MDM & GP Tips Blog

Apr 2008

Congrats on new GP book for Derek

Derek Melber has a new GP book by Microsoft Press. I'm holding my copy in my hand, and it's a great book for anyone looking to get more rounded on Group Policy. It's a short read, about 500 pages, and has some good information on 3rd party tools and solutions. (Which I'm a big fan of.) Derek's book also cracks open ADMX files (if you're into that kind of thing) as well as details sample output of many of the Group Policy GPMC scripts (available online at So check it out. It's part of the larger Microsoft Server 2008 Resource kit. You can learn more about his book here. Congrats Derek !

Apr 2008

RSAT Tools are out (and GPPEs available as "Optional Software")

This blog entry is two tips in one. Click to find out why. Inside you'll learn about the RSAT tools and also where the GPPEs can be downloaded using Microsoft Update.

Remember the ADMINPAK? It's not available on Vista, but the all-new released-today RSAT tools are. RSAT stands for "Remote Server Administration Tools." It contains the GPMC, ADUC, and all the greatest hits.


Download the Vista + SP1 + x86 version here: ttp://

Download the Vista + SP1 + x64 version here:

PS: I'm seeing the links going up and down all day today. It's weird.

In other news, the GPPEs are available as "Optional Software updates" using Microsoft Update as seen here. Thanks to Scott Bailey for this tip !

Apr 2008

Least User Privs

One of the hardest jobs is figuring out which users need Admin rights, because our stinkin' applications require admin rights. Well, that's the business of BeyondTrust. And today, they came out with a (free) tool to help you determine which applications require what admin rights to run. Sure, the idea is that you'll have an "A-ha" moment and realize that their (pay) tool (which is quite good) is the best way to keep the user's rights LOW, but elevate the rights of the application. To check out the free auditor tool they came out with today, head on over here.

Apr 2008

The GPPEs are out!

New newsletter to user in their announcment coming soon. But, if you want to start playing with them's where to find them (thanks to my pal Jakob Heidelberg for making it easy for me to get.) The "real" links are, gah, all over the place.

GPP CSEs for Windows Vista (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Vista x64 Edition (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Server 2003 (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows XP (KB943729)
GPP CSEs for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB943729)

If you want a quick tutorial in them, I suggest getting Chapter 10 of my new book (which is available for immediate download.) Click the "About the book" section and follow along until you get Chapter 10. Thanks!

Apr 2008

New Tool for Softgrid + GPSI marriage

So, I can confess it. I love Microsoft Softgrid. I really do. For the uninitiated, Softgrid (newly renamed Microsoft Application Virtualization) can take an application and "stream" it from a server to your desktop. Keen-o-rific. This means you're not actually INSTALLING anything; but rather, just running it streamed. Except there was no way to "deploy" that application using GP. Until now. Enter in the Softgrid MSI "wrapper" utility (found here.)

The idea is simple: if you can wrap an existing Softgrid package into an MSI, then you can use GP (or SMS, or Landesk or anything) to maintain your deployment practices.

I haven't had a chance to try this out yet.. So, if you do, and you're a Softgrid + GP head, then shoot me an email and let me know how it went! Thanks !

PS: Thanks to Shortstop Eric Johnson for bringing to my attention that this tool was FINALLY available.