Mike here again. For some time now, we’ve had inquiries about where the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is located in Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista SP1. It’s well documented that Server 2008 includes GPMC but, it does not appear in the administrative tools.
The Group Policy Management Console is included in Windows Server 2008; however, you must install it before you can use it. The domain controller promotion process installs GPMC on the server, in addition to adding the domain controller to the domain. Additionally, you can install GPMC on a member server as long as it’s a member of the domain. Let’s look at two ways to install GPMC on Windows Server 2008 (other than through DCPROMO).
Installing GPMC using Server Manager (Windows Server 2008)
The Group Policy Management Console is a Feature in Windows Server 2008. You install Features using Server Manager. Once installed, you can access the feature using Server Manager or you can the specific management console (like gpmc.msc).
- Open Server Manager by click Start and then point to Administrative Tools. Click Server Manager
- Click Features in the console tree. In the Features pane, click Add Features
- Select Group Policy Management from the list of available features in the Add Feature Wizard. Click Install.
- Start using GPMC or close Server Manager.
There’s another way to install GPMC using Server Manager, which usually installs quicker that using the Server Manager user interface. Server Manager includes a command line utility for installing Features and Roles named ServerManagercmd.exe.
Installing GPMC from the Command Line
- Open an elevated command prompt.
- In the command prompt, type ServerManagercmd –install gpmc
- Start GPMC from the command prompt by typing start gpmc.msc
- Close the command prompt.
Installing GPMC on Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Installing GPMC on Windows Vista Service Pack 1 can be a little confusing. First, you must download the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 before you can install GPMC. You may remember that GPMC was included in Windows Vista RTM; however Service Pack 1 removes it. After installing RSAT, you then want to install GPMC. Installing RSAT simply includes the Remote Server Administration tools on the Windows Vista SP1 computer but does not deploy for use—you’ll want to choose which RSAT tools you want used on the computer.
- Download and install the Remote Server Administration Tools (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink.?LinkID=95703).
- After the installation is complete, then click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
- Click Turn Windows Features on or off from Programs and Features.
- Click Remote Server Administration Tools and then click Feature Administration Tools from the Windows Features dialog box.
- Click Group Policy Management Tools and click OK to complete the installation.
You’ll now see Group Policy Management included under the list of Administrative Tools (On Vista, you may need to actually show the Administrative Tools on the start menu – this can be done through Control Panel –> Taskbar and Start Menu –> Start Menu –> Customize –> System Administrative Tools). You can also start GPMC from the command line or run/search menu by typing gpmc.msc.
- Mike Stephens