Windows 7 – Do I need to change my Active Directory for new Group Policy features?

At work  we will start testing Windows 7 within the IS department Q2 next year. Our current AD forest is still in mixed mode 2000!!! So I have some cleanup and upgrades todo on that before I start working about windows 7 GPO?s. I just need to retire and move the roles of the old 2000 DC?s. We are also retiring a few domains and merging into the forest root and utilize OU?s better. Below is good information about windows 7 GPO?s once I get there next year.

Now that you?ve obviously purchased, installed, and started playing with your Windows 7 client, you?re probably fantasizing about all the great things that will happen to your environment when you upgrade all of the machines in your site / OU / domain / basement to Windows 7 as well. Let me tell you, it?s going to be great. Why? Because you?ll have GP Preferences client side extensions installed already in all of those Windows 7 clients! That means that you can map drives and push out shortcuts and add printers and configure power plans for all these Windows 7 machines from your own Windows 7 client (with RSAT) or with Windows Server 2008 R2.

To answer the question in the title, NO, you do not need to change your update your Active Directoy (if it’s at least 2003) to take advantage of sweet new Group Policy features and settings. The exception is if the application that the setting is relevant to requires an AD upgrade, like BitLocker. This is a good article on configuring BitLocker in your AD, written by the guys on the Directory Services team:

Also – check out an overview plus good getting started tips on this website: Group Policy Management for IT Pros. If there was anything in the above paragraphs that you have questions on, read this article first. Seriously.

Have fun! Go Preferences!

LiliaG  (@superlilia)

Windows 7 – Do I need to change my Active Directory for new Group Policy features?
Tue, 27 Oct 2009 08:31:00 GMT

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