New book: Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant

William Stanek strikes again. Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant (336 pages, ISBN: 9780735626768) will be available on February 11 (and is available for pre-order now). It’s William’s 98th published book and 30th for Microsoft Press. His 99th and 100th books will be Windows 7 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant and Windows Server 2008 R2 Inside Out, not necessarily in that order.


The Introduction for Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant follows. Windows administrators, we hope its first paragraph grabs you:

Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant is the only
book on the market written from start to finish with both Group Policy preferences and Group Policy settings in mind. It is also the only book on the market written from start to finish with the Group Policy Management Console and Advanced Group Policy Management in mind. As a result, Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant offers Windows administrators a unique approach. The result, I hope, is a concise and compulsively usable resource for Windows administrators.

Because I focus on providing you with the maximum value in a pocket-sized guide, you don’t have to wade through hundreds of pages of extraneous information to find what you’re looking for. Instead, you’ll find exactly what you need to get the job done. In short, the book is designed to be the one resource you consult whenever you have questions regarding Group Policy administration. To this end,
the book concentrates on daily administration procedures, frequently performed tasks, documented examples, and options that are representative but not necessarily inclusive.

One of the goals is to keep the content so concise that the book remains compact and easy to navigate while ensuring that the book is packed with as much information as possible—making it a valuable resource. Thus, instead of a hefty thousand-page tome or a lightweight hundred-page quick reference, you get a valuable resource guide that can help you quickly and easily perform common tasks, solve problems, and implement features such as filtering Group Policy processing, migrating the SYSVOL, implementing change control, restoring Group Policy objects (GPOs), and troubleshooting.

Who Is This Book For?
Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant covers Group Policy for small, medium, and large organizations. The book is designed for:

  • Current Windows and network administrators
  • Support staff who maintain Windows networks
  • Accomplished users who have some administrator responsibilities
  • Administrators transferring from other platforms

To pack in as much information as possible, I had to assume that you have basic networking skills and a basic understanding of both Windows and Active Directory. With this in mind, I don’t devote entire chapters to understanding Windows architecture, Windows networking, or Active Directory. I do, however, provide complete details on the components of Group Policy and how you can use these components. I explore the ins and outs of Group Policy. I cover how to keep pace with Group Policy changes, installing Group Policy extensions, applying Group Policy, and much more.

I also assume that you are fairly familiar with Windows commands and procedures as well as Active Directory. If you need help learning Active Directory basics, a good resource is Active Directory Administrator’s Pocket Consultant (Microsoft Press, 2009).

How Is This Book Organized?
Windows Group Policy Administrator’s Pocket Consultant is designed to be used in the daily administration of Group Policy, and as such the book is organized by job-related tasks rather than by features. Speed and ease of reference is an essential part of this hands-on guide. The book has an expanded table of contents and an extensive index for finding answers to problems quickly. Many other quick reference features have been added as well. These features include step-by-step instructions,
lists, tables with fast facts, and extensive cross-references. The book is organized into both parts and chapters.

Group Policy is a collection of preferences and settings that can be applied to user and computer configurations. Part I, “Implementing Group Policy,” reviews the fundamental tasks you need for Group Policy administration. Chapter 1 provides an overview of tools, techniques, and concepts related to Group Policy. Chapter 2 examines important changes to Group Policy and how these changes affect the
way you use Group Policy. The chapter also provides detailed advice on using both policy preferences and policy settings, including tips on which technology to use when.

Part II, “Managing Group Policy,” discusses the core tools and techniques you’ll use to manage Group Policy. Chapter 3 explores techniques for configuring both Local Group Policy objects (LGPOs) and Active Directory–based Group Policy objects (GPOs). Not only will you learn about essential implementation considerations, you’ll also find tips and techniques for working across domains, sites, and forests. Chapter 4 examines the change control features available when you implement Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM). You’ll learn how to manage workflow within the change control system and how to configure AGPM itself. In Chapter 5, you’ll learn how to search and filter Group Policy. You can use the techniques discussed not only to find policy settings and search GPOs but also to control the security groups and computers to which policy is applied.

The book continues with Part III, “Maintaining and Recovering Group Policy.” GPOs have two parts: a Group Policy container (GPC) stored in Active Directory, and a Group Policy template (GPT) stored in the SYSVOL. Chapter 6 shows you how to migrate the SYSVOL to Distributed File System (DFS) Replication and how to maintain SYSVOL storage. You’ll also find tips and techniques for troubleshooting replication. Chapter 7 discusses essential Group Policy concepts and provides tips
and techniques for managing the way Group Policy works. Chapter 8 examines how to maintain, restore, and troubleshoot Group Policy. Finally, Appendix A provides a reference for installing Group Policy extensions and tools.


Did we mention that William is the series editor for our Administrator’s Pocket Consultant line of books?  It’s true, and here’s more about the gentleman:

About the Author
William R. Stanek ( was born in Burlington, Wisconsin, where he attended public schools, including Janes Elementary School in Racine, Wisconsin. He is the second youngest of five children. After a career in the military, he settled in Washington State, having been captivated by the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

In 1985 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and entered a two-year training program in intelligence and linguistics at the Defense Language Institute. After graduation he served in various field operations duties in Asia and Europe. In 1990 he won an appointment to Air Combat School and shortly after graduation served in the Persian Gulf War as a combat crewmember on an electronic warfare aircraft. During his two tours in the Persian Gulf War, William flew numerous combat and combat support missions, logging over 200 combat flight hours. His distinguished accomplishments during the war earned him nine medals, including the United States of America’s highest flying honor, the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. He earned 29 decorations in his military career.

In 1994 William earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Hawaii Pacific University. In 1995 he earned his master’s degree with distinction from Hawaii Pacific University. In 1996 he separated from the military, having spent 11 years in the U.S. Air Force. While in the military, he was stationed in Texas, Japan, Germany, and Hawaii. He served in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, and Operation Provide Comfort. His last station while in the Air Force was with the 324th Intelligence Squadron, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.

Born into a family of readers, William was always reading and creating stories. Even before he started school, he read classics like Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe, and The Three Musketeers. Later in his childhood, he started reading works by Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Herman Melville, Jack London, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. Of that he says, “Edgar Allan Poe can be pretty bleak and dark, especially when you’re 10 years old. But I remember being fascinated with his stories. To this day I can still remember parts of ‘The Raven,’ The Tell Tale Heart, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

William completed his first novel in 1986 when he was stationed in Japan, but it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that his first book was published. Since then, he has written and had published nearly 100 books, including Active Directory Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, and Windows Server 2008 Inside Out (all from Microsoft Press).

In 1997 William was dubbed “A Face Behind the Future” in a feature article about his life in The (Wash.) Olympian. At that time he was breaking new ground in shaping the future of business on the Internet. Today William continues to help shape the future of Internet business and technology in general, writing authoritative books covering these subjects for a variety of publishers. William has won many
awards from his colleagues and the publishing industry.

For fun he used to spend a lot of time mountain biking and hiking, but now his adventures in the great outdoors are mostly restricted to short treks around the Pacific Northwest. In 2009, William’s one-hundredth book will be published by Microsoft. William’s life-long commitment to the printed word has helped him become one of the leading technology authors in the world today.


And here’s the book’s structure at a glance:

Contents at a Glance

Introduction xiii

Part I   Implementing Group Policy
Chapter 1   Introducing Group Policy 3
Chapter 2   Deploying Group Policy 15

Part II   Managing Group Policy
Chapter 3   Group Policy Management 51
Chapter 4   Advanced Group Policy Management 103
Chapter 5   Searching and Filtering Group Policy 145

Part III   Maintaining and Recovering Group Policy
Chapter 6   Maintaining and Migrating the SYSVOL 183
Chapter 7   Managing Group Policy Processing 211
Chapter 8   Maintaining and Restoring Group Policy 247

Appendix A    Installing Group Policy Extensions and Tools 289

Index 309


More posts on new books are coming soon, including books covering Windows Small Business Server 2008, Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, SQL Server 2008 MDX, SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services, how we test software at Microsoft, and the update to Microsoft Press’s Writing Solid Code.

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Comments (3)
  1. Jiri Brejcha says:

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