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What is RSoP for Windows Group Policy?

Details and definition of RSoP (Resultant Set of Policy) for Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, as well as info on the meanig of RSoP to Group Policy.

What is RSoP and what is it used for?

The defintion of Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) is the cumulative result of the priority application of Group Policy. The RSoP can be seen by using the gpresult tool, the RSoP snap-in for the MMC or through the Help and Support Center.

On Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows Server 2003 systems, the effective policy or RSoP is either all Group Policies properly combined when logged on with a domain user account or only the local Group Policy (for stand alone systems, the local Group Policy applies whether or not a user is logged on). A great tool for extracting this information quickly is the gpresult command. Its output displays the applied and effective policy changes to a local system.

The cumulative result of all applicable GPOs and the local security policy is the RSoP. When viewing GPOs from an MMC console on a Windows XP client, the console will show Local Computer Policy. This is simply a semantic change to inform you that you are working from a local client system viewing its current system configuration based upon applied GPOs. Don't let this name change fool you; you are looking at active configuration (RSoP) of applied GPOs.

Using RSoP via MMC for Windows

  1. Click Start, Run, type mmc, and then click OK. This opens the Microsoft Management Console.
  2. Select Add/Remove Snap-in from the File menu, click the Add button, locate and select Resultant Set of Policy, and the click Add.
  3. At the Welcome to the Resultant Set of Policy Wizard, click Next five times, and then click Finish. This configures the RSoP wizard to display a read-only version of the RSoP (known as logging mode) from the local computer for the current user. If you wish to change the source computer or user account, make the alternate selection on the appropriate wizard page.
  4. Click Close to close the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box
  5. Click OK in the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box. The RSoP node should now appear in the MMC.
  6. Expand the nodes to reveal all of the sub-policies of the applicable GPO. Notice that each policy lists the Computer Setting (RSoP) and the Source GPO.
  7. Close the MMC when finished without saving the settings.

Using RSoP via Help and Support

  1. Click Start, Help and Support.
  2. In the right pane, under the Pick a Task heading, click Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems.
  3. In the left pane, under the Tools heading, click Advanced System Information.
  4. In the right pane, under What do you want to do?, click View Group Policy settings applied.
  5. View the contents presented. Scroll to the bottom of the view, and then click Run the Resultant Set of Policy tool.
  6. This launches the MMC console with the RSoP snap-in.
  7. Close all windows when finished.

Next week's tip will look at how RSoP can help you troubleshoot Group Policy settings.

James Michael Stewart is a partner and researcher for ITinfopros, a technology-focused writing and training organization.

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