Windows XP Professional is turning up on more and more corporate desktops as the successor to Windows 9x as well as Windows 2000 Professional. While XP Professional is designed to be managed by Windows 2000 Server and Active Directory, there's often a crucial element missing: support on the Windows 2000 Server side for new Windows XP-only group policy functions.
XP supports all the existing Windows 2000 group policy options, but XP also has a whole new slew of them that can't be set by default in Windows 2000. The reason? They don't exist yet on the Windows server. The good news is they can be added in without a great deal of difficulty.
To do this you'll need to be running a Windows 2000 Server domain controller with at least one Windows XP Professional domain member.
- Log in as a domain administrator on the Windows XP Professional machine. If there is no account that matches the domain administrator account, create one.
- Launch a copy of the Microsoft Management Console by typing mmc in the Start | Run box.
- In the MMC app, select File -> Add/Remove Snap-in.
- Click Add, then select Group Policy.
- In the Select Group Policy Object dialog box, click Browse and select the GPO you want to upgrade. (It may not appear right away, as the system has to search the domain for all policy objects.)
- Click Close, then OK to commit the changes.
Once the GPOs are upgraded, the Windows 2000 Server's own group policy manager will be able to make changes to them without needing the XP client.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter. Check out his Windows 2000 blog for his latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators – please share your thoughts as well!