If it has a plug, it's IT stuff

Nov 10 2008   10:48AM GMT

Group Policy scripts, what are they doing on my PC?

alessandro.panzetta Alessandro Panzetta Profile: alessandro.panzetta

Even if I’m not anymore in the direct IT Department, some manager have asked me this question when they noticed that there were some shutdown/startup scripts running on their client machines so I thought that writing a post that explains how to find this information could be a good idea.

Let’s start from the concept: in an Active Directory based domain Administrators can write Group Policies that can satisfy many needs in IT Administration, including which scripts a computer or user has to run while starting up or logging to a computer. These scripts are of two main kinds:

  • COMPUTER: we can have a script for startup and one for shutdown
  • USER: we can have a script for login and one for logoff

So an Admin can provide some scripts and be sure that these are running accordingly but how can you understand what are the scripts doing? Simply perform these steps

  1. Click START/RUN type MMC and press ENTER
  2. Press CTRL+M (Add/Remove Snap-in) and click the ADD button
  3. Select Resultant Set Of Policy, click the ADD button and then CLOSE
  4. Click OK
  5. Right click the Resultant Set Of Policy node and choose “Generate RSOP data
  6. Click NEXT until you reach the USER SELECTION window
  7. Check the lower radio button “Do not display user policy…” and click NEXT twice
  8. Click FINISH
  9. Expand the tree Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Scripts/Startup
  10. Now browse your closest domain controller to something like \\DOMAINCONTROLLER\SYSVOL\DOMAINNAME\Policies\{XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX}\Machine\Scripts\Startup; in this folder you should find the scripts that are run on your computer

At this point you can copy these files and read their content and, if they are clear enough, remove any doubt on what your SysAdmin is trying to do with these scripts.

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