If you've upgraded your Vista client to SP1, you've found that installing Windows Vista SP1 removes GPMC; installing RSAT will put GPMC back on your client. You can install RSAT from the following locations:
Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista with SP1 (x86)
Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista with SP1(x64)
Pay attention to the instructions for installing RSAT, especially the preceding note, that informs you to uninstall earlier versions of the Adminpak and the beta versions of the RSAT tool. Failure to do this may result in many hours to sort out installation problems.
I'm repeating the instructions here since the download center screen navigates away from the instructions once you've started downloading and installing RSAT.
Read this note before installing RSAT:
RSAT should not be installed on a computer that is running the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack or Windows 2000 Server® Administration Tools Pack. Please remove all versions of Administration Tools Pack from the computer before installing RSAT.
Only one copy of RSAT can be installed on a computer at one time. Before installing a new package, remove any existing versions of RSAT, including any copies that are in different languages.
RSAT installation instructions:
On a computer running the final release of Windows Vista with SP1:
- Download the RSAT package from the Microsoft Web site (See above links for x86 and x64).
- Double-click the downloaded package to start the Setup wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation.
- Open Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off under Programs and Features. If you are prompted to provide permission by User Account Control, click Continue. In the Windows Features dialog box, select the remote administration snap-ins and tools that you want to install, and then click OK.
Configure the Start menu to display the Administration Tools shortcut.
- Right click Start, and then click Properties.
- On the Start Menu tab, click Customize.
- In the Customize Start Menu dialog box, scroll down to System Administrative Tools, and then select Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu. Click OK.
- Shortcuts for snap-ins installed by RSAT are added to the Administrative Tools list on the Start menu.
New GPMC Features
Once you've downloaded RSAT and configured the Windows Features to add GPMC to your administrative tools, you'll find several new GPMC features:
- Preferences - Preferences provide more than twenty Group Policy extensions that expand the range of configurable preference settings within a Group Policy object. Group Policy preferences allow you to manage drive mappings, registry settings, local users and groups, services, files, and folders without the need to learn a scripting language.
- Starter Group Policy objects - Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 provides the ability to create Starter Group Policy objects. Using a Starter GPO, you can store a collection of Administrative template policy settings in a single object and incorporate those policy settings into new GPOs.
- Comments for GPOs and policy settings - Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 provides the option to add comments at the GPO level and at the policy setting level for Administrative templates.
- Filtering and sorting administrative template policy settings - In Windows Server 2008, an All Settings node is displayed under the Administrative Templates node, providing a comprehensive list of all Administrative template policy settings, including both those in ADMX and ADM formats. You can sort this list alphabetically by setting name, state, comment, or path. Additionally, you can filter the list of Administrative template settings using the options available when you right-click the All Settings node.
You can download the document on all new and changed features for Windows Server 2008 (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=173E6E9B-4D3E-4FD4-A2CF-73684FA46B60&displaylang=en) which will give you more detailed information on the new GPMC features listed above.
Judith Herman, Group Policy Programming Writer