It is fast becoming common knowledge that Microsoft will not be making one size fits all tools anymore. Instead, they will provide the basic tools and PowerShell support to automate/extend specific tasks. For proof of this, look no further than Office 365 or any other hosted Microsoft Service. But this change is good! IT Administrators can extend their tools to their environment. While Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is an older tool, you should still modify it to fit your organization. Today, we will cover 3 changes you should make.
“How can I get import numbers into the Active Directory mobile phone attribute?” That was the most common question to the Reset User Password with Self Service blog post. While it would be easy to do this with a massive CSV, that method still means you (the IT Administrator) will have to maintain it. Today, I have two automatic ways for you – both delegate the work to the end user and allow you to keep working on cooler things!
Updating software with Group Policy is the most difficult aspect of GPSI. To make things complicated, the software you are upgrading may not have been deployed with Group Policy to begin with! So what is an administrator to do? How can we avoid blowing our legs off when we upgrade? Follow these steps and find out!
One of the first things you are taught with Group Policy is LSDOU. Knowing that, you might think that all GPOs linked at a site is processed, then the domain, and then any OU/sub-OU. Any settings left would be the resultant set of policy, right? Not quite! If you have a complicated GPO with different items set (applications, preferences, security,etc), you need to know a second list. Enter the order of operations, also known as the CSE Processing Order.
Group Policy is an extremely flexible and complicated tool. One question I am asked quite a bit is, “Can you give me a list of settings I need to enable?” The short answer is No, Microsoft has already enabled the vast majority of things that should be enabled. And while Microsoft’s guidance may change over time (see Offline Files as an example of this), most settings stay the same. There is one setting, however, that is not enabled by default. If you are going to use Group Policy and want to make your troubleshooting life easier, you will want to enable it.