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Hide and Seek Vista GPMC Scripts

You'll have to look real hard to find those scripts on a Vista machine. Here's a clue.

If you've been looking around your Vista computer and its Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) for the Sample Scripts, you've probably been coming up empty. Those scripts have quietly been playing hide-and-go-seek until now because Microsoft didn't release them to the public as part of Vista's native GPMC.

That's all changed now with this recent download addition on the Microsoft Web site. This download installs the scripts to your C:\Program Files\Microsoft Group Policy\GPMC Sample Scripts folder. Note that this is a different location than where they were stored in Windows XP.

If you haven't before used the sample scripts, definitely take a look at this download. These scripts are incredibly useful for backing up, restoring, creating reports and otherwise manipulating Group Policy Objects and settings via the command line.

Both the GPMC and its sample scripts for Vista have had an interesting life. Once touted as a feature of Vista, the GPMC's native install with Windows Vista is rumored to be removed once you install Service Pack 1. Moreover, the sample scripts weren't part of the initial in-the-box installation. It took a number of months for them to be ultimately released to the public.

Even more interesting are the relatively few differences between the "new" scripts with Windows Vista and the "old" scripts with Windows XP. Using a tool called Beyond Compare from www.scootersoftware.com, I discovered that of the 33 .WSF scripts that come with the installation all but four are exactly the same as their Windows XP counterparts. The update four are: CreateXMLFromEnvironment.wsf, findorphanedGPOsInSYSVOL.wsf, FindSOMsWithExternalGPOLinks.wsf, and ImportGPO.wsf. Of these that were changed, the actual individual changes are slight as well.

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So, why the one-alligator, two-alligator delay? Who knows. But do know that now, when it comes to your GPMC Sample Scripts, ready or not, here I come!

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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