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Windows Server 2008 : Group Policy Overview - Using Loopback Processing, Running Scripts with Group Policy

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1/7/2014 7:58:01 PM

1. Using Loopback Processing

Group Policy settings applied to users normally take precedence over Group Policy settings that apply to computers. As a reminder, the last Group Policy that is applied is the one that takes precedence. Because a computer boots up before a user can log on, the Group Policy settings for the computer is applied first, and the Group Policy settings for the user are applied last.

Note

A simple way of understanding loopback processing is that it ensures that the policies applying to the computer take precedence over the policies applying to the user. For example, if you want to enable folder redirection for users ONLY when they log on to terminal servers, you can enable loopback processing in a GPO that applies to users only when they log on to computers in the terminal server OU.


However, there are times when you want this reversed. In other words, you want the Group Policy settings for the computer to take precedence over the Group Policy settings for the user. You can do so by enabling Loopback Processing. Figure 1 shows the location of this setting.

Figure 1. Enabling Loopback Processing

2. Running Scripts with Group Policy

You can write scripts and have them automatically run through Group Policy. The great strength of this is that you write and configure the script once, and it runs on all the computers in your domain or all the computers in a specific OU, depending on where you link the GPO holding the script.

Figure 2 shows the locations of these GPO settings and the following table explains them.

Group Policy Script EventsComments
Computer StartupThe script runs when the computer starts. The Group Policy setting for a domain GPO is in the Computer Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Scripts node.
Computer ShutdownThe script runs when the computer shuts down. The Group Policy setting for a domain GPO is in the Computer Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Scripts node.
User logonThe script runs when the user logs on. The Group Policy setting for a domain GPO is in the User Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Scripts node.
User logoffThe script runs when the user logs off. The Group Policy setting for a domain GPO is in the User Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Scripts node.

Figure 2. Group Policy settings for scripts

Scripts can run either synchronously or asynchronously.

Script Behavior TypesComments
SynchronousScripts run one after the other. Users cannot interact with the system until all scripts have completed.
AsynchronousMultiple scripts run at the same time. User can interact with system before the scripts have completed.

All scripts run asynchronously by default on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This includes both computer startup and user logon scripts.

Tip

The default behavior for computer startup and user logon scripts before Windows Server 2008 was synchronous. Users could not interact with the system until all scripts completed. However, computers boot quicker with this set to asynchronous and the behavior is changed in Windows Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. You can modify the new default behavior if needed.

 
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