This video looks at installing Remote Server Administration Tools in order to administer Group Policy from a Windows 7 Client. The video also looks at how to centralize the ADMX file. ADMX files define Group Policy and having them in a centralized store makes it easy to support when changes are made.
Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)
Group Policy is performed using the Group Policy Management Console or GPMC. This is included in Windows Server 2008 however you do not need to have a single Windows Server 2008 server on the network to utilize the new features. If you are using an older client operating system, the GPMC can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. As long as you have an up to date version of the GPMC, you will have access to the features.
If you are running Windows Server 2008, GPMC can be added as a feature in Server Manager.
In order to define a Group Policy setting (what is does, what the interface looks like, etc.) a configuration file is required. Previously an ADM file was used to define Group Policy setting. The ADM file was limited to one language and was in Microsoft proprietary format making it difficult for a user to create their own.
The new ADMX format is based on the XML format making it easy to change. It is paired
with an AMDL file. The ADML provides the language meaning and a single ADMX file can support multiple languages.
Each Group Policy created with ADM had to have the ADM files stored with the Group Policy which is stored in the SysVol folder. This caused the SysVol folder to get quite large. ADMX files are stored on the local computer under C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. They do not need to be stored in the SysVol. If you want to centralize them all you need to do is copy the file to SysVol\Domain\Policies\PolicyDefinitions The GPMC will check this location automatically and use whatever ADMX files are located there. Unlike ADM files, the ADMX file only needs to be stored once as it is shared between all Group Policies. To find out where the ADMX files are currently being read from, open GPMC and hover the mouse pointer over Administrative Templates. This will tell you if the ADMX files are being read from the local computer or the central store.
The GPMC console can be download as a standalone install or part of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). The links for the downloads are below.
If you install RSAT, the GPMC will not appear in the start menu after the install. To have it added, open control panel, select “Programs” and then then select “Turn Windows Features On or Off” from under Programs and Features.
The GPMC is found under Remote Server Administration Tools, Feature Administration Tools, Group Policy Management Tools
The latest version of the ADMX templates are available from the Microsoft web site. The link for this is below. Once installed, copy the directory PolicyDefinitions local in C:\Program files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\win72008r2 to SysVol\Domain\Polices. The directory will include all the available languages as well so if you do not need additional languages, it is worth going through the PolicyDefinitions folder and deleting any extra languages.
“MCTS 70-640 Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Second edition” pg 268-270
“Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)” http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7887
“Administrative Templates (ADMX) for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7” http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=6243
“How to create a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates in Window Vista” http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929841
GPMC Downloads http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21895
“Windows 8” http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=28972
“Windows 7” http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7887
“Windows Server 2008 r2 and Windows 7” http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=6243