A Few of My Favorite Things: GPOTool
Compaq knows a thing or two about troubleshooting large networks. Here are some of the utilities and programs it uses most and likes best for Windows 2000.
GPOTool is a utility available in the Win2K Server
and Professional Resource Kits. It's designed to assist
with monitoring the consistency of group policy objects
(GPOs) within a Win2K domain. The tool is a command
line utility that can provide a great deal of information
about the current state of GPOs. Typically, this tool
can be used to ensure that a GPO is consistent across
either the entire domain or a subset of DCs.
You can modify the output from GPOTool in a number
of ways, such as restricting the output to a particular
GPO, a particular domain or a subset of DCs. Since GPOTool
produces an abundance of data, it's usually a good idea
to redirect the output to a text file that can then
be viewed in detail once the tool's finished. Typically,
there are two key pieces of information to check: the
list of errors detailed at the start of the output,
and the version numbers of the GPO's on the individual
|The result of running GPOTool on this
server shows that the SYSVOL version numbers have
fallen behind the DS version numbers. In this case,
the File Replication Server has probably caused
the GPOs to get out of synchronization. (Click image
to view larger version.)
GPOTool's only drawback is the structure of the information
it provides. It's very easy to end up with pages and
pages of information, and extracting the useful parts
can be tedious work. However, it's worth spending time
familiarizing yourself with the structure as the end
results can be invaluable.
Robert Grigsby, MCSE, is a Technology Consultant for eApplications Practice, Global Services Organization, Compaq Computer Limited.