MDM & GP Tips Blog

Feb 2016
16

Two new Group Policy tools from Microsoft

Microsoft recently released a nice little freebie which lets you compare “sets” of GPOs to help you determine GPO settings overlap.

Check it out.

Link: http://blogs.technet.com/b/secguide/archive/2016/01/22/new-tool-policy-analyzer.aspx

the second tool is the spiritual successor to LocalGPO, and is called LGPO. This helps you take many settings and deliver them to Local GPOs instead of via AD-based GPOs.

Check it out.

Link: http://blogs.technet.com/b/secguide/archive/2016/01/21/lgpo-exe-local-group-policy-object-utility-v1-0.aspx

And enjoy !

Nov 2015
24

Wubba heck is WUB (Windows Update for Business)

In the spirit of NOT repeating everything word for word that people have already laid down, I can point you to some very well written articles explaining the basics of Windows Update for Business.

That being said, before you dive in, here’s my pre-2 cents / summary of Windows Update for Business (WUB):

  • Windows Update for Business is not (yet another) cloud service.
  • Windows Update for Business is not WSUS in the cloud. (See first bullet point.)
  • Windows Update for Business is a mere SINGLE Group Policy Setting.
  • The point of WUB is to use the GP skills you already have to create “collections” (my word) or “rings” (Microsoft’s word) dictating when some machines will accept updates and others will not. (What? No / need GP skills? www.gpanswers.com/training )
  • You can still use WSUS if you want to; but the point is that Microsoft is basically saying “trust us with the update blocks.” Here’s the difference between WSUS and WUB:
    • WSUS enables you to get really granular. But that’s more work because you need to (theoretically) test then approve each update.
    • WUB enables you to get LESS granular about your choices, but instead trust that Microsoft has pre-vetted the patches by the time those patches make it to you.
  • You still need to use WSUS until your whole universe is Windows 10; then you can (theoretically) abandon WSUS and use only WUB.

So, here are the good articles I’ve seen explaining WUB.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3005688/microsoft-windows/microsoft-debuts-controls-that-postpone-windows-10-feature-upgrades-up-to-a-year.html

and

http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-take-control-of-windows-10-updates-and-upgrades-even-if-you-dont-own-a-business/

Of course, if you need kick-butt GP skills.. take my Group Policy training ! www.GPanswers.com/training !

Aug 2015
07

Group Policy ADMX Files and Group Policy ADMX Spreadsheet for Windows 10

Team:

It’s TIME! Windows 10 is out out out.. and with that, so is the latest Group Policy settings ADMX files and corresponding Excel Settings reference.

Here is a link to those two resources *AND* a link to my (older but totally still works!) video on WHAT TO DO WITH THE ADMX file DOWNLOAD.

So, here are…

The ADMX files themselves:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48257

The ADMX settings spreadsheet reference:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=25250

Also, please see MY VIDEO on what to do when you download the latest ADMX files.

PS:

In case anyone ran into the error below after they copied over the new files.

“Microsoft.Policies.Sensors.WindowsLocationProvider’ is already defined” error when you edit a policy in Windows “

This link and solution fixed it rather easily.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3077013

Thanks to my friend Chuck for the “PS”. 🙂

Jul 2015
28

How to block a Windows 10 update using Group Policy and the Cloud (For Windows 7 and Windows 8.1)

I’ve been asked if there’s a Group Policy based way to squelch the messages to “Reserve your copy of Windows 10” from normal users.

The answer is YES, but it’s only REQUIRED for NON-DOMAIN JOINED MACHINES.

This is the one-stop-shop for everything from Microsoft: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

There is another article from Microsoft which explains why Windows PRO machines might still get the pop-up, even if they ARE domain-joined and how to stop those machines from getting the upgrade.

Okay.

The final question though is: how do you get registry items over to your NON-DOMAIN JOINED machines if you don’t want to run around to them one by one?

Answer / VIDEO: PolicyPak Cloud deploys any Admin Template setting you need over the Internet!

Feb 2015
25

How To Enable UNC Hardened Access to Prevent JASBUG (MS15-011/KB3000483 & MS15-014/KB3004361)

I didn’t write this. But fellow GPanswers.com Team Member Charles Palmer did !

But, I did have the LEAD GUY at Microsoft (name withheld) check out this post and give it a once-over for accuracy. Got the THUMBS UP, so here’s the how-to.

Thanks Charles and also Microsoft.

Microsoft released these two updates in Feb 2015. You can read more about them here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/srd/archive/2015/02/10/ms15-011-amp-ms15-014-hardening-group-policy.aspx

with an additional FAQ here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2015/02/23/guidance-on-deployment-of-ms15-011-and-ms15-014.aspx

In addition to the two KB’s above, KB3004375 is installed at the same time as KB3000483 as they work together.

KB3000483 also requires additional configuration in Group Policy. The details of those steps can be found here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3000483

There is an oversight in the above article in that it doesn’t take into account a central store for your Policy definitions.

Using the information in that article, the following are the default steps:

  1. Open Group Policy Management Console.
  2. In the console tree, in the forest and domain that contain the Group Policy object (GPO) that you want to create or edit, double-click Group Policy Objects.

Forest name/Domains/<Domain name>

  1. (Optional) Right-click Group Policy Objects, and then click New.
  2. Type the desired name for the new GPO.
  3. Right-click the desired GPO, and then click Edit.
  4. In the Group Policy Object Editor console, browse to the following policy path:

Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Network/Network Provider

NOTE: Until you update your central policy store, you will not see the above Network Provider key

  1. Right-click the Hardened UNC Paths setting, and then click Edit.
  2. Select the Enabled option button.
  3. In the Options pane, scroll down, and then click Show.
  4. Add one or more configuration entries. To do this, follow these steps:
  • In the Value Name column, type the UNC path that you want to configure. The UNC path may be specified in one of the following forms: \\<Server>\<Share> – The configuration entry applies to the share that has the specified name on the specified server.

\\*\<Share> – The configuration entry applies to the share that has the specified name on any server.

\\<Server>\* – The configuration entry applies to any share on the specified server.

\\<Server> – The same as \\<Server>\*

NOTE: A specific server or share name must be specified. All-wildcard paths such as \\* and \\*\* are not supported.

  • In the Value column, type the name of the security property to configure (for example, type RequireMutualAuthentication, RequireIntegrity, or RequirePrivacy) followed by an equal sign (=) and the number 0 or 1.

NOTE: Multiple properties may be assigned for a single UNC path by separating each “<Property> = <Value>” pair by using a comma (,).

 

11. Click OK two times, and then close the GPO editor.

12. If you created a new GPO earlier, link the GPO to one or more domains. To do this, right-click the desired domain, click Link an Existing GPO, select the newly added GPO, and then click OK

13. To test the new or updated GPO, log on to a computer to which the GPO applies, and then run the following command:

               gpupdate /force

Additional Steps:

To make it work, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. On a Windows 8.1 or Server 2012R2 computer that has the update installed, browse to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions (hereafter Source)
  2. Find NetworkProvider.admx and copy it
  3. Open your central PolicyDefinitions folder: \\<Domain>\SYSVOL\<Domain>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions (hereafter Destination)

4. Paste NetworkProvider.admx into the Destination

5. In your Source folder, open the en-US folder

6. Find NetworkProvider.adml and copy it

7. Paste NetworkProvider.adml into the Destination\en-US folder

8. Repeat for any additional language files you may desire

9. Allow PolicyDefinitions to replicate around to the other domain controllers

10. You may now create your desired policy as the Network Provider key will be available

Feb 2015
25

JESBUG GP Vulnerability -- Advice

Microsoft put the petal to the metal and put together a great Q&A about the “JESBUG” GP Vulnerability.

To be clear, it’s NOT just a GP vulnerability, but really SMB (the thing that does “sharing”) on your servers.

The link to that FAQ is now at:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2015/02/23/guidance-on-deployment-of-ms15-011-and-ms15-014.aspx

For me, the #1 question I get is … “Where is the ADMX file they keep mentioning and how do I get it installed?”

The answer is IN the FAQ.

And if you need a refresher on how to update the Central Store, then the BASIC gist is here in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acYb2wQeL94

But of course, you’ll learn a *LOT MORE* in my LIVE GP Class about the care-and-feeding of your Central Store.

Next Class: March 9th – 12th in Salt Lake City.

Link: www.GPanswers.com/class

Feb 2015
06

Group Policy Preferences: Powerful *AND* mysterious.

I think the reason that GPPreferences is both heralded and feared, is that … they are both POWERFUL but MYSTERIOUS.

In my GP Training class we spend a WHOLE DAY and then some on the GPPrefs.. because.. of both of their POWER and their MYSTERY.

I found these quickie introductory articles on the GPPrefs and thought I would share them. It’s a three part series.. and a quick read:

Just to put a fine point on it: You’ve already paid for the power of the GPPrefs. But if you don’t know what they can do, or exactly how to use them (without blowing your toes off) you’re missing out.

To get you where you need to go, I humbly suggest my upcoming training class in Salt Lake City Mar 9 – 12.
Get prices and sign up at www.GPanswers.com/training. Discounts available with 4+ people coming.

Remember: Microsoft never goes “backward”.. so this stuff will be valid for Windows 10 when it hits !

Jan 2015
06

GPResults Hotfix for GPMC (and quick demo of PP GP Compliance Reporter)

Microsoft always says “Use the latest GPMC Console.”

That advice was great.. until Windows 8.1 because of a big ol’ bug.

Which is now fixed !

So if you use Windows 8.1 (or Server 2012 R2) as your GPMC station, check out this video which demonstrates a Microsoft hotfix (and also a workaround to a well known GP Results overall problem.)

Here’s the video: GPMC GP Results Hotfix

Remember about my upcoming LIVE Group Policy Class.

Go to www.GPanswers.com/training for the details !

(and don’t miss out !)