Creating and using a custom Policy file (adm template)

So you for some reason or other need a custom GroupPolicy template (.adm template) to set some strange setting for some odd software.

You can use a Policy.ADM file to set custom registry values either for your own pc (may seem like a bit overkill) or more likely for your domain.

Well I have created a few of these back in the good old NT4 days and it was not all that difficult once you got the hang of it, and thus when I had the need again lately I was confident I could get it to work without too much of a hassle.

I was wrong :-/

Ok, creating a simple policy.adm file is easy;

policy1

And if you enter a keyname like;
”SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftwhatever”

Things will work brilliantly, however lets say you want to change some obscure value for the adobe reader!?  This is outside the “Policies” section of the registry.. things will look like this when you enter the GPM MMC console.

policy2

This is where I lost my temper and started cursing at my monitor, see again once I put “Policies” in the keyname everything worked like a charm (but my setting was NOT in the Policy region of the registry)..

So Google to the rescue, it would seem that things have changed since the good old Poledit days, and that you need to do a bit of editor tweaking to get those ‘dirty’ settings available under NT4+ systems now-er-days.

Here is the secret;

policy3 
View, Filtering, “Only show policy settings that can be fully managed”..

Once this is done you can see everything – just like in the good old days 😀

policy4

Also it’s worth noting the other filter settings, I did not even know they existed, now you can actually limit your view to only those settings that are set, and this DO make it a lot easier to overlook the more complex policies.

Good luck making your new policies its easy as pie you know..

Links;
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/12009443/m/645000852731/inc/-1
http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/ADM-Template-Repository.html
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738443.aspx

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