Enable Group Policy Preference logging and tracing


You’ve created and linked a new GPO that uses Group Policy Preferences to move some files. You’ve had this working before, but now find that the files aren’t being copied across on certain clients.

The Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) tool does not show GP Preferences, so you need another way of troubleshooting this. Enter Group Policy Preference logging and tracing.

Follow the steps below to enable the GP Preferences log file(s):

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Using an elevated command prompt to open Add Remove Programs


You’ve noticed there is software that shouldn’t be installed on a client PC, but when you try to uninstall it via a remote desktop connection, a warning message appears saying “This installation can only be uninstalled by a user with administrative privileges”. Smeg!


  1. Open the run box (windows key + r) and type runas /user:DOMAINADMIN cmd.
  2. You will be prompted for the domain administrator password. Type said password and press enter.
  3. Once the elevated command prompt appears, type control appwiz.cpl to open the Add/Remove Programs control panel.
  4. You will now be able to uninstall the offending software…through gritted-teeth and a wry smile.

Reset offline files cache in Windows XP

If you ever have issues with the Offline Files feature in Windows XP – eg. clients keep trying to sync with old servers – you can reset the offline files cache and database using these instructions: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/230738

Cannot find pushprinterconnections.exe to deploy printers via GPO to WinXP PCs

I was onsite with a customer the other week, and noticed that they installed print drivers individually on each PC to print direct to the printer. Not good, as the maintenance and management must have been a nightmare; the customer was a medium-sized school.

Usually I see shared printers being used, but better still are shared printers deployed via Group Policy. I started preaching to their IT guy about the wonders of centrally managed printing, and decided to set this up for him.

Unfortunately, after a while I gave up as I couldn’t find the necessary pushprinterconnections.exe file I needed for the solution to work with their Windows XP clients. It’s usually in %WINDIR%\System32 on the server, but not this time.

Here’s a link to the file if you ever struggle finding it too: pushprinterconnections

Instructions on Deploying Printers via GPO can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722179(v=ws.10).aspx

How to confirm if Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions are installed in WinXP


You need to confirm if Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions are installed for Windows XP, but nothing shows up in Add/Remove Programs.

You’re sure that you have the right update (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3628), but Group Policy Preferences are not working.

Here’s how you can confirm Preference CSEs are installed:

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Change computer names remotely using NETDOM on Windows XP

I got this familiar error message earlier when trying to change the computer name of a Windows XP machine:

“Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed. Disconnect all previous connections to the server or shared resource and try again”

To get around this, I used the following netdom command from my PC (replace capital words with your own):
netdom renamecomputer OLDCOMPUTERNAME /newname:NEWCOMPUTERNAME /userD:domain\administrator /passwordd:ADMINPASSWORD /usero: domain\administrator /passwordo: ADMINPASSWORD  /reboot:10
This renamed the computer and rebooted the little sucker in 10 seconds.

Read more about the netdom command here.