Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Troubleshooting :know to Compare the Difference between two Group Policy Objects

There is no in-built functionality in Windows for comparing two GPO's to see how their settings differ.  Back in 2005 a company named Desktop Standard Corp made a tool called GPO Vault which extended the functionality of GPMC providing administrators the ability to compare two group policy objects.

Desktop Standard Corp however was brought out by Microsoft and navigating to their website http://www.desktopstandard.com/ simply redirects to the Microsoft Group Policy webpage.
GPO Vault does not only provide the ability to compare group policy objects within Group Policy Management Console but also provides other much needed functionality such as change control, notification, approval, rollback, offline editing, templates, and difference reporting directly into the GPMC.

Since the acquisition of DesktopStandard Corp, finding GPOVault on the Internet has become a difficult task.  As a result I have uploaded a copy of GPO Vault.msi to this blog which can be downloaded from the following link:   Download GPOVault

https://sites.google.com/site/systemadmintools/troubleshooting-know-to-compare-the-difference-between-two-group-policy-objects/gpovault.msi?attredirects=0&d=1

To compare two group policy objects perform the following steps:

1. Expand the Forest - Domains and the domain and select the "Change Control" leaf.

2. In the details pane, select the Contents tab, which will display a list of GPOs. At this point, you probably need to select the "Uncontrolled" child tab to see your normal GPOs.

3. Select the GPOs for which you want to see the differences (hold down the Ctrl key as you select each GPO), then right-click and select Differences - HTML Report. (You can also select to output to XML format as the figure shows.)

4. A report will display the differences between the selected GPOs, as the figureshows.





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