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Windows XP vs. Windows 2000 -- group policies differ

Active Directory changed with the release of Windows XP. Learn some of the key differences, most notably to Group Policy.

Windows 2000 introduced the Active Directory to Windows networking. AD is a directory system that allows for great universal cataloging of objects of all types that can be stored on computers, and easy ways to ensure that the appropriate persons have access to those policies.

Then came Windows XP, and, of course, the implementation of AD changed. So what are the differences?

There is a great article that discusses the differences between the Active Directory group policies of Windows XP and Windows 2000, which you can find online at In this article, Jeremy Moskowitz delves into the differences, problems and solutions of using Windows 2000 group policies with Windows XP. If you are a Windows 2000 shop and are starting to deploy Windows XP as clients, then you'll find lots of useful information in this article.

Here is a quick overview of the key elements from the article:

  • An updated Adminpak.msi must be installed because the one shipped with Windows 2000 is not compatible with Windows XP.
  • There are over 200 new group-policy settings in Windows XP.
  • Windows XP specific group policy settings are ignored when applied to Windows 2000 systems.
  • Windows 2000 applies GPOs synchronously, while Windows XP applies GPOs asynchronously.

If you have experienced strangeness when migrating from Windows 2000 to Windows XP clients or using both in the same environment, you might find solutions to your questions just by visiting the MCP Magazine site. At the very least, you'll learn a bit more about Active Directory group policy objects in both Windows environments. I always find that learning more about the systems I use on a regular basis helps me prevent problems in the future rather than having to react to and recover from them.

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


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