Registry editing through GPO

By Thomas Manier - Posted Feb 24, 2012 5:30PM I wanted to give a quick tutorial on how to change registry keys through group policy. This is actually documented several times on the internet but very few give a clear understanding of the steps you need to take in order to achieve a quick solution. As a note, this will permanently add registry keys to computers. You can modify the values through group policy but it will require extra work in order to remove any key created in this manner. Also, I’m not going to cover everything you can do with this feature of group policy (technically, it’s an entire scripting language) but just how to push out registry keys to the HKEY_User directory. 1 - You will need to create an .adm file in Notepad with the following format: CLASS USER CATEGORY !!Name POLICY !!Name EXPLAIN !!Explanation KEYNAME "Key directory" VALUENAME "Key name" VALUEON "key value when active" VALUEOFF "key value when inactive" END POLICY END CATEGORY[strings] Name="Custom name" Explanation="Custom Explanation" If you want to adhere to standards the name should be all lower case and saved in the %SystemRoot%inf directory. The “key directory” will be the directory in HKEY_CURRENT_USER that will be used. The “key name” will be the actual key that will be modified and the two values will be the DWORD or String that will be stored in the key when the group policy is on or off. The “Custom name” and “Custom Explanation” are strings that can be modified to show in GPEDIT what is actually happening in this group policy. Below is an...

Windows 7: Compatibility

Well, it’s been two weeks and I seem to have all the applications I need installed.  After I got Windows 7 up and running (joined our domain, delegated myself the appropriate credentials, applied all released updates, and set the system settings I desired (remote desktop, firewall tweaks, etc)) I began installing additional software. In this post, I’ll focus on the applications that have given me trouble, as well as some more common suites and if they required any additional work. The usual suspects… Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise installed just fine, as expected, and updating to SP2 presented no challenge.  Office Communicator 2007 R2 likewise installed just fine. Additionally, I utilize and installed Visio 2007, SharePoint Designer, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Management Console, all without incident.  You may be asking yourself, why not just say all Microsoft software installed and functioned correctly…well, because it all didn’t. Internet Explorer 8, which comes bundled with Windows 7 as IE 7 did with Windows Vista.  While I used IE 8 on Windows Vista, and like the rest of the planet experienced CSS issues on a wide array of web pages, which for the most part were resolved by leveraging the compatibility mode, that little button to the right of the address bar.  I have to say, is Microsoft saying that the majority of web developers out there are thumbing their nose at the XHTML and XFN standards? IE 8 seems to crash at random, while it does do a good job at not taking down the whole explorer shell, the tab is only recovered about half of the time.  I have yet...

Google Analytics on SharePoint Services 3.0

Analytics software can be invaluable when it comes time to prove the worth of the SharePoint site you migrated your company’s intranet from, or when seeking that budget increase for more hardware. The problem is with the nature of SharePoint sites being fluid, in that they are constantly changing as the data they serve is being updated or consolidated.  New features and web parts are being added, and so the code under the hood is always evolving. This brings me to the problem I faced when a customer needed assistance in setting up analytics software on the SharePoint site. There are plenty of sites that will walk explain the integration for MOSS 2007 and Google Analytics (GA), but none that I found for WSS 3.0. The site I am working with is using a combination of default and custom Master Pages.  Following the directions found on the Google Analytics site, I registered my Gmail account with the Analytics site, registered the unique domain name (URL), and added the code (JavaScript) just before the closing Body tag within the site’s Master Page (/BODY). For the URL, be sure you register it exactly as it appears in the browser, for instance if you have alternate access mappings, you will need to register each as a separate domain. Also be aware of any redirects, for instance if you have a managed path, i.e., www.yoursharepointsite.com/sites/, then make sure you specify that path as your URL within the GA profile settings. Once you have the URL set correctly, and the code loaded on all the master pages referenced by your site, you need only...

Windows 7: Install

OK, so the install was pretty much like all other installs of Vista.  Since I was moving from a 32-bit (x86) environment to a 64-bit (x64) implementation, I was not able to perform an in place or other upgrade. Fresh, or clean install it is! Upon booting off of the DVD, Vista users will recognize the familiar screen… There were subtle differences during the installation: Not many, just the bitmaps, or wallpaper. Since I was doing a fresh install, I chose the basic options, of having the installing take care of formatting and partitioning the drive.  Windows 7 does create a small 100MB active partition that is hidden from the OS.  This partition is created at the beginning of the drive, and contains the Recovery Environment that in previous Windows versions was only accessible via the DVD, or by manually installing and modifying the boot time parameters. The rest of the installation is as you’d expect for the next generation of Windows: I chose the drive where I wanted Windows 7 to live: Then waited for the installation to complete: During the install, the computer will reboot a couple of times as needed…Once, Twice, The last steps are of course to provide your name, and name the computer. And choose your update options… Now Windows will set those parameters before allowing you to use the computer: All said and done, I began the installation at 3:55 PM at 4:15 PM, I was presented with the screen below… Not bad, 20 minutes almost on the dot.  Of course the first thing that Windows did was to complete installing hardware by...

Windows 7 is coming

  With Windows 7 public availability around the corner, ADNS will be making the move this Friday.  We will report our experiences on this blog with all aspects from upgrades (Vista only) and new installations. Majority of our workstations are Dell Vostro 400s, so we should not have any issues meeting the recommended system requirements. Here are some specs to help get you ready: Minimum requirements- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit) 16 gigabyte available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver Check back Friday 8/7 for part 1:...