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Question about GPOs and Central Store.

    Question

  • Hello!

    Please bear with me, this is a long one. I messed up my GPO Administrative templates. 

    I have two domain controllers running on Windows Server 2008 R2. We have several GPOs in place and linked to OUs. At the moment of their creation we didn't have a Central Store and the GPOs were created using the local Administrative templates on the domain controllers.

    I had the genius idea of creating GPOs to better control Office 2010 settings. So I downloaded the ADMX files for Office 2010 and created the Central Store where I copied them. Now when I go to create a new GPO and open Administrative Templates under User Configuration or Computer Configuration, all I see are the template for Office 2010, all the other templates (Windows Components, Desktop, Control Panel, etc) that use to be there are gone. I should mention that all my existing GPOs are working fine regardless of my blunder. 

    I think I know how to fix my problem. My plan is to download the ADMX files for Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 and copy them to the Central Store. But my question is, if I copy the new Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 ADMX files, what will happen to my existing GPOs? Will their settings get deleted or become blank when I copy the new ADMX files? Will the GPOs keep working with the settings they had from the beginning?

    Thanks in advance to anyone that can answer this or offer me some guidance!

    Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:08 PM

Answers

  • Nothing will happen. The central store files are there to let the GPMC understand what is in the actual GPOs. They put the GPO files in plain english

    It would probably be better if you go ahead and grab the latest ADMXs - they are backwards compatible and it lets you see the latest settings for your newer OSs: https://deployhappiness.com/creating-the-group-policy-central-store-updated-for-windows-8-12012r2/ 


    If my answer helped you, check out my blog: Deploy Happiness



    Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:39 PM
  • Hi,

    Yes, your existing GPOs will keep working with their old settings. The central store simply changes the location where ADMX/ADML are searched for when editing a GPO. For GPO processing,

    it is not used, nor for the content of existing GPOs.

    Please go through the following article to get more information about how to manage Group Policy ADMX files with Central Store:
    Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step-by-Step Guide
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb530196.aspx

    Regarding your second question “I see that the latest ADMX files are for Windows 10, are they also compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2? Or are they only compatible for desktop OSes?”

    Administrative Templates (.admx) always comes with client and server(has same OS version), for example “Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2”. For Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10, this is because Windows Server 2016 has not been finally released in my opinion.

    ADMX templates are backwards compatible and always contain all settings available in earlier versions, all your current settings are supposed to be still editable.

    Best Regards,

    Alvin Wang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:43 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Nothing will happen. The central store files are there to let the GPMC understand what is in the actual GPOs. They put the GPO files in plain english

    It would probably be better if you go ahead and grab the latest ADMXs - they are backwards compatible and it lets you see the latest settings for your newer OSs: https://deployhappiness.com/creating-the-group-policy-central-store-updated-for-windows-8-12012r2/ 


    If my answer helped you, check out my blog: Deploy Happiness



    Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:39 PM
  • Thanks for your reply. 

    I read your blog article. Very informative and helpful!

    So you're saying my existing GPOs will keep working with their old settings, regardless if I copy the latest ADMX files to the Central Store? Is it necessary to do the ADM cleanup you mention on your blog article?

    I see that the latest ADMX files are for Windows 10, are they also compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2? Or are they only compatible for desktop OSes?



    Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:24 PM
  • Hi,

    Yes, your existing GPOs will keep working with their old settings. The central store simply changes the location where ADMX/ADML are searched for when editing a GPO. For GPO processing,

    it is not used, nor for the content of existing GPOs.

    Please go through the following article to get more information about how to manage Group Policy ADMX files with Central Store:
    Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step-by-Step Guide
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb530196.aspx

    Regarding your second question “I see that the latest ADMX files are for Windows 10, are they also compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2? Or are they only compatible for desktop OSes?”

    Administrative Templates (.admx) always comes with client and server(has same OS version), for example “Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2”. For Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10, this is because Windows Server 2016 has not been finally released in my opinion.

    ADMX templates are backwards compatible and always contain all settings available in earlier versions, all your current settings are supposed to be still editable.

    Best Regards,

    Alvin Wang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:43 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for clarifying!

    I tried to download the ADMX for Windows 10 at this link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48257&wa=wsignin1.0. But under Details it shows two versions:

    Windows10_Version_1511_ADMX.msi

    Windows10-ADMX.msi

    Which one should I download? What's the difference?

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:03 PM
  • Hi,

    I suggest you to download the file with the name Windows10_Version_1511_ADMX.msi as it contains the latest build update for Windows 10 appended to it.

    Best Regards,

    Alvin Wang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, July 29, 2016 5:41 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your help! It's much appreciated. 
    Friday, July 29, 2016 1:53 PM