Forget Windows 7--What About Group Policy?

Death, taxes, and Group Policy problems--we can help with the third item

Getting a little tired of Windows 7? Okay, maybe it's just me. Still, I feel compelled to interrupt the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 RC hoopla from TechEd 2009, for a moment anyway, to remind you of other important matters. Like Group Policy. There are thousands of new Group Policy settings coming down the pike with these latest OSs.

Just as an example of what you might already be facing, in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet titled "Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 Group Policy Settings" I count 2746 policy settings under Administrative Templates and 167 policy settings under Security. And that's just a small part of the whole.

Not to mention Internet Explorer 8.0 alone, which has about 1300 policy settings to help tame and manage the beast. You just can't ignore Group Policy, even if you used to think you could try.

Then again, jumping into Group Policy without being prepared is dangerous. Because sooner or later you'll need help troubleshooting, and you can't troubleshoot well unless you know the territory well.

Microsoft, of course, offers many resources for troubleshooting. Here's my favorite, a flowchart. I made a few alterations to bring it closer to my view of the real world:

The Oops Flowchart of Group Policy Troubleshooting. Click to expand.

I've also sifted through the Group Policy articles on our site, so you can link to them below.

However, if you prefer to have some hands-on training and build a solid foundation of Group Policy knowledge and troubleshooting, you might want to check out the e-learning series on Group Policy troubleshooting with Darren Mar-Elia. There's a deal running right now where you can get the seminar at a discount if you register before Friday, May 14.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Windows 7 hoopla.

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