

False. Local computer and user policies are available for all computers running Windows 2000/XP/2003. You can use local policies to control users and computers in a peer-to-peer network.

The OU GPO wins, because as you move down the Active Directory hierarchy, the GPO that' s closest to the computer always wins.

The domain GPO wins. When the domain and a local computer are battling over group policies, the domain wins.

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