Group Policy Recommendations ~ My blog about Active Directory and everything else

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Group Policy Recommendations

From the mailbag.

Thiago sent me an email via the blog with a question about learning more about group policy. From Thiago's email

"...Im planning to buy in Amazon the Active Directory Book made by Brian Desmond MVP DS ( ) But I would like to have your suggestion to a book that give me a inside about AD and Group Policy....because I don't wanna keep reading that basic concepts. Want more that "how to create GPO, how GPP works, how to map drives..."

Brian Desmond's book does have a group policy section in it and that is a good place to start. I highly recommend Brian's book to anyone that works with AD. All four books in my recommendation section are great. Brian, Laura, and Kouti's books will help everyone.

There are however some resources I'd recommend for group policy specifically because that is what Thiago asked about.

First thing I'd recommend is to have some sort of lab setup if you can. That can be as simple as a virtual DC and one workstation to start with. As you are reading and learning about group policy it helps to test and play and experiment.


There are a few group policy specific books and both are good. The first one I'd recomend is

Group Policy: Fundamentals, Security, and Troubleshooting by Group Policy MVP Jeremey Moskowitz

That is the 4th edition of Jermey's group policy book and at close to 800 pages you will learn about group policy.

The next book is Microsoft's Group Policy Resource Kit by Derek Melber

This one I use as a reference and it has a lot of great info too. If money is tight I'd go with Jeremy's book first.

Speaking of money being tight there are a lot of great free resources on the web that can be very helpful.


Microsoft's Official Group Policy Team Blog Great blog from the group policy team anyone wanting to learn group policy should have this in their RSS feeds.

The GPO Guy Blog Group Policy MVP Darren Mar-Elia's blog. Hands down Darren is one of the top group policy guru's on the planet and his blog is another must read. More to come from Darren later in this post.

Florian's Blog Florian is a Group Policy MVP from Germany and a friend. His blog deals with group policy and Active Directory. He often thinks of blog entries that no one else does. His Restricted Groups entry is the best blog on the subject on the net.

Group Policy Center Another great blog from Group Policy MVP Alan Burchill A lot of great information and his blogs contain a lot of screen shots and step by step which is very helpful when learning about group policy.

Other Great Free Resources

TechNet Virtual Labs Having a test lab is very important as I mentioned above, but if you don't have one yet there are a bunch of great group policy labs provided by Microsoft. The virtual labs are a great learning tool.

Darren Mar-Elia also has some great free Group Policy Training Videos on his site. Definitely worth checking those out.

Group Policy Mail List Run by Darren this is a list that anyone wanting to learn more about group policy should subscribe too. Some really smart group policy folks on that list. You will often see very hard problems being discussed on that list.

So that is my list, I know some may wonder where Jeremy Moskowitz's training classes are. You can find Jeremy's training info here I've seen good reviews of Jeremy's class but I've never taken it so I can't personally recommend it but if you or your company has training dollars to spend it is probably going to be worth your time and money.

So what did I miss? Any blaring omissions? Please let me know and I'm sure this will not only answer Thiago's question but it will help others.




  1. MIke,

    First thing I would like to thank you for the post about my question.
    Now I think I`m in correct way, cause many of the things that you posted I already know, but talking about the book you really put me in the way I want to "Group Policy". I`m also planning to get the Active Directory 4th Edition from Brian and Group Policy from Jeremey.
    Florian is one the guys that I follow with his Blog, almost everyday = ). He really post great things in his blog

    Now I will just study and practice. Thanks a lot one more time and I hope this post help other people.

    Thiago Pereira |

  2. These Microsoft Blogs have been invaluable to me for various GPO related work

    Active Directory Documentation Team Blog

    Windows Time Service team

    WMI Team Blog

    Technet Magazine GPO Articles

  3. Oops.. You forgot -- which has LOTS of free great stuff and a free support forum. That's also the home of my LIVE and ONLINE training for Group Policy as well. Thanks for the inclusion.. !