Windows Tip Sheet
Fast GPO Backups
Back up those objects faster than a speeding bullet.
- By Jeffery Hicks
If you are using the Group Policy Management console, I’m sure you’ve seen the context menu option to back up all Group Policy objects. When you run this command, you are prompted for a folder where all your GPOs are backed up. The assumption is that you’ll use these backups for any restores to back up the folder to tape for disaster recovery. If you have many objects or they change frequently, backups are even more critical. Fortunately, the GPMC includes a number of scripts for managing Group Policy objects, including backing them up.
Take a look in %ProgramFiles%\GPMC\Scripts and you’ll see a number of .wsf files. These are Windows Script Files that are intended to be run from the command line using CSCRIPT. There is a script called BackupAllGPOs.wsf. I suggest you create a scheduled task to run as often as you feel is necessary to run the script.
Tech Help—Just An
Got a Windows, Exchange or virtualization question
or need troubleshooting help? Or maybe you want a better
explanation than provided in the manuals? Describe
your dilemma in an e-mail to the MCPmag.com editors
the best questions get answered in this column and garner
the questioner with a nifty Redmond T-shirt.
When you send your questions, please include your
full first and last name, location, certifications (if
any) with your message. (If you prefer to remain anonymous,
specify this in your message, but submit the requested
information for verification purposes.)
The script requires a folder name parameter for the backup location. Remember, you want the location to get backed up to tape. Optionally, you can specify a comment and domain name. Your scheduled task command will look something like this:
Cscript %ProgramFiles%\GPMC\Scripts\BackupAllGPOs.wsf D:\GPOBackups /Comment:”Weekly GPO Backup”
The scheduled task must run with credentials to read all the Group Policy objects and have write permission to the destination folder. The backups don’t require much space and require minimal effort to set up, so what are you waiting for?
Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in Windows PowerShell. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff has written for numerous online sites and print publications, is a contributing editor at Petri.com, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups.